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Date: 24 Jun 2018, Entry id: 1529835662

Growing Bougainvillea and Plumeria in Florida

Q: I have recently moved from New Jersey to Florida (Orlando area) and I am so excited to start my own Tropical Paradise Garden! A few years ago I visited Hawaii and saw many beautiful colorful Bougainvilleas as well as fragrant Frangipani. Do they grow well in Florida? These are flowers of my dream!

A: Both Bougainvillea and Plumeria grow well in most parts of Florida, especially South and Southwest. Bougainvillea can tolerate some light freeze and can be seen in the streets of Central Florida (young plants require some cold protection for the first year), so it is a very good candidate for your new garden. Keep in mind that unlike in Hawaii, where they bloom year around, Bougainvilleas tend to have a distinctive flowering season which in Florida is winter time - these plants enjoy dry weather that triggers their bloom. To enjoy Bright bougainvillea flowers for a long time, apply balanced fertilizer, prune regularly (this promotes flowering on new growth) and keep established plants on a dry side. Dwarf cultivar Pixie is super compact and can be grown in pots or in a small garden without any pruning! See photo of Pixie on the left.
Plumerias, all-time perfume favorites and symbols of Hawaii, are also residents of many gardens and collections throughout state of Florida. Their cold hardiness is close to the one of Bougainvillea, however keep young plants protected from frost. There are also many new exciting cultivars including multiple "rainbow" colors, and several dwarf varieties, some of them are evergreen - Plumeria obtusa. Plumerias are very undemanding and can stay happy and blooming in a pot and without regular watering. Give them as much sun as possible, and enjoy the fragrance for many months!