Bougainvillea "Helen Johnson"
Use: This is the only true dwarf bougainvillea suitable for the landscape. It is used in masses and sometimes as a border plant. It is absolutely stunning in the winter blooming season.
Characteristics: Dwarf Bougainvillea is easily recognized from its strong and vibrant fuchsia blooms seen from a distance. The colors you see are actually the bracts as they have small white flowers in the center. These are very drought tolerant plants. If Dwarf Bougainvillea receives too much water, either by sprinkler system, rainfall, or hand watering, they will not flower. Therefore the best color comes in the dryer months of the year. Plant only in full sun. If placed in too much shade, plants will stretch to reach a light source and will be rangy. Maximum size is two to three feet high.
Trimming: These are very slow growing plants, and typically do not need shearing for several years to become a bush. Sometimes longer shoots over 2 feet will pop out of the main plant. This is from the original (non-dwarf) clone and they need to be individually removed. Be careful not to trim too late in the year.
Fertilization: When happy and in a dry location, little fertilizer is needed. A 'bloom special' fertilizer can be used in the fall to accentuate the bloom. Remember that Bougainvillea will not bloom if they are getting too much water, so do not expect color during summer rainy periods.