The Sharp Looking Plant that is as Versatile as it Beautiful
This tropical plant, native to South America,is a very versatile vine. It can be grown indoors in hanging baskets, pots or as bonsais, as well as topiaries or along fences’ lines or walls. It is also a low-maintenance plant as it is drought-tolerant and usually pest-free.
It is strikingly beautiful and highly sought for ornamental purposes, given its bright-colored bracts that can be found in pink, purple, white, orange, yellow, etc. The flowers are clusters of usually 3 small white ones that are surrounded by the colored bracts.
Caring for your Bougainvillea
This thorny plant prefers warm weather, but it can be grown in cooler climates without being affected by the dryness. Dry soil provides the best condition, along with frequent fertilization (monthly during spring and summer) and full sun. Excess watering can actually hinder the flourishing of the plant.
This hybrid cultivar is known for its dense growth habit, vigorous nature, and impressive adaptability. Here, we delve into a comprehensive guide on how to best care for this enchanting variety of Bougainvillea.
Like most Bougainvillea species, ‘New River’ prefers a full sun environment, requiring at least six hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal growth and blooming. It can tolerate partial shade, but this may result in fewer blooms and less vibrant color.
When it comes to soil, ‘New River’ is relatively adaptable. It prefers well-draining soil and can tolerate a wide pH range, from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. However, poor drainage can lead to root rot, a serious concern for Bougainvilleas, so ensure your plant has sufficient drainage whether it’s planted in-ground or in a container.
Bougainvillea ‘New River’ is a drought-tolerant plant, capable of withstanding relatively dry conditions once established. The watering regimen for ‘New River’ is generally based on a “soak and dry” method, which entails watering the plant thoroughly, then allowing the soil to dry out before the next watering. Overwatering or consistently moist soil can lead to root diseases.
As for fertilizing, ‘New River’ typically doesn’t require heavy feeding. If you choose to fertilize, do so during the blooming season with a high-phosphorus, low-nitrogen fertilizer to promote blooming and healthy growth. Over-fertilizing can lead to a proliferation of foliage at the expense of blooms.
Pruning and training Bougainvillea ‘New River’ are key to maintaining its size, shape, and promoting vigorous blooming. Since Bougainvillea blooms on new growth, pruning stimulates the plant to produce more branches, leading to more flowers. Pruning should ideally be done in early spring before the onset of the blooming season.
‘New River’ responds well to training and can be shaped into various forms, including a hedge, a standard tree form, or a climbing vine over trellises or arches.
Pests and Diseases
While Bougainvillea ‘New River’ is generally resistant to pests and diseases, it can occasionally be troubled by pests such as aphids, scale, or caterpillars. If infestation occurs, it can be treated with an appropriate insecticide or insecticidal soap.
Poor drainage and overwatering are the most common causes of disease in Bougainvillea, leading to root rot. Therefore, maintaining an appropriate watering schedule and ensuring good drainage are crucial to keeping your ‘New River’ healthy.