Can this be happening in Scotland?

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Can this be happening in Scotland?

Post  fiona on Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:21 pm

Okay. So here was I thinking Bougainvillea is a "hot climate" plant favouring home territories such as South America, Florida, Arizona and, the closest locally to me, the Mediterranean. Now my geographic skills aren't brilliant but as far as I am aware Scotland remains somewhat to the north of any of those aforementioned habitats and the Glasgow conurbation, temperature-wise, hasn't transmogrified itself into Thessalonika.

So should this little dude, bought as a bit of an experiment at the tail end of last summer, really be throwing out flowers having spent the most miserable winter in Sconnie since 1969 - albeit in a frost free room? It has been outside since about mid-May. Is this just the rewards of us actually having a decent spring and early summer with little rain and more than our average quantity of the big yella thing, or is there something else afoot?

It also gives me a styling issue now as I hadn't actually expected it to survive, so here's a question for the Bougie wonderland dwellers: how quickly do these things grow - i.e. could I leave it a few years to achieve a much larger tree, or should I just stick with something Shohin sized? Or are there too many climatic imponderables to comment on its possible growth in Scotland? Your comments are more than welcome.

Oh and btw - I did what Jim L suggested and pretty much droughted it. It got a right good soaking a week or so ago on the first occasion we had rain in about 6 weeks.




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Bougie

Post  Anne on Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:12 pm

Hi Fiona,

I keep a bougie on my windy Belgian balcony. It grows well, but doesn't get much of a stem. The flowers are, however, a feast!

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Re: Can this be happening in Scotland?

Post  Hawaiian77 on Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:37 pm

Howzit Fiona,

I like your bougie!! ThumbsUp Your doing a great job to get the bracts to come out in your neck of the woods. Now just feed it well. To me bougainvilleas are almost like ficus, there easy to grow. And they grow really fast. Just to you give you an idea these two bougies that I have the one on the right I had collected about three weeks ago and now are sprouting new shoots. And the one on the left I had defoliated it a week and a half ago.



Now as far as Styling and how big you want is all up to you. Like I said, they will grow fast so heavy feeding and in a few years they will be big. As far as wiring is concerned you should do it soon as possible but watch because like figs the wires will cut in to the branches.

IMHO, now that we know that it can grow in Scotland I would let go in a grow box for a few years and then come back to it. Also, bougies like full sun but in my case where my condo is I only get the morning sun and by the heat of the day I get the shade. Good luck and keep us posted. Very Happy

a Hui Hou,
-Tim Cool

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Re: Can this be happening in Scotland?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:58 pm

having spent the most miserable winter in Sconnie since 1969

That's why it bloomed -- that and letting it dry out.

It takes LOTS of sun to grow these
large. I'd suggest that you treat this as a houseplant in the fall, winter and early spring. Keep it in a warm area of the house, keep it dry, keep it under lights (you don't get much sun in winte, yes?) and it should bloom all winter.

Prune it hard (you will have to cut off the blooms) and you should get a few more branches to help with the trunk.

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Re: Can this be happening in Scotland?

Post  LSBonsai on Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:26 am

The two flowering bougies posted both "appear" to be pink pixies, although I could be wrong. This is a dwarf variety that consistently puts out bracts, even in sub-optimal conditions.

At least thats what I've been told, and also what I have experienced. I am in zone 5b and my pink pixie puts out bracts year round, even when just sitting in a window half dead over the winter.

I am 95% certain Fiona's is a pink pixie. Harder to tell with Anne's.

Getting the other varieties to flower is tough in temperate climates.

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PInk Pixie or not

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:29 am

The two flowering bougies posted both "appear" to be pink pixies, although I could be wrong.

In my experience Pink Pixie has two features that help ID it besides its dwarf nature. (BTW, I have seen 20 foot tall Pink Pixie in Florida nursery shows)
Pink Pixie is almost totally thornless and the bracs are carried lower in the foliage rather than at the tips. By those two criteria, neither of these is Pink Pixie. Also the fat trunk of one plant does not say Pink Pixie to e.

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Bougies as Bonsai

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:37 am

Most Bougies we see in Florida as Bonsai are collected from people's yards or rooted as large cuttings. They are slow to develop thick trunks in containers.
Bougies only bloom on new growth so frequent pruning aids blooming. They are also very drought tolerant and over watering will kill them.
If they are not over fertilized they will bloom almost anytime they are pruned.
Be careful of large cuts, Bougie wood is very soft the trunk will rot away if not treated.







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Re: Can this be happening in Scotland?

Post  NeilDellinger on Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:57 am

Fiona,
Thats terriffic.....I would not try to grow it out in a box....I say get a sweet little pot that goes well with it...then just enjoy it for what it is.

You could probably defoliate 1 time per year though. I bring my big boug indoors when it gets to be around 40F. It sits on a table in the window all winter. I think the fact that you kept it frost free did the trick.

BTW,
Boug deadwood will last if you torch it a couple of times after carving, wire brush, repeat and then use lime sulfur. I carved mine 3 years ago and have not had a bit of rot.

Very Happy

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Re: Can this be happening in Scotland?

Post  Ricky Keaton on Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:30 pm

fiona wrote:Okay. So here was I thinking Bougainvillea is a "hot climate" plant favouring home territories such as South America, Florida, Arizona and, the closest locally to me, the Mediterranean. Now my geographic skills aren't brilliant but as far as I am aware Scotland remains somewhat to the north of any of those aforementioned habitats and the Glasgow conurbation, temperature-wise, hasn't transmogrified itself into Thessalonika.

So should this little dude, bought as a bit of an experiment at the tail end of last summer, really be throwing out flowers having spent the most miserable winter in Sconnie since 1969 - albeit in a frost free room? It has been outside since about mid-May. Is this just the rewards of us actually having a decent spring and early summer with little rain and more than our average quantity of the big yella thing, or is there something else afoot?

It also gives me a styling issue now as I hadn't actually expected it to survive, so here's a question for the Bougie wonderland dwellers: how quickly do these things grow - i.e. could I leave it a few years to achieve a much larger tree, or should I just stick with something Shohin sized? Or are there too many climatic imponderables to comment on its possible growth in Scotland? Your comments are more than welcome.

Oh and btw - I did what Jim L suggested and pretty much droughted it. It got a right good soaking a week or so ago on the first occasion we had rain in about 6 weeks.





WHAT A EMPTY SCOTH BOTTOM? .... j/k.....

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Re: Can this be happening in Scotland?

Post  JimLewis on Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:16 pm

FWIW, here is 'Pink Pixie.'


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