Once it is growing healthily on the paneling, it will likely spread over the rest of the wall. With careful pruning you can shape and train the bougainvillea standard into an interesting form. It is possible to train one main bougainvillea stem or allow several to grow and twine them together to form a braided trunk. Choose a Flower to Train . Prune in early spring. All Rights Reserved. Then fertilize with a bloom-boosting fertilizer to get new growth and another set of flowers as soon as possible. Choose the strongest central shoot that will become the trunk of the bougainvillea tree. Bougainvilleas can be pruned back at any time of the year in warm winter areas or if grown in pots, as they will respond with vigorous new growth as long as they are well watered and fed. They flower on the current seasons growth so pruning in late winter or early spring, just before growth begins.. Bougainvillea is a delightful, tropical flowering plant with vine-like branches that are easy to train to climb trellises. Because of the bougainvillea rapid growth rate, they can be made into a 3- or 4-foot "tree" in as little as three years, depending on the length of the growing season and the vigor of the plant. 3. You can use wires, weights, clips, etc. Before planting, choose the most upright stem to become the trunk of the tree. Watch the lateral shoots that branch off from the top of the bougainvillea tree in response to the trimming you performed in step six. Their tender roots cannot stand wet soggy soils. Growing, training, and pruning bougainvilleas is not complicated and it is well worth the effort considering the beauty of … Bougainvillea thrives in the heat and is restricted to outdoor growing only in U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 10 and 11. bougainvillea isn't fussy approximately what you feed it. Most standards, especially braided ones, are trained from a young plant as they grow, so don't be surprised if your older plants don't quite conform to the look you'd like. Can you make a bonsai out of bougainvillea? Tie the central shoot to the stake with the twine, taking care not to injure the shoot by tying it too tightly. Continue to remove the top 2 inches of growth in these shoots to keep them bushing laterally instead of growing up. Training Bougainvillea To train bougainvillea into tree form, plant a young vine next to a 3-foot-high stake, getting it as close to the stake as possible. Place the shrub in the ground and spread out the roots with your fingers, then backfill the hole with soil. Planting a bougainvillea isn’t too much different than planting any other shrub or vine except for 1 key factor. Another decorative method for training a bougainvillea tree involves choosing three central shoots and braiding them together to form a braided trunk. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! This will help train the central shoot to grow as a straight tree trunk. To keep your bougainvillea tree blossoming as much as possible, cut it back fairly hard after each bloom cycle. Bougainvillea can technically be pruned at any time of the year, but the best time to do so for the integrity of the plant is in very early spring, before the plant has begun to produce buds for new flowers. If you don’t do this 1 thing, it’s a crapshoot as to whether your bougainvillea will do well or even survive. Start training a bougainvillea into a tree shape while the plant is young and then continue to keep the plant growing in a tree shape by removing new shoots. Thank you Alex! Once the stem has reached the height wanted, start pinching back the main terminal bud to get it to branch out and make a bushy top. Many flowering plants are suitable to train as a standard. This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. If you wait until the buds have formed, you'll cut off the new growth and limit flower production. How to Grow Bougainvillea: 9 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow Remove new shoots as they grow off the crown and the central trunk by trimming them off with the pruning shears. The initial technique in how to prune shrubs into trees is a bit brutal and not for the faint of heart. Cut off any side stems that try to grow out and cut off any thorns on the main trunk to make it easier to handle. By using a larger pot, it won't be necessary to transplant again for several years and the bougainvillea will actually do better as its roots get more crowded. Fertilize and water the bougainvillea plant well to keep it growing strong. The process takes several years. Once the stem or stems to be trained start growing out, tie them to the stake using soft cloth ties or old nylon stockings. The solid trunk also allows bougainvilleas to be trimmed as a bush or tree. 4. Wrap the stem of the vine around the stake, holding it gently in place with a soft plant tie, and prune away any side branches. How to make a Bougainvillea bonsai 2017: In this video I have shown that how to make a Bougainvillea bonsai tree from cuttings. This is all about how to plant bougainvillea to grow successfully. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →. Start with a small 6- to 8-inch plant for potting or transplanting into the yard. When the tree reaches your desired height, use the pruning shears to trim the top 2 to 3 inches of the growing tip from the central shoot. Remove the shrub from the nursery container and break apart the root ball, unwinding any tangled roots. Bougainvillea might make you think of a wall of green vine with orange, purple or red papery flowers, a vine too enormous and vigorous, perhaps, for your small garden. If you want to train your shrub into a small tree with a single trunk, start with a plant roughly one year old. The multi-colored bougie trees are a result of grafting. Meet bonsai bougainvillea plants, bite-sized versions of this mighty vine that you can keep in your living room. Use the hammer to pound the stake approximately 6 inches into the soil. Container size may be from one to two gallons. Over time, the braided shoots will grow together into an attractive braided trunk. Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. Bougainvillea needs a base to climb on; you cannot train it to grow on your house wall without the wire base. Allow this shoot to grow freely. When you picture a bougainvillea, often a dense shrub covered with colorful blossoms comes to mind. If planted outside in areas with cold enough winters that it needs protection, don't cut the bougainvillea plant back too late in the season. Immerse the pot in water for 20 minutes to help with transplant shock. While this may be the typical bougainvillea that many gardeners grow, you can also train a bougainvillea into a tree shape with careful and attentive pruning. Their colorful blooms and fast-growing vines make them a favorite for espaliers -- trellises on which plants are trained into flat shapes. Don't use treated poles as the chemicals will affect the plant. Allow the central shoot to grow as a trunk until the bougainvillea tree is as tall as you desire. Decide how tall you want the tree to be (between 15 to 20 inches) and cut off the top at that height. The bougainvillea may need attention throughout the year as you train it to grow on the trellis or neighboring hibiscus. Don't use wires or hard plastic ties as the bougainvillea plant will chafe against them and be cut by them. Bougainvillea is trained into a standard form with frequent pruning. Instead of allowing only one central shoot to grow and cutting all the rest back, allow three central shoots to grow and cut the rest back. Place a sturdy stake of some type well into the soil right next to the bougainvillea plant or push the stake into the pot till it touches the bottom and plant the bougainvillea next to it. After the first two or three years there should be a beautiful bougainvillea tree to adorn the property. Early in the season, bend and tie in young strong-growing laterals to check the vigour and stimulate bract formation Stay vigilant to remove these shoots immediately as they appear. Once you have decided on the stem that will be the trunk, cut out all the other lower stems. A rapid grower, the bright flowers of a bougainvillea are easy to get in any part of your garden. Dig a hole twice as wide as the container holding your bougainvillea transplant. Once the stem or stems to be trained start growing out, tie them to the stake using soft cloth ties or old nylon stockings. Depending on how tall the bougainvillea standard tree form is to be, it may take a 4- to 8-foot long stake to allow for enough of it to be sunk into the ground to support the top. If planted outside in areas with cold enough winters that it needs protection, don't cut the bougainvillea plant back too late in the season. In USDA climate zones 9 or higher bougainvilleas can be grown outside, but in areas where repeated freezes are a danger they are best grown in pots that can be moved in during the winter. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Where are surrounded by bougainvilleas here in Southern California but the trees are a rarity. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! 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