My bonsai Bougainvillea – a work in progress

Around my neighborhood here in Tubod and the rest of the province of Lanao del Norte, the bombil (Cebuano) or bogambilya (Tagalog) or Bougainvillea (English) is the most popular potted plant seen along national highways and town streets. The plant’s tolerance in environments with high salt and warm climate makes it suitable in the coastal towns of Lanao province. Or perhaps, we just have a fondness for this plant due to its lovely flowers in purple, burgundy, white, pink, or orange…

Also known as Paper Flowers, the Bougainvillea is often presented in various ways such as: (1) topiary in various forms, (2) clipped-shrubs in cement ‘Clean and Green’ planters, (3) hedges alongĀ fence lines of private homes or public schools, (4) planted in hanging baskets as wall accents, and (5) potted in containers as bonsai tree… The possibilities are endless because our love affair with Bougainvillea goes way back in the Spanish era.

Anyway, most of the Bougainvillea in my garden are 10-year-old bonsai plants.They’re still a work in progress though; I relocated them at the balcony so I would see them flower. The ones I trained as miniature trees are Bougainvillea glabra and Bougainvillea spectabilis (both normal and variegated). Usually, I water them sparingly so they wouldn’t rot.

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