Even though I absolutely cannot stand humidity, the lush greenery and flowers that are the result of all that moisture captivate me. There is something magical and mysterious about tropical jungles and the plants that grow there. So I have the desire to grow a few.
It likes to be root bound, which is good because the pots don’t have to be too large to transport inside.
It’s main requirements are sunshine and water, so if I am faithful to water, it will bloom and bloom. But there should be good drainage in the pot, so that it does not have standing water. I water them two or three times a week in the hottest part of the summer.
The fact that Bougainvillea cannot survive cold weather can also be accommodated with inside shelter during the winter. So it’s is not a crazy choice for Central Texas.
I’ve read that fertilizer specifically made for Hibiscus works well, but I have not tried that.
When we carry the pots inside, we cut back the branches. This has always been done to prevent being grabbed by the thorns. As it turns out, it blooms on new growth, so cutting back is a good thing and should be done before spring.
I fertilize it the same as other potted plants, which is not often. But I do sprinkle timed fertilizer granules in the spring and maybe again in early fall.
This pot also goes into the shed/greenhouse when the temperatures drop near freezing. Usually some of the flowers die but the leaves remain throughout the winter.
Now we get to a really foolish purchase. I knew when I bought this Fuchsia that it probably would not survive here, but couldn’t resist the chance to try. It was actually bought at a nursery that normally only sells reliable plants for local areas. This was an impulse buy, which is hardly ever wise.
The unusual drooping flowers enticed me. But if I had done some research, I would have known that temperatures above 80 degrees weaken the plant, and that it cannot tolerate too much sunshine. I did have it in shade, but then the high temperatures came.
Fuchsia also needs frequent watering and regular fertilizer. So the likelihood of survival was doomed from the day I bought it.
As experienced gardeners say: Learn to love the plants that grow well in your environment. A lesson that some of us have to learn over and over.
“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” Harold Coffin