I recently acquired a small bougainvillea. Based on what is available online, it sounds like they prefer an acidic soil. Does anybody have any recommended mixtures for how best to grow these in the bay area? Right now I have been using 1:1:1 mixes of lava:pumice:akadama for most of my non-bougainvillea trees and 100% kanuma for my azaleas. This seems to be working well, but I’m not sure whether either of these would be great for bougainvilleas. Would you recommend adding kanuma to the soil mix? What about simply using my normal soil mix and adding azalea fertilizer? Or do people have any other recommendations? There are a couple places that mention Turface. Does anybody have experience using this in their soil mix?
Additionally, the weather here doesn’t seem great since it’s probably a little too cold during winter for these trees. Does anybody have recommendations on how to manage this? Would you bring them indoors during the winter? Or just let them stay outside year round and have them suffer a bit until it warms up?
“Soil should be acidic – this can be accomplished by adding in some azalea fertilizer.”
“One of the nursery workers told me that the most important thing is good drainage, and that a cactus/succulent soil would work well. Others have told me to use a more acidic soil like one for Azaleas. I’ve also seen people use a mix of standard potting soil and pearlite or volcanic rock.”
“I use a soil mix of 1/3 Lava Rock, 1/3 Turface, 1/3 sifted pine bark”
“A good soil blend is 50% potting mix with 25% small lava rock and 25% Turface.”
Thank you! Looking forward to hearing people’s thoughts.