Wintering Bougainvillea: Tips for container and outdoor plants


The colorful bougainvillea, or triplet flower, must be brought into the house or to a frost-free place in winter.

© reichertfoto - Fotolia.com In summer, the triplet flower makes many eyes shine. On the balcony or terrace, the lush floral pile is a source of admiration. In the shadow of this blooming exotic exotic holiday mood arises. Unfortunately, no summer lasts forever and it is time in late summer to think about the wintering of the bougainvillea. The original distribution area of ​​the triplet flower is in South America. In the Mediterranean area, the plant now feels comfortable all year round. In our latitudes, however, the bougainvillea has to move to a suitable winter quarters.

Off to the winter quarters - the preparation

In summer, the bougainvillea is very easy to cultivate. If the triplet flower gets a warm and sunny location, is watered sufficiently and does not get a cold shower from above, the exotic climbing plant is eager to grow and bloom.

When is it time to move to the winter quarters? This does not have to be rushed. The plants tolerate values ​​close to freezing for a short time. However, frost should not prevail. Before moving inside, the plant can be prepared for the upcoming break by slowly reducing the watering. So the triplet flower can already start to shut down its metabolism.

➔ Tip: The root ball should not dry out completely even in winter quarters.

The plant's container position ensures a stress-free move into the house. The plant pots can then be carried comfortably into the house. If the plants were cultivated outdoors, the move is a bit more complex. Likewise, the right time should not be missed.

➔Achtung: Even a night with frosty temperatures can freeze the plants.

Overwintering outdoor plants - what needs to be considered?

  • Take the plant out of the ground in good time
  • Protect roots
  • Insert drainage
  • Transfer the plant to the planter
  • find a suitable location

The bougainvillea can move into the house in early September. Autumn is mild and without night frost, you can also wait until October. When digging out the plants, pay particular attention to the sensitive roots. It is not uncommon for the triplet flower to get a literal blow and then show this in the winter quarters with hanging leaves. After a few weeks, however, the plants usually recover without problems.

The planter should be of sufficient size so that the roots can spread. Even if the plant is only watered a little in the winter quarters, drainage on the bottom of the container is always a good idea to ensure that the water can run off easily and that there is no waterlogging.

What is the ideal winter quarters for the bougainvillea?

  • bright
  • cool
  • Frost free

The greenhouse or the winter garden are ideal locations for wintering. If you don't have it, you can also place the plants in the bright stairwell. Basements are also suitable, provided there is sufficient brightness. The bougainvillea can easily overwinter at ten degrees. It shouldn't be warmer than 15 degrees. A cooler location, on the other hand, is even an advantage and supports flowering.

➔ Tip: If you overwinter your triplet flower at three to five degrees, you have the best chance of getting numerous flowers next summer.

In order to make the move for outdoor plants as stress-free as possible, they should no longer be watered. If the leaves have withered and fallen off, it makes sense to cut the plants before moving into the house.

➔ Tip: If the plant has lost its leaves before hibernation, it can also be hibernated in a dark room.

Which cutting measures make sense before wintering?

  • strong cut back
  • prune young shoots
  • Remove withered flowers

You can cut back vigorously before hibernation. It does no harm to the plant if it is cut back in half. Since the flowers only form on short shoots, the young shoots should also be cut back. It is also important to remove withered flowers. The cutting action before hibernation encourages new shoots and blooming.

Find the right location for the container plant

Container plants have it a little easier in the cold season, because they can be transported into the house in a few easy steps and the roots are not endangered. The move to the winter quarters should not be neglected in any case. Container plants are sensitive and the roots are attacked faster in frost than in a triplet flower planted outdoors. The container plant should also be brought into the house by the end of September at the latest. The hibernation can take place at temperatures between 5 and 15 degrees. Here too, the cooler the location, the better the prospects for a rich floral display.

➔ Tip: The planter should not stand directly on the cold tile or stone floor. A piece of wood or a styrofoam underlay protects the plant and prevents the cold from reaching the roots.

What maintenance measures are required in winter?

The hobby gardener should not lose sight of his bougainvillea in the winter quarters completely. Regular inspections prevent pests from spreading or care and location errors are recognized too late.

The moisture in the plant pot should also be checked regularly. The earth must not feel too wet, this endangers the roots and in extreme cases leads to root rot. In return, the root ball should not dry out completely. If watered about every four weeks, the plant should get through the winter well.

➔ Tip: The cooler the plant is, the less water it needs in winter.

If leaves have fallen off, it is important to remove them so that mold is not infested. If the triplet flowers form shoots in the winter quarters, these should be removed. The plants develop their blossoms only from the shoots produced in spring.

It's done - what happens in spring?

When winter is over, the plant usually shows this with new shoots. This can happen at the beginning of March and is not least dependent on the brightness in the winter quarters. After the new shoot, the plant moves to a warmer location at room temperature. It is now gradually watered again and fertilization can begin. From around mid-May, the plants can move outdoors again.