Bougainvillea are beautiful and vibrant plants that add colour and vibrancy to any garden or landscape. These plants have vibrant and colourful flowers. Their leaves are also very green and lush.
If you are noticing yellowing leaves on your bougainvillea plant, it’s natural to be concerned. Yellowing leaves can be a sign that there is something wrong with your plant. While it’s normal for older leaves to yellow and drop off, yellowing leaves on new growth or throughout the plant can be a sign of a problem.
Bougainvillea leaves can turn yellow and fall off due to overwatering, nutrient deficiencies, pests or diseases.
It’s important to ensure proper watering, provide adequate nutrition and address any pest or disease issues promptly to keep your bougainvillea healthy.
Environmental factors such as temperature extremes or poor air circulation can also cause yellowing leaves.
Know Your Plant – Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea is a beautiful and popular plant that is known for its lively and showy blooms. Bougainvillea is a plant that’s originally from South America and it grows in warm and tropical areas. It’s a popular plant that you can find in many gardens worldwide.
If you’re planning to add Bougainvillea to your collection, it’s essential to understand its requirements to help it grow healthy and thrive in its new surroundings.
- Bougainvillea requires plenty of sunlight to grow and bloom. Place your plant in an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
- Bougainvillea prefers well-draining soil. If your soil is heavy or compacted, consider adding organic matter to improve drainage.
- Although Bougainvillea is a plant that can survive drought conditions, it still needs watering on a regular basis, particularly during hot and dry seasons. Water the plant deeply and thoroughly, but make sure to let the soil dry out slightly between watering sessions.
- Bougainvillea is a heavy feeder and needs regular fertilization. Use a balanced fertilizer that includes nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and use it every four to six weeks during the growing season.
- Bougainvillea can be pruned to control its size and shape. Prune after blooming to encourage new growth and blooms.
Why Bougainvillea Leaves Turning Yellow?
Bougainvillea leaves are turning yellow and falling off, it’s a sign that something is not quite right. Here are some causes why bougainvillea leaves turn yellow.
Overwatering is a common cause of yellowing leaves on Bougainvillea. Too much water can lead to root rot and can cause the leaves to turn yellow and fall off. When this happened, they are unable to absorb water and nutrients from the soil.
This can cause the leaves to turn yellow as they become starved of the essential nutrients they need to stay healthy. In severe cases, the leaves can also drop off the plant.
2. Nutrient Deficiencies
When a Bougainvillea plant suffers from a nutrient deficiency, such as insufficient nitrogen, iron, or magnesium, its leaves start turning yellow.
These vital nutrients are crucial for plant growth and are involved in many processes, including chlorophyll production, which gives the plant its green colour. With this, the leaves may fall off too.
3. Pests and Diseases
Another cause of yellowing leaves on a Bougainvillea plant is pest or disease infestation. Pests, such as spider mites, whiteflies, and mealybugs, can damage the leaves. Also, these pests cause them to yellow and eventually fall off. These pests feed on the plant’s sap, leaving behind scars and blemishes on the leaves.
Diseases, such as fungal infections or bacterial diseases, can also cause yellowing leaves on Bougainvillea. Fungal infections like powdery mildew can cause a white or grey powdery coating on the leaves, while bacterial diseases can cause leaf spots and blights.
4. Cold Temperature
Cold temperatures can also cause Bougainvillea leaves to turn yellow and drop off. Bougainvillea plants are native to tropical and subtropical regions and are not adapted to cold climates. When exposed to cold temperatures, the plant’s metabolism slows down, and its leaves begin to yellow and drop off.
In addition to yellowing leaves, Bougainvillea exposed to cold temperatures may also experience stunted growth, and wilting leaves. If the cold temperatures persist, the plant may eventually die.
5. Lack of Sunlight
A lack of sunlight can also cause Bougainvillea leaves to turn yellow and fall off. Bougainvilleas require full sun exposure for at least six hours a day to thrive and produce vibrant, colourful blooms. If the plant is not receiving enough sunlight, its leaves turn yellow, and the plant may become weak and spindly.
If your Bougainvillea is not getting enough sunlight, it may be necessary to relocate it to a sunnier spot in your garden or provide artificial light.
How to Revive or Stop Bougainvillea leaves from turning yellow and falling off?
Here are several things you can do to help revive the plant and prevent further damage –
First, check the plant’s soil moisture levels and ensure that it’s not over or underwatered. If the soil is dry, give the plant a deep watering to replenish its moisture levels. If the soil is too wet, let it dry out before giving water again.
Next, check for signs of pest infestations and disease. If you notice any issues, treat them promptly using organic or chemical insecticides and fungicides.
Ensure that your Bougainvillea is getting adequate sunlight for at least six hours a day, and protect it from cold temperatures. Further, ensure that the plant is receiving sufficient nutrients by fertilizing it regularly with a balanced fertilizer.
If your Bougainvillea leaves are still turning yellow and falling off despite your best efforts, you may need to prune the plant back to promote new growth and remove any damaged or dead leaves. With proper care and attention, your Bougainvillea can bounce back and produce vibrant, colourful blooms.
How to Prevent Yellow Leaves on Bougainvillea Plants?
Here are some tips to help keep your Bougainvillea healthy –
- While Bougainvillea plants are drought-tolerant, they still require regular watering. Water deeply and thoroughly, but avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot and yellowing leaves.
- Bougainvillea plants need plenty of sunlight to thrive, so make sure they are planted in a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
- Bougainvillea plants need regular fertilization to maintain healthy growth and vibrant blooms. During the growing season, apply a balanced fertilizer every four to six weeks.
- Keep an eye out for pests and diseases that can cause yellowing leaves. Regularly inspect your plant and take action if you notice any signs of infestation or disease.
- Regular pruning will help promote healthy growth. Prune your Bougainvillea plant regularly to encourage new growth and remove any dead or diseased branches.
(Read this one: Are Eggshells Good for Bougainvillea?)
Bougainvillea Care Tips
Here are some care tips to help you in your journey of caring for Bougainvillea –
- Watering – As already mentioned above Bougainvillea plants are drought-tolerant, but they still require regular watering. Water deeply and thoroughly, but avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.
- Sunlight – Bougainvillea plants need sunlight to thrive, so make sure they are planted in a well-suited location that receives six hours of direct sunlight regularly.
- Fertilization – Bougainvillea plants need fertilization to support healthy growth and vibrant blooms. Using a balanced fertilizer every four to six weeks can help in its growth during the growing season.
- Pruning – Regular pruning will help promote healthy growth and prevent legginess. Prune your Bougainvillea plant regularly to encourage new growth and remove any dead or diseased branches.
- Pest and disease control – Keep an eye out for pests and diseases that can damage your Bougainvillea plant. Regularly inspect your plant and take action if you notice any signs of infestation or disease.
- Winter care – If you live in a colder climate, you’ll need to take extra care to protect your Bougainvillea plant during the winter months. Move your plant indoors or cover it with a frost blanket to protect it from the cold.
Should I remove yellow leaves from bougainvillea?
Yes, you should remove the yellow leaves from your Bougainvillea plant. Yellow leaves can be a sign of a problem and removing them may help. By removing the yellow leaves, you can prevent the spread of any pests or diseases.
To remove the yellow leaves, simply use a pair of clean scissors to cut them off at the base of the stem. Be sure to dispose of the yellow leaves and any other plant debris properly.
However, it’s vital to note that simply removing the yellow leaves will not solve the underlying problem causing the yellowing. It’s essential to identify and address the root cause and take further steps to prevent it.
What causes bougainvillea leaves turn yellow in summer?
One possible cause of yellowing leaves in the summer is overwatering. Bougainvillaea plants are drought-tolerant plants, so too much water can lead to leaf yellowing.
Another possible cause is nutrient deficiency. Bougainvillea require regular fertilization to maintain healthy growth, and a lack of essential nutrients like nitrogen, iron, or magnesium can cause the leaves to turn yellow.
Pests and diseases can also cause yellowing leaves in Bougainvillea plants, so it’s essential to regularly inspect your plants for signs of infestation.
Lastly, lack of sunlight can cause yellowing leaves, as Bougainvillea require plenty of direct sunlight to thrive.
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Bougainvillea plants are beautiful plants in any garden. However, yellowing leaves can be a sign of stress or underlying issues. It’s important to identify the root cause of the yellowing leaves and take the necessary steps to address the issue.
This can include adjusting watering schedules, providing adequate sunlight and nutrition, and treating pests and diseases promptly. With proper care and attention, Bougainvillea plants can thrive well.
Khaja Moinuddin, a computer science graduate, finds joy in gardening and homesteading. Join him on this blog as he shares his experiences in homesteading, gardening, and composting