gbhunter77
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bougenvelia question

I have said plant in my aquarium tank under 16 hours of light. This plant has been struggling all year since I listened to an article instead of my sense. I have a ton of new growth and some flowers. But the older larger leaves are turning yellow an brown in the cource of one day. The death is very minimal given how much growth I have but I did read that this type of leaf Loss could be due to a lack of magnesium and Iron, the source of this information is the Gulfstream TropicalBonsai Journal. I just want to hear from some people that actually grow these plants.
On an unrelated note the weather in Michgan has been horrible. 4 inches of rain followed by a hard free. I did manage to juggle the plants around some I had to remove from underwater. I think I saved as many as my health will allow. I will admit I am impressed how the artificial lighting is doing. I will be buying lights for the side of the tank to cover the bottom part of the tree.
Question 2 would be tropicals to fertilize or not? Searching online only yielded conflicting information. Some people say fertilize year round some stated to not fertilize in winter under lights. But given how much growth I have seen under these lighs my gut tells me fertilization should continue, perhaps lower the frquencyof fertilization by say half. Any thoughts? My soil mix is very fast draining and low in biomatterso to me it seems like a very reasonable decision to add fertililize.

Q3. If plants are in an unheated garage if the temp drops too low is a heating mat under the tree a valid choice?

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Gnome
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gbhunter77,

I don't grow Bougainvillea so I can't offer anything there. Most of my tender plants are succulents that are kept in a cool basement over the winter. These plants don't get watered terribly often. Also, embarrassingly enough, I don't have sufficient fixtures for the number of pots I overwinter. The cooler temps, reduced watering and lower light levels seem to induce a period of slower growth so these plants don't receive any fertilizer while inside.

Some others, such as Ficus & Schefflera, are in a warmer room and get somewhat better lighting so these plants are fertilized approximately monthly. Since you are experiencing growth I would think that some fertilizer is in order. Be careful not to push too much growth too quickly though, weak leggy growth could be a problem.
Q3. If plants are in an unheated garage if the temp drops too low is a heating mat under the tree a valid choice?
Perhaps you could provide some more information. How cold do you expect it to get inside, what species are you considering keeping there?

This article should shed some light.
https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/frzekill.htm

Norm

TomM
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I use a specialized fertilizer for bougainvillea (note the spelling) which is called BOUGAIN.
See https://www.bgi-usa.com

My 2 bonsai 'bougies' are kept outside all summer/inside under lights when the cold weather comes. While outside in full sun I fertilize heavily every week - on SUNdays. It's easy to remember that way.

When they come inside I cut back to every other Sunday, and less of the stuff. I also prune back at this time.

Older leaves will yellow/brown and drop. It is natural. They do that.
Many tree types that get yellowing foliage will do better with an occasional shot of magnesium and iron. I have CHELATED IRON & MICROMAX (bonsai micronutrients) for that. I get both from Pauline Muth - wwwpfmbonsai.com.

I'm not well versed on ferts and cannot give specific advice - just generalities.

Have never used bottom heat but would love to learn more. Hope you will experiment and report back on your findings. We all benefit from new experience.
Last edited by TomM on Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:04 am, edited 3 times in total.

gbhunter77
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Location: Michigan

well

In the garage I would imagine it will go into the 20s or less. I will see and report.
I too use bougein. I just ordered chilted iron but I cannot find any nursery local that carries micromax its always mixed into soil or something but never it alone.

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rainbowgardener
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Bougainvillea require winter protection. It may be killed if the temperature remains below freezing for more than 4 hours. A light frost will not kill a mature bougainvillea, but may for a young planting. Within a day after the frost, all the leaves and bracts will fall off. If they remain on the plant, they may have a “singedâ€
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gbhunter77
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bugenvillia

That plant is indoors undr artficial light but I have zone 5 plants such as the Jap maple in thee garage. I did spray them with freeze proof. From what I can see the free proof is like liquid
Bandage on the tree. So the actual mat would be for them if the temp drops. The bugenvellia now has very lovely flowers on it. I will have to go with my instinct next timt not a magazine suggestion..This bougi became very sick after an article suggested to with hold water and it would be forced to flower. Well instead it got very sick and almost died and is just coming back now.

TomM
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Bougies do like to dry out a little more than many other plants between waterings. That does not mean bone dry for several days. Just - not constantly wet. Maybe skip 1 day when you water the others.

Instructions can be misunderstood or taken to the extreme. Now that it has recovered learn what works well for your situation and growing conditions.

I am glad that it is alive and well.

lucenda
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What is 'freeze proof'? Does it really help?

gbhunter77
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hmm

Only thing I know of is wilt proof and it works well when the instructions are followed. Scrach that. I know freeze proof as well. It covers the plant with a plastic like coating letting it withstand a unexpected frost or sudden temp drop. I will find out this winter hw well it works.

lucenda
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gbhunter77; I wonder how your Bougainvillea is doing? With that 'freeze proof'? Thank you.

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rainbowgardener
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I think gb is confusing us going back and forth talking about different plants in his bougainvillea thread.

"That plant is indoors undr artficial light but I have zone 5 plants such as the Japanese maple in thee garage. I did spray them with freeze proof. "

I think the freeze proof was for the Japanese maple (and perhaps other cold hardy trees?) in the garage, not for the bougainvillea indoors.
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