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November 2006

QuestionI have a bougainvillea that is about 4 years old planted in a pot. Prior to this year it did nothing. This year we moved and it just flourished with blooms almost all summer and grew to about 5' tall and is still blooming. We are leaving town for 3 weeks and I want to know if we should cut it back before storing it under the house. We live in Hot Springs Village.


AnswerOnly cut back as much as needed to get it into the storage area. While it is in storage, it is going to die back. Prune it hard as you bring it out of storage next spring. If you prune too much now, there may not be enough left to prune by next spring. No water or fertilizer is needed while it is stored. Again, it won't look perky in the spring, but it should be alive. With water and fertilize in the spring, it should bounce back and recover.


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