The beautiful bougainvilleas in full bloom
OVER the last few weeks you could not help but notice the beautiful displays in some of our western towns, like the entrance of Emerald and its many road-side displays.
Other towns like Baralaba, Middlemount and Moura also are just a mass of Bougainvillea colour at the moment, the colour displays must also help in towns tourist attraction.
I remember once being told by one of the early champion gardeners that his secret to prize-winning gardens, of which Bougainvilleas were a feature, was not to water his Bougainvilleas until their leaves had drooped for at least a day.
He was well known for wanting to know the exact day the judges would visit his garden, so that he could time his watering to extract the best flowering display.
Bougainvilleas are virtually pest and disease free, and I would suggest removing the long water shoots to keep the shrub or climber to the densest possible shape.
Earlier this week I received a letter from Jan of Injune asking if I would highlight my list of both tough and spectacular Bougainvilleas.
No list of super tough Bougainvilleas would be complete without Bougainvillea Mrs Butt
Bougainvillea Mrs Butt was the world very first hybrid Bougainvillea.
This deep crimson Bougainvillea first occurred in the Mediterranean garden of Mrs. R.V. Butt.
Originally Bougainvillea Mrs Butt was thought to be a distinct species and was named Bougainvillea buttiana though it is now believed to have been a natural hybrid of Bougainvillea glabra and Bougainvillea peruviana.
This Bougainvillea will become an arbor feature in the revamped Mount Morgan streetscape.
The following selections are my other favourites.
Bougainvillea 'Easter Parade' - This is a hardy creeper with silvery pink medium-size bracts. It is a strong grower and flowers most of the year. It is best in the full sun, can be pruned to shape and is suitable for pergolas, banks and tubs.
Bougainvillea 'Mrs Louis Waltham' is a hardy creeper with a long flowering period in winter and summer. It likes full sun and can be pruned or trimmed as desired. Water frequently during summer.
Bougainvillea Singapore Pink is a compact grower with a bushy habit that can be easily shaped. This variety displays beautiful clusters of very large, bright, lavender pink bracts.
Bougainvillea Snowcap is a fast growing semi-evergreen vine. It produces large heads of Pink/White bracts that usually flowers multiple times across the year.
Bougainvillea 'Tango' - This vigorous, cascading and dense plant produces young bracts that are orange, opening to clear orange and fading to light pink, giving a multi-coloured look. It has a recurring flowering habit and has medium to strong thorns.
Then there are the Double Flowering Bougainvillea Hybrids, some of the most popular and desirable of the Bougainvilleas cultivators. They produce large heads of double bracts in recurring flushes and can be kept small.
These include Aussie Gold, Limberlost Beauty, Klong Fire, Pagoda Pink and Thai Gold.
Now is the right time to start Bougainvillea Cuttings.
Cuttings should be about 100 to 150mm long.
In the right location it should take 4-6 weeks for the Bougainvillea cuttings develop good root systems.
The best potting mix to grow potted Bougainvilleas in should consist of 4 parts of composted pine bark fines, 2 parts peat moss and 2 parts of coarse perlite add to an even amount of coarse sand.
The bougainvillea root system is extremely fragile.
The plant doesn't like to be moved.
Take extra caution when removing the plant from the pot before placing it in the ground.