Bogie, to repot or not?

I have a Bougainvillea that I bought last year, I have wired it and let it recover inside over the winter. It’s loving it’s spot in my house. I think a little too much for the time of year it is. I was planning on repotting it soon but didn’t know if it was not a good idea to repot it if it was already blooming. What’s everyone’s advice on this?

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bouganvillea flower all times of the year winter, summer, dry conditions etc… it will be fine to repot early spring to summer. bougies are quite hardy and can root from just about any size cutting so i wouldn’t worry about any issues for repotting.

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Thanks for the help. I didn’t think I was going to do anything wrong but something about taking a flowering plant And planning a repot was setting off some internal alarms.

What are your suggestions on soil? Typical 1:1:1 or an all Akadama?

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1-1-1 works best for me

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I would repot in the heat of summer, whenever that is for your climate. Bougainvillea is a tropical, and will be at its most active then. It also frees you up during the Spring for species which need to be repotted then.

Also - are you talking about repotting it into a bonsai pot? The trunk is quite thin (unless there is a giant nebari hiding beneath the top layer of soil). I have a lot of Boug cuttings and their trunks take forever to thicken. If you want more trunk thickening, I would not repot it. And I would for sure stay away from a bonsai mix (e.g. 1:1:1, etc) for now. That is what you do when you want to slow down growth and transition to refinement. Unless I am mis-interpreting the picture, your Boug needs quite a bit of development, which is best accomplished in a large pot with organic-rich soil, not in a restricted Bonsai pot with aggregate soil.

Good luck!

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Thank you so much for the great info! I was planning on repotting it to give it another pot to grow into. I guess I could just pull it out since it’s root bound, trim up the roots and repot it in the same pot with good organic soil and let it thicken up like you suggest. That is what is needed on the truck for sure. Also great advice on waiting to repot it during the summer. Didn’t think about that as a possibility but great point. Thanks!

Not doubting you, but how do you know it is root-bound? The size of the pot seems large relative to the size of the plant/trunk/foliage mass. Are you having water percolation issues? Are roots coming out the drainage holes?

For my “grow soil” I use the following mix which works well for me: Peat Moss (2): Lava (1): Pumice (1). I use larger size pumice and lava, ~ 1/4 in, but only because I want to save the smaller stuff for my bonsai soil. The peat moss retains a lot of water and nutrition and allows the plants to survive in really hot weather in the summer, while the other two components provide oxygen, retain some water (pumice) and enable drainage. Just don’t let that soil become bone-dry, otherwise the peat moss starts repelling water and it will take some effort to get it evenly dry again.

You can totally do as many intermediate repots into grow pots as you need. I used to make the mistake of rushing a plant into its bonsai pot just so that “I have a bonsai”, but that doesn’t accomplish the goals and actually slows things down. You can use this opportunity to work the roots, take out any large downward growing ones, spread the rest and perhaps even put a ceramic tile under the nebari to encourage the lateral spread/base thickening.

Also, I think a Boug should be in all Akadama for the final bonsai mix when it is ready. They love water and I have never seen any overwatering issues. I am 99% sure that a 1:1:1 mix would require more frequent watering than most bonsai enthusiasts have time for in the peak of summer. Since Bougs love full sun, if you have a 9-5 job you want to be able to leave it there during the day in the summer and water no more than 2x. A 1:1:1 mix is too dry for that in my opinion. Sure, if you are retired and enjoying watering your trees 3-4 per day, then a 1:1:1 mix will work fine. Just make sure to plan for any vacations to make sure the people taking of your trees are as diligent as you are :wink:


My bogie is growing well. It was blooming and beautiful and then started losing all its leaves so I let it dry out a lot and now it seems to be back in a good state. I have something odd happening though. It appears if the trunk is rooting above the base. Anyone have any experience with what might be causing this?

Anoxia in the root system below. Adventitious roots are usually a response to water-logging.


It has been raining a ton so that makes sense. I was wanting to repot it and out in in some bonsai soil for better drainage.

When there’s a lot of rain in the forecast I move my more water sensitive trees to my covered porch. Mainly my Bouggie and Portulacaria.

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Your soil appears to be mostly organic, water retaining material.
In the first photo, note the five(or so) root tips to the lower left. Looking for oxygen…
What are the small opaque white particles in the bottom photo, lower left corner?

It appears to be some kind of mold or fungi.