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Q.Can A Bougainvillea Survive Below Freezing Winter Temps (Mod Atlantic Region) And Return In The Spring?

Zone 20814 | kennyv999 added on January 4, 2023 | Answered

Plant was in a location not available to bring indoors or protect from sub freezing temperatures. Leaves have all fallen and plant stems have turned brown, but are not brittle. Will plant rejuvenate itself in the spring, or has it been lost?

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Answered on January 4, 2023

It depends on how much damage was done to the root system by the low temperatures in your zone 6b. If it loses foliage due to frost/cold temperatures, it may leaf out in spring if the roots survived so, wait until spring now. Provide less water but do not let the soil become bone dry until spring. Then bring it outside after all danger of frost has passed, around the 1st-2nd weeks of May for you. At that time, you can prune any branches that have not leafed out. If there was no leaf out and no new growth, the plant did not survive. Potted ones can usually stand cold temperatures around 50F or slightly less. In the future, pay attention to the two-week overnight temperature forecasts and bring the pot inside when necessary (around the middle of September or so). Consider checking for pests in the pot by late August and pruning before bringing it inside if it is too wide.

In my border line zone 7b/8a, there is a specimen planted outside that loses the leaves/branches when low temperatures arrive but, it returns every year even when we had a low of -2F (Dallas, Texas).

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