Sometimes Bougainvilleas do not drop their leaves, behaving as a semi-deciduous tree, especially if the tree is in a sheltered position. Also shedding of the leaves does not occur if the winter is mild. But if the tree gets frosty days, the cold and dampness make the leaves to wither up. If this happens, defoliation must be done...for aesthetic and horticulture reasons. The latter is because on defoliating, the tree senses that it needs to put out new leaves, which it does once the weather gets warmer. ATTENTION not to defoliate too early least a warm spell induces leave growth which is still tender and easily damaged by a cold spell. During this time of the year, I also prune back branches to get more ramification, directional growth where needed or remove unwanted twigs.
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