How to Revive a Dying Bougainvillea – [ Take Care Today ]

Are you worried that your beloved Bougainvillea is dying? Are the beautiful green stems and leaves of your Bougainvillea suddenly drooping and turning brown and brittle? Well, don’t worry because there might be a way you can restore your plant to its former glory. And so, we are here to help you out with your problem by showing you the different ways you can revive a dying bougainvillea.

Why is Bougainvillea Dying?

Bougainvillea is an extremely durable plant that can take quite a beating, but like everything else, this plant too has its limit, beyond which it can start dying out. There are multiple reasons why a Bougainvillea might be dying. One of them can be root rot caused by either overwatering or slow-draining soil. This is because Bougainvillea’s native places are hot, sunny, and dry. Because of this, it thrives well with less water and so excess water can cause root rot.

Lack of sunlight can be another reason why your Bougainvillea is dying. This again goes back to the fact that this plant is native to areas with ample sunlight. And so, if your Bougainvillea is not getting enough direct sunlight it might start dying. Cold temperatures can also cause Bougainvillea to lose its leaves and flowers. And while the plant usually recovers in summer, prevailing cold conditions might cause it to die completely.

How Can You Tell Bougainvillea is Dying?

If you think that your beautiful Bougainvillea plant is dying, then we recommend that you do several tests on it to verify whether it is true before proceeding with the treatments. The first thing that we believe you should do is to examine the plant. For this, you need to look out for drooping branches, and stems, and leaves changing color from green to brown. You also need to check if the plant has lost a lot of leaves. If all of this is true then you should check if the stems are brittle.

Bougainvillea is Dyin

For this, all you need to do is to take a stem of the plant and bend the part near the tip. If it cracks or completely snaps into two then this means that part of the plant might be dead. Although if you are able to locate a relatively green stem that you are able to bend without breaking then this means that some parts of that plant are alive and there is a chance you can revive it.

Another test that you can do is check the color of the tissue inside the stem of the plant. We have found this process useful to determine whether the brittle part of the plant is actually dead or not. For this, break off the stem from the part of the plant that you think might be dead. Next, observe the color of the tissue inside the stem. If it is green. Then this means that the plant is alive, but if it is brown then that part is most definitely dead.

Usually, when a Bougainvillea plant is dying there will be some parts of it that are still alive. And so, we encourage you to find these parts because they will be crucial in the revival of the plant. A good way to do that is to examine the inner tissue of the stem. And while you can keep on breaking the stems to find those parts, we do not recommend it. This is because then there is a danger of you accidentally breaking away the actual living part of your Bougainvillea.

And so, you can use your fingernail or a small knife to reveal the inner tissue of the stem. All you need to do is scrape away the outer layer of the bark of the stem and the inner tissue will be visible. By doing this at regular intervals on the different parts of a stem. Repeat this process for multiple stems and you will be able to locate the exact parts of the stem that are dead or alive.

How to Revive a Dying Bougainvillea?

Once you have confirmed that your Bougainvillea plant is indeed dying, the question that arises is what to do now, and how to save it? And so, here are the following ways through which we believe you can revive your beautiful plant. Our first recommendation is to check if the plant is not being over-watered. As we have already established that this plant requires hot and dry conditions to thrive in, watering them frequently and excessively can cause the roots to rot. And so, before watering the plant you need to make sure that the soil is dry by touching it.

If the soil is damp then we believe that you shouldn’t water the plant and wait till it is actually dry. Once the soil is dry enough water the Bougainvillea generously. Again, you need to keep in mind that in its native conditions it would have to withstand droughts and then get deeply watered when the rains would come. And so because of this, infrequent yet generous watering are the best ways to maintain Bougainvillea. In our opinion, a 3 to 4-week interval between the watering is the best option.

Another way to keep your Bougainvillea alive is by mixing sand in its soil to make it fast draining. This will ensure that the soil will not retain excess moisture that might result in root rot. If your Bougainvillea is planted in the ground and you cannot replace the soil, then you can introduce sand channels. Using a small trowel, dig into the soil of the plant, and create long channels.

You can then go ahead and pour sand into them. When you are done, the soil would have better drainage than before. We also encourage you to cut off all the dead parts of the plant using some shears. These would generally be at the top parts of the Bougainvillea, with the alive ones closer to the bottom. This will not only make your Bougainvillea plant look neater but also ensure that almost all of it is alive.

Furthermore, make sure that your plant is getting enough direct sunlight. If you are not able to move it to a more sunny place, look for anything that might be blocking sunlight from reaching the Bougainvillea and remove it if you can. This is because even though Bougainvillea plant can grow perfectly well in some shade, its iconic three petal flowers will not bloom without an ample amount of daily sunlight.


What kills a bougainvillea?

Bougainvillea is an extremely tough plant as it has to withstand the harsh conditions of its native areas. Because of this, not many things can kill it easily. But a few things that do are cold climates, lack of sunlight, and overwatering. This is because all of these go against the conditions that this plant normally grows in. And so, because of this, a Bougainvillea can die.

Does bougainvillea like sun or shade?

As Bougainvillea is native to hot, dry, and sunny climates, its ideal growing conditions include a lot of sunlight. Although if a Bougainvillea plant is placed somewhere that is partially shaded, it will still grow well, just not bloom. And so if you wish that your Bougainvillea plant has beautiful pink flowers then we recommend that you plant it somewhere with a lot of sunlight.

Wrapping Up

Bougainvillea is a gorgeous plant with its evergreen leaves and beautiful pink flowers. And with its tough and durable nature, it does not require a lot of maintenance. This makes it an ideal plant to have in your garden. But despite being so tough there are a few things that are able to kill it. And so, we have listed down exactly what to do in that case and all the ways you can revive it and keep it alive to make your garden look gorgeous again.