Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bougainvillea cuttings

I tried, a couple of years ago, to grow bougainvillea cuttings. I found a complicated description of what to do, and followed the instructions faithfully: taking 15cm hardwood cuttings, using growth hormone and potting compost, putting plastic bags over the pots, keeping them damp... and nothing happened. I tried about ten, and they all died.

Then, about a month ago, I was talking to someone on the doorstep and she told me that February was the month to take bougainvillea cuttings. No, not short pieces of wood in pots, she said: just cut a biggish piece that doesn't have new growth, and stick it in a jar of water on a window-sill. She recommended trying three at a time, since usually one out of three will sprout.

I had nothing to lose, so I cut three pieces that needed trimming anyway, and they've been sitting in jars on my study window-sill. Within a couple of weeks nearly all the leaves had fallen off, but I kept them there anyway...

One of them definitely seems to have taken now. There are little shoots appearing in all the branches.

But I think the others may be taking too, since there are little white dots on the pieces that are underwater, looking as if they may be new roots forming.

It would be great if they do take properly, and can be transplanted to pots. Then at least we'll have cuttings of our bougainvilleas here to take to the new house.

We're currently hoping we might move around the end of April. The sale in the UK seems to be taking an inordinately long time, but our buyer emailed on Friday saying her solicitor is hopeful that completion might happen within seven days. I don't know if that's real days or working days, but it sounds hopeful.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic! Shows you have to keep on trying. We are having a conservatory built at the moment and hope to grow a pot bought bourgainvillea to remind us of (holidays in our case) in sunny climes. Beautiful flowers.

It'll be great once the house is finilised. You'll be able to relax knowing its sorted.


lilyko_gallery said...

i just cut some bougainvillea from our hulking big plant 2 weeks ago, and the new leaves are already starting to grow!
i stuck a bunch of branches in plastic juice bottles, filled it almost to the to top with water.

these are large woody branches which i cut off all the spikes. the bracts are still looking good too!

the shorter pieces i stuck in a pot of soil, and some seem to do ok, others look wilted.

will post pix shortly at: