Saturday, November 3, 2007

Bougainvillea 'Barbara Karst'

Bougainvillea 'Barbara Karst'

Usually, Bougainvillea has the most bracts in summer. For some reason, my two plants were sparse bloomers this year. Now that the weather has cooled, the plants are loaded with bracts, just opposite from the normal pattern. I can add this fact to the list of odd growth and flowering patterns that many of my plants, including cacti and succulents, displayed this year.

Perhaps the Bougainvillea, which froze to the ground this past winter during our hard freeze, just spent the summer trying to catch up on stem growth rather than producing bracts and flowers. Whatever the reason, it's now making up for its summer lull and blooming nicely.

'Barbara Karst' is the most popular cultivar in the Phoenix area. It can be grown in full sun with a southern exposure and flourish. The brighter the sun, the brighter its hot pink color. When planted in other exposures, the color is less intense, and takes on a more purple hue.

Bougainvillea is a wonderful xeriscape plant. It can do with very little water, in fact, the less water it has, the more plentiful the bracts. If it gets a lot of water, it produces plenty of thorny green branches, but that's about all.


barbara said...

Thanks for the comment. (Once I saw that spook in the corner, I couldn't see anything else!) :-)
Your Bougainvillea is absolutely gorgeous. We have nothing like that blooming in Wisconsin in our brown November.

Barbara said...

We can keep bougainvilleas outside during summer, but now we have to take them indoor for overwintering. The one you showed the picture has a wonderful colour!
Have a nice weekend!

kate said...

I have this variety of bougainvillea which is now residing in my living room window. I rarely water it and it almost dies during the winter. Every spring though it blooms beautifully out on the back porch. I love bougainvillea and dream of someday being surrounded by it. Well, I can always be surrounded by it in my dreams!