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Tropical Zone Gardening: Hooray! My Bougainvillea cuttings sprouted!

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Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

June 6, 2009
12:21 PM

Post #6649310

Not all of them, but enough rooted to make me go get more. I read one trick is to make sure they're turgid, well hydrated. We've just had two days of rain, and the full moon was in Scorpio yesterday. Perfect.

I have a bit of hill that's just too steep to do anything with, and I plan to cover it with Bou. The roots sprout off the very bottoms of the cuttings, and yes, they're brittle and fragile at the stem. (oops!) Isn't that odd, when the vines are SO tenacious once established?

So far, I have golden orange and brilliant pink. There's a yellow- gold, and then I need white. I'm getting my cuttings from some vines in a vacant lot. That steep hill is going to be pretty!

But now I need to find a white that will give me cuttings... And purple for along the side of the property, it's wild and woolly for a strip between me and my neighbor.

I love the big flowered kind, except when the flowers are spent, they stay wilted and brown on the vine, not so pretty.

I haven't seen any named varieties at any of the local nurseries. Just the same old Bou as in everyone's yards.
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

June 6, 2009
12:37 PM

Post #6649341

You're putting them in, I'm trying to get rid of them. And they're the hardest thing to get rid of. After a nuclear holocaust only cockroaches and bougainvilleas will survive.
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

June 6, 2009
3:10 PM

Post #6649797

That's true! I've seen amazing survivals of those plants here. Get a back hoe( big machine) Or a bulldozer.

One nasty way to kill is to drill small holes in the trunk-stump, and fill with old motor oil from your car.
Braveheartsmom
Hillsborough , NC
(Zone 7a)

June 6, 2009
4:01 PM

Post #6649975

That steep hill is going to look lovely with the different color Bougies down it - some of my neighbors who are on very steep lots have done the same thing and they have a sheet of color all year long.

LOL Tropic! Bougies are the gift that keeps giving in my yard too. After we had an entire hedge back hoed out, I am still finding them coming up from what must be very small pieces of root left in the ground - they are tenacious little devils.
extranjera
Mérida, Yucatán
Mexico
(Zone 11)

June 6, 2009
4:50 PM

Post #6650186

They are tenacious, and yet I have never been successful in rooting them from cuttings. I gave up years ago, maybe I should try again. I'm impressed that you have succeeded. How long did it take? I had one red I really liked and searched for a lot of places, finally found it and while it was sitting in the yard waiting to be planted the dogs ran over it and snapped the main branch off! The root was fine and one small branch so I planted that and it has come back. I tried to root the broken branch but gave up after a week of looking at it turn brown and wilt.
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

June 6, 2009
5:37 PM

Post #6650374

OK, #1 is that the donor plant must be totally well watered. Turgid is the word. It's been raining a lot here for a couple of days.

I cut old woody stems about eight inches long. I did this just before sunset, by the way. Dip just the bottom, the cut, in rooting powder, and put into a moist mix of 1/2 pearlite and peat. Or is it called vermiculite? The snow white stuff, not the shiny brown stuff. But either might do. Loose and fluffy, anyway.

I had the mix about two inches deep in a leftover plastic bag that held 20 rolls of paper towels( I save EVERYTHING!) in a plastic crate.

So all the cuttings are in the big plastic bag that lets light in, and I set this in a corner, no direct sun, of my back porch. The top of the bag was just loosely rolled closed. I checked every few days for growth, and it took about two weeks.

I'm going to keep a closer eye on this second batch, done last night when the moon was in Scorpio, because I'd prefer potting them up when they just barely get going. I'd heard the roots are brittle, and I found some topless root bunches in the mix when I was finished with the first potting, oops!! One bit was a cluster about four inches across. I felt bad. Owell!

The tough part is making sure the cuttings are right side up! OK.

Oh, I saw someone in a nursery starting cuttings that were little tangles of limbs, about three inches across. He was dipping them in Rootone, and putting them in a seed starter tray, about 1/4 cup of peat for each cutting.

Thumbnail by Molamola
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Braveheartsmom
Hillsborough , NC
(Zone 7a)

June 6, 2009
7:31 PM

Post #6650717

I have had luck in the past rooting Bougies by layering a half cut stem into a pot to keep the fragile root disturbance to a minimum...
Some good info here (if I can link!)
http://www.arcamax.com/gardening/s-2030-335224
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

June 6, 2009
11:05 PM

Post #6651386

Thanks! I haven't found much in my searches.

Maybe I'll do a pink hill, I can't find many whites that I can easily maraud. Pink with orange and yellow spots, hahaha
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

June 7, 2009
12:35 AM

Post #6651777

BraveHM, I guess I'll have to root mine in the fridge!

Answer: Bougainvillea can be rooted with softwood or semi-ripe cuttings that are taken with a piece of last year's growth (called a heel). They take about 4-6 weeks to root, and bottom heat of 59 degrees will speed the process. Hardwood cuttings can be rooted outdoors or with bottom heat of 70 degrees. They take longer to root, usually several months.

My last Hard Wood cuttings rooted in weeks. Guess it was that little blue pill I dissolved in the fertilizer!!
grazio
Ubud, BALI
Indonesia
(Zone 11)

June 9, 2009
11:46 PM

Post #6665546

are these, on a steep slope, a good answer to erosion? the roots are tenacious, I gather, but are they deep and will they hold a steep slope the way vetiver will, for example?
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

June 10, 2009
1:03 AM

Post #6665923

My steep slope has been stable for forty years. But I guess Bougainvillea could do well as a stabilizer for erosion.

I do not know what vetiver is.

Bougainvillea might need a low growing plant during the first several years to keep soil from running away in rains. Bougainvillea is like a bush, it doesn't send runners, and doesn't make seeds, so the siol between the plants could need something to keep the surface intact.

Am I making any sense??
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

June 10, 2009
1:07 AM

Post #6665938

Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know about Vetiver is,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vetiver

Bougainvillea is completely different, but could be considered.
Islandshari
Kwajalein
Marshall Islands
(Zone 11)

June 24, 2009
2:48 AM

Post #6730095

Molamola, you will have to post pictures of your hill when it is in bloom...it sounds like it will be beautiful! I love bougies...have several, but alas I must keep mine in pots, so they don't get to really take off like some can. They always make me think of Spain, and the wonderful walls of vibrant color everywhere.

Grazio... Salamat pegi!!! I didn't know we had anyone here from Bali!!! You must be laughing heartily at my meager attempts to show off your home. I was just in Ubud a few weeks ago...the same time the President was there! What traffic!!! So very happy you visited us here on DG, and I hope you continue!

Yokwe,
Shari
grazio
Ubud, BALI
Indonesia
(Zone 11)

June 24, 2009
11:13 AM

Post #6731060

Hi, Shari, selamat malam! (it's evening now). glad you loved our special paradise. I moved here from Boston more than 2.5 years ago. I did follow your pics and comments. U know they are going to film eat pray and love here...with julia roberts...we are all terrified what will happen to Ubud after that...so good thing you came when you did!
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

June 24, 2009
11:16 AM

Post #6731068

Shari, get bigger pots!
Islandshari
Kwajalein
Marshall Islands
(Zone 11)

June 24, 2009
9:08 PM

Post #6733425

Molamola, have the biggest ones I can find! LOL. Everytime I see your name I get a little chuckle. The Molamola is the one fish my DH has never actually seen live. He was hoping to see some in Bali, but it was the wrong time of year. We are staying in touch with several friends there, who plan to tell him when they are sighted...probably in the August/September time frame. He may very well plan a dive trip back, that is how badly we wants to see these remarkable fish.

Salamat siang Grazio! Oh I can't imagine what a movie crew will do to that lovely village!!! Well, I guess "village" isn't the right word anymore...Ubud has a rather large population compared to other Balinese towns doesn't it? What do you do there? I know this is Molamola's bougie thread, but we always end up OT (off topic) everywhere, and I'm sure everyone here would love to hear more about you! Feel free to correct/add to any of my notes on the Bali adventure thread, my memory isn't what it used to be, even though I tried to take notes every night. Senang bertamu anda, Grazio!

Yokwe,

Shari
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

June 24, 2009
9:38 PM

Post #6733566

Shari, MAKE bigger pots!

teehee.
ToucanOasis
Tilaran
Costa Rica

July 15, 2009
9:56 AM

Post #6821466

Vetiver is great stuff for erosion control. I used it extensively when building this place.

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