Keep the faith with —and your hands off! — strug­gling bougainvil­lea

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Front Page -

I had a caller ask about his bougainvil­lea and why it was not do­ing so well this year (as well as hav­ing strug­gled in prior years).

I told him that I have two of these South Amer­i­can desert beau­ties in my front yard adorn­ing the fence. They both take up about 20 feet of fence and about 10 feet of front yard.

I owe my good luck with these ba­bies to an old farmer who sold them to me when they were very small. He told me not to fuss with them and they well grow to be beau­ti­ful red giants.

I took his ad­vice and even though they looked bad and strag­gly, I left them alone.

Even af­ter a hur­ri­cane when they were left a ragged mess, I kept my hands off them and they sur­vived.

A cou­ple years and a cou­ple of more hur­ri­canes went by and I lost my fence but I didn’t touch the plants.

New fencing was in­stalled and I put a sign out for the con­trac­tor that read in both English and Span­ish “Don’t touch the plants!”

A cou­ple more years went by and when I went to see how my bougainvil­leas were do­ing, they greeted me just as they are to­day: 20 feet long, 10 feet wide and 8 feet tall with mul­ti­ple beau­ti­ful red blos­soms all over the plants.

So I say to you, dear reader with the strug­gling bougainvil­lea: Have faith, leave them alone and trust that will live with you for­ever.

If you have any ques­tions or prob­lems give me a call at 561-744-4750 or e-mail me at

‘Cash’ Cash­ion

Swamp Gar­dener

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