When it comes to climbing, the triplet flowers are true experts. However, the climbing shrub from the tropics also delights with a splendor of flowers in summer and is therefore one of the most popular tub plants for balcony and terrace. But in order for it to bear a multitude of pink, pink and purple blossoms in summer, proper care during the winter months is crucial. We explain why you should regularly prune your bougainvillea and what to consider when wintering it.
Table of Contents
Why should you prune bougainvillea?
This spring we received a gift of a triplet flower. It felt splendid on our balcony and spent the whole summer there, thanking for the care with many filigree flowers. Now the gardening season has come to an end, but we would like to be able to admire the flowering splendor of the bougainvillea next year as well. Therefore, the question arose: how and when to cut the plant after the end of flowering?
Fortunately, most amateur gardeners agree: the bougainvillea must be cut in the fall. However, this is more about a nurturing pruning than a severe pruning . The first it tolerates very well, as long as you limit yourself to the most important pruning. The goal is to keep the plant as compact as possible during the dormant season, while still leaving enough foliage to get it through the winter just fine.
A caring pruning in autumn: instructions
Before pruning, however, the plant is first checked for pests and diseases. Only then can you get started on a dry and sunny day. Pruning requires sharp pruning shears or loppers and gardening gloves.
When pruning, the rule of thumb is: better to cut too little than too much. The goal is clear – you should definitely avoid weakening the plant and making it more susceptible to disease by severely pruning it.
Moreover, in their native country, climbing plants grow all year round. In this country, however, growth stops during the cold season. So you don’t want to cut the plant back too much, because it will lose valuable time next year when it sprouts again. Accordingly, the flowering period will then be shortened and fewer flowers will be formed.
To prevent this, the care topiary offers. The goal – to bring the plant into the desired shape, and then put it back outdoors after the end of the permafrost. Proceed as follows when pruning your bougainvillea:
- First, cut off only the diseased and weak shoots close to the ground.
- Cut yellowed or partially withered shoots down to the healthy wood.
- Then the transversely growing branches are also removed.
- If necessary, the healthy side shoots are shortened by a maximum of one third.
- The main shoots are also shortened a little and must not be cut off under any circumstances. The only exception: yellowed and withered main shoots must be removed before wintering.
- After that, the crown is shaped like a ball.
- When pruning, try to keep the cut area as small as possible. This means no cross-cutting.
- Make the cut on a sunny or at least dry day so that the cut surfaces can close up. They are entry points for bacteria, fungi and viruses and should therefore be kept dry.
- Do not prune young plants the first year.
After topiary, the time has come to bring the bougainvillea to the winter quarters. The exotic is wintered warm and sunny. The temperature in the room should not fall below 10 ° Celsius. A winter garden or a heated greenhouse are well suited. In this case, the tub is placed on a polystyrene plate, so that the roots do not freeze. If the temperature in the evening falls below 10 degrees, then you can wrap the tub with fleece. In the apartment, the climbing plant is wintered in an unheated room. In the cold season it copes with very little care. It is completely sufficient to keep the soil moist. But too much of a good thing can lead to root rot. So better to water too little than too much.
Autumn is also the right time to repot the triplet flower. However, this is only necessary a few years, when the climbing plant has completely rooted the old tub. When repotting, the soil is also changed. The plant does well with conventional potting soil. Fertilizer can be dispensed with.
Wintering out should be very simple: The plant is placed in a sunny spot. The direct sunlight promotes the new sprouting. Sometimes it takes a bit of patience: the friend who gave me her bougainvillea last spring had to wait longer than expected for it to sprout.
Our plant is doing great right now, by the way. Hopefully we’ll get it through the winter well and have lots of blooms again next year. By the way, the triplet flower has rather plain flowers. However, during the blooming period, the leaves that are right around the flowers change color. And they make the charm of the exotic.