You are on page 1of 13



Features y They are thorny, woody vines growing anywhere from 1-12 meters tall, scrambling over other plants with their hooked thorns. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance. They are evergreen where rainfall occurs all year, or deciduous if there is a dry season. The leaves are alternate, simple ovate-acuminate, 4-13 cm long and 2-6 cm broad. The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts with the bright colors associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow. Bougainvillea glabra is sometimes referred to as "paper flower" because the bracts are thin and papery. The fruit is a narrow five-lobed achene. Bougainvillea are relatively pest-free plants, but may suffer from worms and aphids. Blooming Time: April-September. It is the bracts that make the plant so eye-catching. The actual flowers are located in the center, and are usually creamy yellow.

y y

y y y

Cultivation and Uses y y Bougainvilleas are popular ornamental plants in most areas with warm climates, including Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia. Numerous cultivars and hybrids have been selected, including nearly thornless shrubs. Some Bougainvillea cultivars are sterile, and are propagated from cuttings.

Location Bougainvilleas can grow just about anywhere in the United States. If you are growing your plants inside. once in the spring and once in the fall. they can be kept small by bonsai techniques.y y y Bougainvillea are rapid growing and flower all year in warm climates. The amount of heat and sunlight combined with the general health of the plant will determine the length of the growth period and the number of blooms. so you should contain your bougainvilleas to pots if you live in an area that suffers harsh winters or you will have to replant them every season. For several weeks. Bougainvillea will not flower and may lose leaves or wilt. a bougainvillea will go through a vegetative growth cycle during which the plant will sprout new stems and leaves. If overwatered. so use your bougainvilleas to create shade. As plants that flourish close to the equator. Growth Bougainvilleas go through two growth cycles twice a year. though if well maintained they can live even longer. As indoor houseplants in temperate regions. or even die from root decay. bougainvilleas don't fare well in frost. Light Bougainvilleas require at least five hours of sunlight a day. Humid weather is preferable to arid climates. just be sure not to overwater by checking to see if the ground is already moist before watering the plants. as the plant is native to Brazil. though many plants will adjust if you keep them moist enough to achieve a first bloom. they must be near a window that gets light for most of the day. but they really thrive along the equator. Planting Bougainvillea bushes will generally live for three to 10 years. If your plants are growing in the ground. especially when pinched or pruned. They grow best in moist fertile soil. the plant will likely form buds as well. Bloom cycles are typically four to six weeks. and within just a few weeks the plant will have an elaborate roots system. beautiful plants. but the plant requires little water to flower. Bougainvillea grow best in very bright full sun and with frequent fertilization. not to be planted in the shade. you can even clip branches from a healthy bougainvillea and plant them in soft soil and in four to six weeks the clippings will have established roots and will grow into big. Planting bougainvillea from seeds in the United States is rare. If . This vegetative growth state is followed by a blooming period of several weeks in which the plant will produce bracts (blooms). Plant a small bougainvillea that you purchase at a nursery. Water Bougainvilleas also need proper drainage. if the plant receives the required five hours of sunlight a day. If you want to save some money and don't mind putting in a little extra work. where the length of day and night are generally similar. They give the biggest blooms in spring and fall--the closer to the equinoxes the more flowers you tend to see. During this vegetative growth state.

The bougainvillea is very accepting of soil conditions. The bougainvillea does not do well as a house plant because of their extreme light requirements. They can be grown in a greenhouse setting successfully. The plants do require heavy fertilizing to continue blooming. Insects The bougainvillea is disease. The µSoft Prune' is recommended for bougainvillea only when trying to obtain a special form. Use 20-20-20 fertilizer once a month on the bougainvillea to encourage growth and heavy flowering. fence or along a house so the plant can easily climb.a bougainvillea has a bloom cycle followed by a rest period whether pruned or not. like most vining-type plants. Bougainvillea thrives in full sun. If you want one long stem. For container growth it is best to keep the plant relatively root bound. Location The bougainvillea can easily be grown as a vine. Follow the directions on the fertilizer's labels. Blossoms Blossoms flourish on the bougainvillea 11 months out of the year. where the plant . but little or no bloom. Some varieties do not send out any new stems. bush. More hours of direct sun are better. If placed on a porch. will continue to grow outward without sending out side branches from each leaf-bud point unless the stem is pinched. In shade or partial shade. At least 5 hours a day of full sunlight is the minimal light required for good bloom. In Zone 8 and cooler. keep your plant outdoors (in the maximum sun available). A bougainvillea. By pinching out the tip. A hard prune is recommended when you need to contain growth or when you are preparing to move your bougainvillea indoors for the winter. Best Climate for Bougainvillea Bougainvillea are tropical and must be protected from frost.and pest-free. Many gardeners enjoy planting the bougainvillea at the base of a tree. The plant is requires tropical and subtropical climates to flourish. Hibiscus food fertilizer can also be used. Bloom initiation does not depend upon pruning . Aphids will rarely accumulate on a stem or two of the plant but can be easily washed off using a strong spray of water from a garden hose. If possible. patio or balcony. in a container or even as a bonsai specimen. most bougainvillea cultivars will send out new stems from 2 to 3 leaf-buds below the cut. you will have nice vegetative growth. Pruning and Pinching Bougainvillea may be pruned at any time of the year. so their appearance is always stringy or bare. A Bougainvillea just doesn't bloom well indoors. then don't pinch out the tip.which works fine if you obtain a large plant in the are keeping your plants potted. you are almost limited to growing them in some kind of container unless you treat them as an Annual (plant a new plant outdoors each year) -. Less than 5 hours and the plant may not bloom very well. do not place a saucer under your plants as the sitting water will cause the roots to remain too wet and damage your plants.

By themselves. then it should bloom ok. Growth production will be delayed at cool temperatures. Also. then it will tolerate less humidity.5 Media Bougainvillea has an extremely fine root system. Totally dry soil mixture is difficult to handle and may damage tender roots before the plant is watered.the water simply runs down the side of the container and drains out the bottom. be careful not to use peat or peatlite mixes alone. to rewet it. These types of media retain too much water and will contribute to root rot. allowing for a well-drained yet moisture-retentive mix. be sure it is damp. Salt tolerance Good salt tolerance pH preference Bougainvillea does best with a soil pH of 5. and it is almost impossible to completely wet the soil again -. If your plant dries out and you use this type of mix.5-6.c. Production temperatures Temperatures should be maintained somewhat high. In winter. these media tend to become compacted. best blooming occurs when the night length and day length are almost equal (in spring or fall). Bougainvillea in these areas tend to bloom year round. too lightweight. but in North America. blooming is better than in the dog days of August because of night length. Avoid soil mixes with high peat levels and water retention. A bougainvillea likes high humidity just before it comes into bloom. be sure to select a well-draining media. insect pests. Premixed growing media are available from garden centers. and hard to wet. Production Bougainvilleas' natural habitat is equatorial where day and night lengths are almost equal. Once bloom has been initiated. They are also generally lightweight and porous. or a light level of at least 4000 f. the root ball will pull away from the side of the pot. especially if the soil is also cool. some cultivars are triggered to bloom after a rainy season followed by a dry season. The best growing mixture is one that is soil-less. and should be planted in well-drained soils. Light level As a tropical plant. Bougainvillea requires full sun. . Before using your mix to repot plants.receives at least 5 hours of sun each day (afternoon sun is best). a minimum of 65°F at night and 75° to 95°F during the day. The greatest problem with peat/peatlite mixes is when the soil dries completely. Soil-less media are free of any disease pathogens. let the pot sit in a pail of water until the soil ball is completely wet. and weed seeds. However.

plant in a protected location or cover in case of frost. a container plant or hanging basket in a semi-tropical landscape. beautiful color on bougainvillea. but low enough to limit excessive green growth. As a potted plant. especially if you want lots of blooms. the plant will remain in vegetative cycle. so new growth on plants is vital to the achievement of flowering. use care and be sure to water at first signs of wilt. but blooms are highly dependent on temperature. Too much water will promote root rot and cause leaves to drop. With Bougain¶s 6-8-10 plus Minors formula. However. If the plant receives enough sunlight. whether it's used as a permanent fixture. Use a high-bloom fertilizer. Bougain® contains 5% Iron -. or an annual in cooler climates.when new leaves and stems grow. If there is not enough sunlight. but do not overfertilize with these two elements because it will add growth and inhibit blooming. so if you're growing Bougainvillea in a frost-prone area. Bougainvillea normally flowers during the short days of winter. This is the case when using generalized fertilizers like a 20-20-20 or 12-12-12. . Landscape culture Bougainvillea is a wonderful addition to any landscape. For the best performance out of your Bougainvillea. Growth cycle The bougainvillea has two distinct growth cycles : 1) A vegetative growth period for several weeks -. Growers frequently allow plants to dry just to the point of wilting to induce flowering.Fertilization Bougainvillea are heavy feeders that require regular monthly fertilization. The length of time they will display color is dependent upon the health of the plant and the environment they are in. the more sun and heat. Plant or place Bougainvillea in full sun. Drought stress can also stimulate flowering even with long daylight exposure. That¶s why we¶ve created a blooming fertilizer specifically for bougainvillea called BOUGAIN®.and any professional grower will tell you that¶s the secret for vibrant. Nitrogen and phosphate are critical to flowering. the better. follow these guidelines: Keep Bougainvillea on the dry side. Photoperiod/Flowering Blooms occur only on new growth. long days and short nights (July and August in Florida) limit a bougainvillea's ability to bloom. 2) A blooming period of several weeks when little or no vegetative growth occurs. However. Nitrogen levels are just right for flowering. excessive drying can cause leaf drop and dormancy. In addition. Winter dieback may be a problem if the weather gets too cool. flowers will last for up to eight weeks if kept in a sunny location. Don't water on cool nights. the plant will form buds during this time.

But.Frost tolerance Bougainvillea require winter protection. water very little. Within a day after the frost. bougainvillea can be grown in anything that will hold soil and allow proper drainage. Planting in Containers Generally.the root damage as a result of digging will be the cause rather than the cool weather . When BGI was on a bougainvillea exploration trip through . Make sure to dig as far away from the root system as you possibly can. Any space which doesn't freeze will be fine for your bougainvillea while indoors. and bushel baskets. it may not go into dormancy and will be in better shape once Spring comes. take care to dig up the entire root ball and especially in one piece. if is not quite the shape you desire or is overgrown. By doing a "hard" prune. then you may not even want to prune before moving it indoors. If the spot you have doesn't have much light and stays cool during the day. they may have a ³singed´ or ³burnt´ look to the edges. just grow larger. If they remain on the plant. but only if not subjected to further frosts for longer durations. and just keep the soil slightly damp. In this case. Almost immediately after bringing a plant like this (full of bloom) inside. A light frost will not kill a mature bougainvillea. then expect the plant to go into dormancy. when the plant regrows it will be fuller from the base up. It¶s recommend that you do a hard prune before moving it indoors: Bougainvillea is a vine and new growth (after a prune) starts one or more leafbuds below the cut and not up and down the entire branch. Most reference to pruning bougainvillea I have found on the web is applicable more to nonvining plants where new branches grow up and down the stem after a pinch -. It¶s important not to sever the roots. After a few weeks indoors bougainvillea may go into dormancy and all the leaves will fall off. Bringing Indoors for the Winter If you have planted your bougainvillea in the soil outdoors and want to dig it up and move it indoors for the winter. plastic pots. Next spring it will hold the same shape. all the bracts will fall off and most of the leaves will eventually fall off as well. the plant will regrow. next spring. planter boxes. If you put your plant in a high light area which remains warm during the winter nights.but the plant should survive this kind of transplanting. all the leaves and bracts will fall off. hanging baskets. expect the plant to go into dormancy sooner than if it had been in a container -. the best thing to do would be to perform a hard prune. wire baskets lined with sphagnum moss or fibrous liners. but may for a young planting. Some of the more traditionally used containers include terra cotta (clay) pots.vines or climbing plants tend to grow only one or two branches from the leafbuds just below the cut after pruning. If you like the shape of your plant now. concrete planters. Winter protection It is not unusual for a bougainvillea to be full of bloom when it comes time to move it indoors for winter. While indoors. It may be killed if the temperature remains below freezing for more than 4 hours.

On the rare occurrences that your bougainvillea experiences pest problems or disease. Root pruning is not recommended when re-potting bougainvillea . For example. If you use chemical pesticides to control insect pests. If you place your pot directly on the ground. For example. move a plant in a 6" pot into a 9" or 10" pot. Handle bougainvillea with care. Whatever container you choose. It¶s very important to remember that a bougainvillea does not tolerate standing in water. disturb the roots as little as possible because the plant might go into shock and take weeks to recover.  Large enough: The container must be large enough to hold the minimum amount of soil required for mature plants to grow in. it is not unusual to grow a bougainvillea in a 1 gallon pot for three or more years. The root system needs time to grow into each new pot. It is best to leave the plant in its original container until the roots have replaced all of the soil and you can't keep the plant well watered. so pot in the smallest container available for the purpose you desire. consider these tips:  Drainage: Bougainvillea must have it. Repotting Bougainvillea A bougainvillea blooms best when pot-bound so do not be tempted to re-pot unless you must. and fertilize with Bougain® which contain a significant amount of micronutrients ± vital for healthy. follow directions and guidelines closely and always wear protective clothing and safety gear including a long-sleeved shirt. neoprene gloves.Southeast Asia. Common pests and diseases A part of the bougainvillea¶s appeal is that they are relatively disease and pest-free plants. the roots may emerge from drainage holes and find their way into the earth. we saw beautiful bougainvillea growing out from old laundry baskets and tires! Just remember that the container MUST have proper drainage. long pants. It is NOT common for your bougainvillea to be affected by these pests and diseases if you follow BGI¶s Rules for Care. always try the least toxic method of pest control as your first step. To prevent this. place wooden slats or four bricks (in a T-design) under the pot. Bougainvillea love to be pot-bound. Chemical pesticides are not recommended for use inside the home. This should also help with drainage and keeping drainage holes clear of debris. If you choose a chemical control. you can then move up to a 14" pot. you will also kill natural predators. goggles and a respirator.  Insulation: Avoid using black containers in full sun. blooming bougainvillea. This page contains most (but not all) common pests/diseases that may affect your bougainvillea. .in fact. Re-pot into larger pot sizes gradually. The air will naturally prune the roots that are exposed. When it is necessary to re-pot remember that a bougainvillea has a very delicate root system and a fragile root to stem connection.  Weight: Will it be too heavy to move? Styrofoam peanuts can be used in the bottom of the container rather than filling it fully with soil mix. Several years later.

The insect will cause significant visual damage to bougainvillea. and will ³farm´ the aphids. They leave behind a secretion that attracts ants and promotes mold growth. and lacewings. will likely kill the bougainvillea looper.  While wearing gloves. or green lacewings to your garden to feed on the aphids. Caterpillars.  Make a nontoxic pesticide by mixing 1 cup vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon liquid dishwashing soap. appearing in the spring to feast on your plants' tender new leaves. Both can be bought from garden stores or online. although these . which is why you may see the damage but fail to find the culprit on the plant. Most synthetic insecticides with labels permitting use against caterpillars on landscape ornamentals. Like the larva. you don't have to resort to toxic chemicals to save your bougainvillea.  Rid your garden of ants. Attacks begin on the young tender shoots and leaves before progressing down the stem. Not to fear. ladybugs and other insects that feed on aphids. aphids are minute plant-feeding insects. The bougainvillea looper feeds from the edges of the leaves. Important natural enemies include the predatory ladybugs/ladybirds/ladybeetles. or Dipel®) and neem-based biological insecticide products should are a good solution and should be effective on the loopers without harming other insects that may biologically control them. protecting them on the plant they eat.  Introduce beneficial insects. when it is believed to lay its eggs on the underside of bougainvillea leaves. which results in severe scalloping of the foliage. such as birch trees. which attract and house the lacewings. such as ladybugs/ladybirds/ladybeetles. It is also called inchworm or measuring worm. Insectical oils and soaps will not control caterpillars such as the looper. and instead grow plants such as white sweet clover. Aphids are tiny. Go out scouting very early in the morning or at night if you have a good strong flashlight. pear-shaped.Aphids Known also as greenfly. Add 1½ teaspoon solution per cup of warm water to a handheld spray bottle. spearmint. sweet fennel and Queen Anne's lace. namely the Bougainvillea Looper Caterpillar The bougainvillea looper is a green or brown caterpillar about 1 inch long. Natural Control  Examine your garden regularly for signs of aphids.  Capture flying aphids by placing yellow sticky traps near infected plants. a very fast flyer with a wingspan of about 1 inch. Look for clusters of the little bugs on new growth as well as on the curled and twisted leaves. or use a sharp stream of water to knock them off the plant. although this does not apparently result in the death of the plants. sap-sucking pests. it also is active at night. such as carbaryl (Sevin®). Ants love to eat the sugary sap (honeydew) secreted by aphids. blackfly or plant lice.  Avoid planting bougainvillea near aphid-attracting plants. Chemical Control Bacillus thuringiensis (BT.  Hit the aphids directly with above mixture and spray entire plant thoroughly.  Cut away and dispose of infested foliage. remove the aphids by hand. The looper larva mimics stems and branches very well and feeds primarily at night. The moth does not feed on the foliage. The adult is a moth.

Scaledamaged plants look withered and sickly and may have sticky sap or a black fungus on the leaves and stems.  Cleaning around the plants. Debris tends to collect at the base of plants. the larval stages of all insects which leaf mine are collectively and generically called ³leaf miners´. Removing leaves and other debris from around plants is an excellent method for controlling them.  Remove scale insects with a twig or scraping tool. to creatures covered with mealy wax.  Do not use contact pesticides. Natural Control  Identify scale insects by looking on the undersides of leaves and around leaf joints. the damage they cause is very similar. Additionally. Mealybugs Most scale insects are parasites of plants. Wasps The vast majority of leaf-mining insects are moths (Lepidoptera) and flies (Diptera). but many breeds are still immune to the effects of pesticide. contact poisons cannot reach it. Scale insects are invasive and will infest other plants. Scale insects' waxy covering makes them quite resistant to pesticides. leaf mining insect larvae quickly become resistant to contact pesticides. They will scrape off of plant tissue easily. Over time. Eventually they can kill the plant. Because of this. feeding on sap drawn directly from the plant's vascular system. Scale insects vary dramatically in their appearance from very small organisms (1-2 mm) that occur under wax covers (some look like oyster shells). Beetles. All leaf miners will cause the leaves to look skeletonized. scales and mealybugs turn leaves black with ³sooty mold´. and to fall from the plant. though some beetles and wasps also exhibit this behavior. Although the types of insects differ. leaf miners are difficult to control as they are protected from insecticide sprays and plant defenses by feeding within the tissues of the leaves themselves. so areas around plants should be weeded and mulched. and therefore cannot kill it. Spraying insecticides late in the evening is recommended. which are only effective against the juvenile crawler stage. Scale Insects: Parasites. Flies.  Move an infested plant to isolate it from the rest of your collection. to shiny pearl-like objects (about 5 mm). Some leaf mining larva may also ³winter over´ in this debris. Like wood borers. Some leaf miners can be killed by systemic pesticides (a type of pesticide that moves inside a plant following absorption by the plant). Natural Control  Cleaning around the plant is your best solution.products are often destructive to beneficial insects as well. and this is where the adults of the leaf miner larvae lay their eggs. Since the leaf miner is inside the leaf.  Weeding provides an alternate food source for leaf miners. . This is when the bougainvillea looper caterpillars and adult moths are active. Leafminers: Moths. and also when the beneficial insects are not likely to be active.

but your bougainvillea will thank you! Snails & Slugs Snails usually eat from the middle of the leaf. Putting down barriers that slugs can't cross is. dry lime. or use an underground irrigation pipe.examine infested plants for evidence of new scale every day.  Rough. The names "spider mite" and "webspinning mite" come from the silk webbing most species produce on infested leaves. the largest forms. ¼ tsp. the best way to protect your garden from these common pests. namely Spider Mites The webspinning two-spotted spider mite occasionally makes their home on bougainvillea.  Spread chopped hair (human hair is fine) in your garden. Rosa rugosa (Japanese rose) clippings are good.  Purchase and release a natural predator called Chilocorus nigritus or Lindorus lophanthae for serious infestations.  Spray with pyrethrin as a last resort. The presence of webbing is an easy way to distinguish them from all other types of mites. sharp cinders and dry chalk around plants or beds. Slugs and snails don't like the tannin in the leaves. Once they have consumed the scale. spider mites look like tiny moving dots.  Be diligent . There are also numerous chemical products available for the control of mealybugs. Wash the leaves individually with the soap/oil mixture. It may take some time. Sluggo is good because it can be used around pets and people. but very high populations²levels high enough to show . Mites cause damage by sucking cell contents from leaves. This will keep the top of the soil dry and uninviting to slugs and snails. Wash infested plants with a soap/oil mixture if scraping alone doesn't do the job. Pyrethrin is an organic pesticide made from chrysanthemums. Natural Control  Water your garden only in the early morning. To the naked eye. All this biting and chomping will make the leaf look scalloped. sharp sand is another option. Any one of these or several in combination should do the trick. Spider mites live in colonies. Keep them from entering and you won't have to use pesticides. Adult females.  Try calcified seaweed or crushed eggshells as a barrier.  Spread dry soot. Rinse well.  Try using oak leaves as a barrier.  Another barrier material is clippings from thorny roses or holly leaves. A small number of mites is not usually reason for concern. Mites. Place the insects directly on the infested plant. but they can take bites out the edges as well. insecticidal soap. the predators will simply die from lack of food in the indoor environment. perhaps. dry ashes. mostly on the under-surfaces of leaves. Mix ½ tsp. Use it the same way as the materials in Step 2. Chemical Control Any brand of slug/snail killer will do the job.  Spread pine needles in your garden (these are also good mulch for strawberries). horticultural oil into 1 quart of warm water. are less than 1/20 inch long.

To observe them more closely. Whitefly Whiteflies typically feed on the underside of plant leaves. The damage is quickly elevated as whiteflies congregate in large numbers. Use of yellow sticky traps to monitor infestations and only selective use of insecticides is advised. Other common names for thrips include thunderflies. but also occur when certain insecticides stimulate mite reproduction. Whitefly control is difficult and complex. As feeding continues. as they rapidly gain resistance to chemical pesticides. A major problem is the fact that the whiteflies and the viruses they carry can infect many different host plants. sometimes the leaves take on a bronze color. Damage is usually worse when compounded by water stress. use selective materials. and high rate of reproduction. forceful spraying of plants with water will often reduce spider mite numbers adequately. Once disturbed. Natural Control If a treatment for mites is necessary. Naturally controlling mites is the best method. Only two families of parasitoid hymenoptera are known to hunt them. Often leaves. Oils and soaps must contact mites to kill them so excellent coverage. plants will often recover after mites have left. their eggs. At first. the damage shows up as a stippling of light dots on the leaves. Be sure to get good coverage. excrete honeydew as a waste product. they will move around rapidly. and webbing. you will need a hand lens to identify them. is essential and repeat applications may be required. Check the undersides of leaves for mites. Thrips feed by piercing plant cells with their paired maxillary stylets. thrips are difficult to control using classical biological control. quickly overwhelming susceptible plants. cryptophilic behavior. Thrips are generally tiny (1 mm long or less) and are not good flyers. Mid-season washing with water to remove dust may help prevent serious late-season mite infestations. twigs. although they can be carried long distances by the wind. exposing plants to the whiteflies' toxic saliva and decreasing the plant's overall turgor pressure. Sometimes the mites will be gone by the time you notice the damage. thunderbugs. and fruit are covered with large amounts of webbing. which promotes mold growth. the Eulophidae and the Trichogrammatidae. Thrips Thrips are tiny. Damage is further exacerbated as whiteflies. . slender insects with fringed wings that cause discoloration and deformities on bougainvillea and other plants. storm flies and corn lice. Whiteflies feed by tapping into the phloem of plants. the leaves turn yellow and drop off. Regular. shake a few off the leaf surface onto a white sheet of paper. especially on the undersides of leaves. Be sure mites are present before you treat.visible damage to leaves²can be damaging to plants. Due to their small size. Petroleum-based horticultural oils or neem oils are both acceptable. like aphids. especially on the undersides of leaves. Chemical Contol Spider mites frequently become a problem after the application of insecticides. preferably insecticidal soap or insecticidal oil. Such outbreaks are commonly a result of the insecticide killing off the natural enemies of the mites. which form a feeding tube.

Prune branches back and away from each other or. blighting or marginal necrosis becomes severe. It¶s easily prevented by careful handling and by the application of a broad spectrum fungicide drench during transplanting or planting in the landscape. Infection of developing leaves and bracts results in puckered. under-watering. . and cause the leaves to look "rusty". When environmental conditions are drier and less favorable. Sooty Mold See ³Aphids´. ³Scale Insects: Parasites. but it can control the spread of it.Common Diseases & Problems Fungal and Bacterial Leaf Spot (Pseudomonas and ropogonis) The early symptoms are small reddish-brown leaf spots which usually occur on younger foliage. Chemical Control Spray fungicide in the spring if necessary. if just starting to grow. disease incidence drops during cool and/or dry weather. or from over-watering. Remove infected leaves and/or plants from the growing area. Root rot Plants that are over-watered or subjected to water logged conditions can develop root or stem rot. Natural Control Maintaining dry foliage is the primary control measure. and are sometimes bordered by a chlorotic halo. allow a large amount of space between them. low light levels. Lesions have a tan center surrounded by a dark redbrown margin. Black. distorted growth. Leaf spots Yellow or tan spots appear on older leaves may be sign of Magnesium deficiency (common with yellow bougainvillea varieties). Branches that are overlapping can't dry quickly and become more susceptible to leaf spot disease. leaf edges may become ragged as the necrotic tissue turns dry and papery. Mealybugs´. It will not cure infection that is already there. Defoliation will occur when leaf spotting. leaf spots are slower to develop. In time. These enlarge into circular or irregular dark necrotic spots. In frost-free climates where bougainvillea is perennial. and ³Whiteflies´ Leaf drop Problem as a result of over-watering. or cold temperatures. Under conditions of high rainfall or relative humidity the lesions develop quickly and are often black and vein delimited.Dispose of them immediately to reduce the spreading of infection.