Bougainvillea plants can be a beautiful addition to your garden, but if the leaves are disappearing on the plant, you might have some questions. It is important to address this issue quickly in order to protect your plant and keep it healthy.
In this blog post, we will discuss why bougainvillea plants lose leaves and how you can help them recover!
Why Is My Bougainvillea Dropping Leaves?
Your bougainvillea is dropping leaves because the plant has been exposed to cold temperatures, not enough sunlight, too much water, and negative environmental factors.
I will now discuss each cause in more detail. By the end, you should have a better understanding of how to help your bougainvillea recover.
1. Cold Temperatures
Bougainvilleas are tropical plants that require warm weather to grow their best, so cold temperatures can cause the plant’s leaves to drop. In fact, exposure to temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit is one of the main reasons why bougainvilleas lose their leaves.
If you live in an area where it is common for wintertime temperatures to dip below freezing, make sure to take extra care of your plant!
You might need to move your plant indoors, or at least cover it with a blanket during the coldest parts of winter.
2. Lack of Sunlight
Your bougainvillea needs five or more hours of sunlight each day. If the leaves are dropping and it seems like your bougainvillea is not getting enough sun, move the plant to a location where there is stronger light. This should help the plant perk up!
You may need to move other objects out of the way to make sure that the plant has enough room to grow and access direct sunlight. Yellow bougainvillea leaves are a good sign that the plant isn’t getting enough light.
If you have yet to plant your bougainvillea, then please think carefully about where you will place it. It should be in an area that receives a lot of sunlight!
Using grow lights is another method to give more light! I utilize them in my office when the sun isn’t strong enough to provide adequate illumination.
In fact, I utilize artificial lighting on nearly all of my plants throughout the winter months when there isn’t enough sunshine. It doesn’t get very bright here in the UK…
3. Moving or Being Transplanted
Moving or being transplanted can cause the bougainvillea to lose leaves. This is because it takes time for the plant’s roots to adjust, so if you are moving your bougainvillea around a lot, then expect some leaf loss!
Make sure to only transplant when the roots are truly ready and if your bougainvillea is giving you warning signs that something might be wrong, like if the bougainvillea leaves are brown!
Plants need water to survive, but if they receive too much or not enough, it can cause the leaves to drop. You can learn more about bougainvillea watering on this post: How Often To Water Bougainvillea?
Bougainvilleas require slightly moist soil and should never be left to dry out completely!
If you notice that your plant has dropped a significant number of its leaves then this could mean that you are underwatering it. Underwatering also typically results in dry leaves and weakness in the plant, so look out for these warning signs!
In this case, water your plant regularly and make sure to add mulch around the roots to protect them from drying out too much during hot summer days.
Plants with root rot will start to die and drop their leaves. As it goes, root rot is caused by overwatering.
Bougainvilleas are typically very adaptable to different soil conditions, but if you have been overwatering your plant for a long time, then it will be harder for the roots to adjust.
If your bougainvillea has recently dropped its leaves or is showing signs of root rot, consider transplanting it into new potting soil and make sure to water it only when the leaves have perked up!
Bougainvillea Leaf Drop FAQ
Bougainvilleas are not the easiest plants to maintain. As a result, there are a lot of bougainvillea leaf drop questions. I’ll go through some of the most frequent ones below:
Will cold temperatures cause bougainvillea to drop its leaves?
Yes! If you live in an area that is cold during wintertime, then make sure to protect your bougainvillea from the elements. Place a blanket over it or move it indoors. Bougainvilleas do not like temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (around 15 degrees Celsius).
I have had my bougainvillea for several years. Will it recover from leaf loss?
Yes! If you notice that your plant is losing leaves, then consider transplanting it into new potting soil and make sure to water regularly (but not too much). Your bougainvillea should start growing healthy leaves again in no time!
Why is my bougainvillea losing leaves after transplanting?
Moving or being transplanted can cause the bougainvillea to lose leaves. This is because it takes time for the plant’s roots to adjust, so expect some leaf loss if you are moving your bougainvillea around a lot!
In conclusion, bougainvillea plants should not be exposed to cold temperatures, need five or more hours of sunlight each day, and will lose leaves if they are underwatering or overwatering.
By keeping the plant healthy and giving it what it needs, you can help your bougainvillea recover!
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.