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Welcome to My Little Garden
Welcome to My Little Garden

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
Gardening is part of my life and I want to share that portion of my zeal and joy with you. These are my thoughts, my experiences and life work. I hope it enrich and add value to you too.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bou Gain a Villa

I had collected these pruned branches from the park area near my place. I remember mentioning this in my last post where I found the orchids and the beehive ginger. As the result, these bougainvillea had sprouted and had become a nice plant. I planted it last Oct. and it took practically about 4 months for this to grow into nice plant.

I manage to make about 10 -15 cuttings from them but only one managed to survive . So, that's explains the difficulty I had faced, those countless times which I had failed in propagating a bougainvillea.
I guess, the variegated types are very challenging. Next time, I would consider buying this plant from a nursery than propagating it.

These leaves are broader and the colours are lesser due the environment where is very much shaded. I had seen many bougainvilleas along the street sides where its constantly go through a lot of abuse but somehow it seemed to thrive much better with the hardship.

One thing about this plant - you either would love it or hate it. I wonder how I had changed from the hating part to the loving part - it must be the variegated leaves. I resent those dried paper flowers, often litter the gardens and does in most cases create a nuisance, like those Styrofoam packaging stuff (flying all over)

I can't recall what had changed my mind, probably I got used seeing it too often, those planted by the street sides and shopping malls. Or perhaps those sold in nursery where many varieties coloured flowers and leaves are grafted in one tree.

Perhaps its the waiting and watching part, whether this plant is for real or like those types which are sold for a short-term basis. And again, it could also be the cost part - any new plants introduced in the market are usually expensive and I'm not that adventurous type of person.

Above all, there is one thing about bougainvilleas - there are also the variegated type, so if you don't get the flowers, you can still enjoy the coloured foliage.


  1. James, Again I'm envious of how easy it is to propagate plants in the tropics. You have the perfect combination of heat and humidity.
    I noticed that in Malaysia there were many colour varieties of Bourgainvillia, whereas in S'pore there seemed to be two colours, magenta and sugar pink. This was in the street plantings, maybe there was more variety in private gardens.

  2. Bouganv. is very common in our city lahore. I am envious that you were able to propagate it from cuttings. I agree the variegated ones are a bit difficult than others.Great job.

  3. That's awesome! Yesterday I was at one nursery that sells bud-grafted bougainvilleas with various varieties on one trunk. The bract colours were so striking and beautiful :-D I also saw some small bougainvilleas in black bags that are pretty affordable. If the plant grow so slowly, then buying one is a better option.

    Regarding the Crassula succulent, I have some leggy ones as well. They only receive afternoon sunlight for a few hours. So, if the plant receives full sun throughout the day (whole day!) then it will not be leggy.

  4. Like that play on words! I thought everyone loved bougainvilleas! Here we consider the thorns a major nuisance, but, wow, you can't beat the flower display! Well, in any case, glad you changed your mind. More American natives in your part of the world, I see!

  5. Bou Gain a Villa: We used to have them in several pots. Our priceless plant bloomed with purple flowers with stem the size of my thigh. Due to frequent job transfer, in the end those plants were given away to neighbours. Propagation is always testing our patience... Glad you manage to get one sprouting... ~bangchik

  6. Hi James~~ As a kid I lived in Hawaii. Although the unfortunate "packaging stuff" is long forgotten, I still remember the gigantic swaths of bougainvillea that blanketed hillside gardens. Stupendous.

    I've had similar "luck" with many cuttings. You think they're going to root easily but they just sit and rot. I agree, the variegated foliage is a worthy attribute. But like you, I don't feel as though it's worthy of the $30 pot of it, especially when it requires winter protection. Cuttings, when they take are a great way to get free plants.

  7. Congratulations for successfully propagating bougainvilleas! I never saw a variegated one before! It is funny we almost share the same feeling about this plant! My neighbour in my previous house had one in their front yard, the "paper-like" flowers keep coming to my front drive-way, made lots of mess. However, after seeing so many beautiful pictures in different gardens of the blogger world, I started changing the mind a little bit, but have not decided if I want one in my garden yet :) Enjoy yours! Post more pictures when it blooms!

  8. Barry - Not sure about Singapore but bougainvilleas are too common in Malaysia. I guess they have found every nook & corner in many gardens & parks.

    Muhammad Khabbab - I guess Im very lucky in getting one out of 15 cuttings. That too after another few trials earlier with failed attempts.

    Stephanie - I agree with you, I had been very much admiring the one you mentioned about various types in one main branch. The only thing is - its very expensive.

    Floridagirl - Its funny when I first come across its name, why on earth someone whats to call it a Villa? I totally agree with you concerning its thorns but the varigated types seemed to be a little docile.

    Bangchik - Wished I was that neighbour (lol)
    And yes, propagating it is did really tested my patience. 2 of the cuttings just died after sprouting without any apparent reason.

    Grace - yes, yes, yes.. You are so right!
    They just sit & rot. The only difference is that I do not face winter in my part of the world.

    Ami - Glad we share the same thoughts concerning the "paper" mess. Do you know its locally known as paper flowers? I guess gardeners do change mind once they get famaliar with its beauty.

  9. James, this certainly prove that you have green fingers and thumb. It is not easy to propagate a bougainvillea plant from cuttings. I think the flowers will look nice when seen from a far distance.

  10. Thanks Belle - Green fingers & thumb...
    That must be scary to see that colour upon my skin but regardless, will surely update you when I get those flowers.

    Wendy - Alchemist - I wish I could wield some gold from lead, guess this is just agriculture.


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