Repotting a Bougainvillea

This is another one of the trees my neighbor gave to me.  It has been grown from a cutting by him for a few years.  Here’s a link to that original post.

These guys do not like hard pruning of their roots.  With the climate here in Florida we can get away with much more than most climates so I wouldn’t suggest repotting a bougainvillea and pruning the roots as I did….unless you live in Florida!

Alright so let’s get started.  By the way this work was performed on 5/15/2017.

This is how I received it, planted in the bottom of a 2 liter bottle of Coca Cola.  Filled with horrible soil might I add.

See below:20170514_142308This is a nice tree, and will make a great bonsai, but it’s gonna be a project!

You can clearly see in this picture below, that this soil is not very conducive to root growth.  The soil needs to be “easy” to grow through.  So the roots don’t have a lot of resistance.  It also needs to breath but hold moisture.

This soil does none of that:20170514_142314

It had to get the hell out of this pot!  Due to the shape of bottle, getting this tree out was very annoying.  Took 15 min of snipping and peeling back plastic but…….

Finally got it out:20170514_142856

You can see in the picture above right in front on the root ball some unhealthy, nasty roots.  Rotted.  As a result this thing was destined for a hard-ass root prune.  Just because there wasn’t going to be much left.  It’ll still make it, but I am a little worried.

After washing away the soil and the mess, this is what I had left:20170514_143832

I trimmed the remaining roots lightly, put it in a clay pot for now to grow for 2 seasons before getting repotted again.


As I’m writing this it’s been 2 days since the repot and has not skipped a beat.  In fact quite the opposite.  The flower has opened more and it has already started pushing new growth.  This repot is just what it needed!



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