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Bougainvillea Complete Growing and Care Guide

Bougainvillea care is simple, but there are a few tricks to get the best blooms on these iconic garden plants. Whether you’re searching for the best way to grow Bougainvillea on pergolas or trailing it up the side of the house, the results are mind-bogglingly beautiful.

With flowers that come in every shade, from reds, oranges, blues, white, pink, magenta and purple, there is a bougainvillea for everyone.

Keep reading to find out how to care for bougainvillea, and check out our list of the best bougainvillea to grow in your garden.

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Bougainvillea Complete Growing and Care Guide

What is Bougainvillea?

Bougainvillea Care Complete Growing Guide

Bougainvillea is a popular garden perennial that comes back year after year. Like all climbing perennial plants, it needs specific pruning at the right time to get the best flowering the following year.

Apart from that, these vibrant plants just need a little love and attention through summer to get the best from them. While we tend to think of bougainvillea as a vividly colorful flowering plant, the flowers are actually bracts. 

Bracts are just adapted leaves that store color compounds like carotene to entice pollinators. Bougainvillea flowers are actually tiny, quite dull, white petalled structures in the center of each bract cluster.

As we’ll discuss later on, there are plenty of ways to grow bougainvillea, but for the best results you’ll need rich but free-draining soil and a shaded spot for their roots.

Genus:

Bougainvillea

Species:

N/A

Common Names:

Bougainvillea

Location:

Indoor or outdoor

Type: 

Climbing perennial shrub

Growth:

10-90ft

Sun Requirements:

Full sun, with shaded roots

Foliage Color:

Green / Variegated

Flower Color:

Red, pink, white, purple, magenta, blue, or orange

Flowering:

Spring to summer

Fruit:

None

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Poisonous for Pets:

Non-toxic to cats and dogs

Bougainvillea’s Natural Habitat

Bougainvillea is thought to be native to Brazil, thriving in exposed positions, but has naturalized in tropical and subtropical climates all over the world.

It is also the national flower of Grenada and grows incredibly well in the wild across most of South America and the Caribbean.

Best Bougainvillea Varieties to Grow at Home

1. Bougainvillea Raspberry Ice

Bougainvillea ‘raspberry ice’ is a compact variety with gorgeous variegated foliage, topped with magenta-pink bracts and elongated white flowers in the center of each bract cluster.


They are easy to grow in most climates but should be protected from frosts.

Bougainvillea Raspberry Ice are easy to grow in most climates but should be protected from frosts

2. Bougainvillea Scarlett O’Hara

Bougainvillea Scarlett O’Hara is reliably evergreen in frost-free areas, so with a little winter mulch, you can keep a green clambering wall, covered in foliage right through winter, and get an early flush of colorful red bracts in spring.


While Scarlett O’Hara is a particularly tall cultivar, reaching 20ft after 5-6 years if well fed, it can be restricted and grows beautifully as a trailing hanging basket plant.

Bougainvillea Scarlett O’Hara is a particularly tall cultivar, reaching 20ft after 5-6 years if well fed

3. Bougainvillea Formosa

Bougainvillea Formosa is perfect for cooler climates with excellent cold resistance. While it is still not frost-hardy, it can be grown in most parts of the US in a sheltered position with full sun.


What’s really great about Formosa is the knock on effect of this cold weather resilience, which means it flowers through into late summer when most bougainvilleas have stopped producing bracts.

Bougainvillea Formosa is perfect for cooler climates with excellent cold resistance

Source: plantsmarket.in

4. Bougainvillea Afterglow

In containers, bougainvillea afterglow will reach around 8ft tall, but planted in good compost in the ground, with a slightly restricted root run, it can reach well over 30ft tall.


Afterglow has gorgeous peachy orange bracts that start as russet and eventually turn a rich rhubarb color as they fade.

Bougainvillea Afterglow has gorgeous peachy orange bracts that start as russet and eventually turn a rich rhubarb color as they fade

Source: davesgarden.com

5. Bougainvillea New River

The bright purple, pointed bracts of bougainvillea New River are simply stunning and can easily cover the side of a house after 7-8 years, though it is slightly slower growing than some cultivars.

Bougainvillea New River is slightly slower growing than some cultivars

Source: plantlifefarms.com

6. Bougainvillea Espinosa

Bougainvillea Espinosa has pale pink or purple bracts depending on the soil pH but produces a delicate pink on typical garden soil (around 5.5 pH).


The pale chalky green foliage makes it perfect for a cozy style of garden and provides a gentle backdrop, rather than the garish tones of many other cultivars.

Bougainvillea Espinosa has pale pink or purple bracts depending on the soil pH

Source: westdalenurseries.co.uk

7. Bougainvillea Tomato Red

You’ll be hard pushed to find a brighter red from a bougainvillea bract or any bract for that matter.


If you grow poinsettia for a winter display, Tomato Red is the perfect plant to follow that same bract coloring right through into spring.

Bougainvillea Tomato Red

Source: talbottnurseryandpoultry.com

8. Bougainvillea Java White

Java white has all the charm of climbing hydrangeas, with much less work. The tightly clustered white bracts form groups of flowers, which disguise their real flowers to look more like anthers.


For any formal gardens or public gardens, bougainvillea Java white would be ideal for a pergola over dining areas, or as a backdrop to events.

Bougainvillea Java White ideal for a pergola over dining areas, or as a backdrop to events

Source: westdalenurseries.co.uk

9. Bougainvillea Bridal Bouquet

Bougainvillea bridal bouquet has subtly faded bracts, which run from white at the center to pink at their tips.


If their name didn’t give it away they were bred as a long-lasting cut flower, ideal for bridal bouquets and flower arrangements, providing the ideal accompaniment to flowing or dropping blooms.

bougainvillea bridal bouquet has subtly faded bracts, which run from white at the center to pink at their tips

Source: westdalenurseries.co.uk

10. Bougainvillea Brasiliensis

Bougainvillea Brasiliensis can grow up to 30ft in the right place and is covered in bright pinkish-purple bracts.


If you want a wilder look to your garden, the long stems grow vigorously after flowering each year, so are perfect for sheltering wildlife.


The other benefit of the long stems is that they are quick growing, and easy to train, but do need pruning more regularly than other cultivars.

Bougainvillea Brasiliensis are quick growing, and easy to train, but do need pruning more regularly than other cultivars

11. Bougainvillea Coconut Ice

Coconut ice is a slow-growing bougainvillea, which will reach an ultimate height of around 10ft so is ideal for indoor growers, or growers in cooler climates that need to grow bougainvillea in containers to bring them indoors for winter.


Once established, it can be cut back by 1/3 every year after flowering to bush it out for next year.

Bougainvillea Coconut Ice is a slow-growing bougainvillea

Source: gabbarfarms.com

12. Bougainvillea Pink Pixie

Pink Pixie’s magenta flowers are a boatful addition to this dwarf cultivar, which only reaches 8-10ft and can support itself without trellis or wires.


For smaller gardeners, or for gardeners who want bougainvillea in shrub form, then Pink Pixie is perfect.

Bougainvillea Pink Pixie

13. Bougainvillea Picta Aurea

If you’re drawn to unusual plants, then bougainvillea Picta Aurea is the choice for you.


Its creamy white leaves are tipped with pink or purple flowers (depending on growing conditions) and add a delicate spray of pale foliage to any garden.

Bougainvillea Picta Aurea add a delicate spray of pale foliage to any garden

Source: royalplants.lk

14. Bougainvillea Golden Glow

Russets and oranges are hard to find in perennial plants without compromising on deep golden yellows, so I’m a big fan of bougainvillea Golden glow, which adds warmth when grown over a patio trellis or veranda.


There are many other plants that can draw the sun and hold its rays in quite the same way.

Bougainvillea Golden Glow adds warmth when grown over a patio trellis or veranda

Source: gardencentermarketing.com

15. Bougainvillea Miami Pink

The crisp white bougainvillea flowers pop against the harsh pink bracts of bougainvillea Miami Pink.


If you want to show the botanical traits of bougainvillea to their max, try growing Miami Pink to show off to your garden-savvy friends.

Bougainvillea Miami Pink

Best Bougainvillea Varieties to Grow at Home

1. Bougainvillea Raspberry Ice

Bougainvillea Raspberry Ice are easy to grow in most climates but should be protected from frosts

Bougainvillea ‘raspberry ice’ is a compact variety with gorgeous variegated foliage, topped with magenta-pink bracts and elongated white flowers in the center of each bract cluster. They are easy to grow in most climates but should be protected from frosts.

2. Bougainvillea Scarlett O’Hara

Bougainvillea Scarlett O’Hara is a particularly tall cultivar, reaching 20ft after 5-6 years if well fed

Bougainvillea Scarlett O’Hara is reliably evergreen in frost-free areas, so with a little winter mulch, you can keep a green clambering wall, covered in foliage right through winter, and get an early flush of colorful red bracts in spring.

While Scarlett O’Hara is a particularly tall cultivar, reaching 20ft after 5-6 years if well fed, it can be restricted and grows beautifully as a trailing hanging basket plant.

3. Bougainvillea Formosa

Bougainvillea Formosa is perfect for cooler climates with excellent cold resistance

Source: plantsmarket.in

Bougainvillea Formosa is perfect for cooler climates with excellent cold resistance. While it is still not frost-hardy, it can be grown in most parts of the US in a sheltered position with full sun.

What’s really great about Formosa is the knock on effect of this cold weather resilience, which means it flowers through into late summer when most bougainvilleas have stopped producing bracts.

4. Bougainvillea Afterglow

Bougainvillea Afterglow has gorgeous peachy orange bracts that start as russet and eventually turn a rich rhubarb color as they fade

Source: davesgarden.com

In containers, bougainvillea afterglow will reach around 8ft tall, but planted in good compost in the ground, with a slightly restricted root run, it can reach well over 30ft tall.

Afterglow has gorgeous peachy orange bracts that start as russet and eventually turn a rich rhubarb color as they fade.

5. Bougainvillea New River

Bougainvillea New River is slightly slower growing than some cultivars

Source: plantlifefarms.com

The bright purple, pointed bracts of bougainvillea New River are simply stunning and can easily cover the side of a house after 7-8 years, though it is slightly slower growing than some cultivars.

6. Bougainvillea Espinosa

Bougainvillea Espinosa has pale pink or purple bracts depending on the soil pH

Source: westdalenurseries.co.uk

Bougainvillea Espinosa has pale pink or purple bracts depending on the soil pH but produces a delicate pink on typical garden soil (around 5.5 pH).

The pale chalky green foliage makes it perfect for a cozy style of garden and provides a gentle backdrop, rather than the garish tones of many other cultivars.

7. Bougainvillea Tomato Red

Bougainvillea Tomato Red

Source: talbottnurseryandpoultry.com

You’ll be hard pushed to find a brighter red from a bougainvillea bract or any bract for that matter. If you grow poinsettia for a winter display, Tomato Red is the perfect plant to follow that same bract coloring right through into spring.

8. Bougainvillea Java White

Bougainvillea Java White ideal for a pergola over dining areas, or as a backdrop to events

Source: westdalenurseries.co.uk

Java white has all the charm of climbing hydrangeas, with much less work. The tightly clustered white bracts form groups of flowers, which disguise their real flowers to look more like anthers.

For any formal gardens or public gardens, bougainvillea Java white would be ideal for a pergola over dining areas, or as a backdrop to events.

9. Bougainvillea Bridal Bouquet

bougainvillea bridal bouquet has subtly faded bracts, which run from white at the center to pink at their tips

Source: westdalenurseries.co.uk

Bougainvillea bridal bouquet has subtly faded bracts, which run from white at the center to pink at their tips. If their name didn’t give it away they were bred as a long-lasting cut flower, ideal for bridal bouquets and flower arrangements, providing the ideal accompaniment to flowing or dropping blooms.

10. Bougainvillea Brasiliensis

Bougainvillea Brasiliensis are quick growing, and easy to train, but do need pruning more regularly than other cultivars

Bougainvillea Brasiliensis can grow up to 30ft in the right place and is covered in bright pinkish-purple bracts. If you want a wilder look to your garden, the long stems grow vigorously after flowering each year, so are perfect for sheltering wildlife.

The other benefit of the long stems is that they are quick growing, and easy to train, but do need pruning more regularly than other cultivars.

11. Bougainvillea Coconut Ice

Bougainvillea Coconut Ice is a slow-growing bougainvillea

Source: gabbarfarms.com

Coconut ice is a slow-growing bougainvillea, which will reach an ultimate height of around 10ft so is ideal for indoor growers, or growers in cooler climates that need to grow bougainvillea in containers to bring them indoors for winter.

Once established, it can be cut back by 1/3 every year after flowering to bush it out for next year.

12. Bougainvillea Pink Pixie

Bougainvillea Pink Pixie

Pink Pixie’s magenta flowers are a boatful addition to this dwarf cultivar, which only reaches 8-10ft and can support itself without trellis or wires. For smaller gardeners, or for gardeners who want bougainvillea in shrub form, then Pink Pixie is perfect.

13. Bougainvillea Picta Aurea

Bougainvillea Picta Aurea add a delicate spray of pale foliage to any garden

Source: royalplants.lk

If you’re drawn to unusual plants, then bougainvillea Picta Aurea is the choice for you. Its creamy white leaves are tipped with pink or purple flowers (depending on growing conditions) and add a delicate spray of pale foliage to any garden.

14. Bougainvillea Golden Glow

Bougainvillea Golden Glow adds warmth when grown over a patio trellis or veranda

Source: gardencentermarketing.com

Russets and oranges are hard to find in perennial plants without compromising on deep golden yellows, so I’m a big fan of bougainvillea Golden glow, which adds warmth when grown over a patio trellis or veranda.

There are many other plants that can draw the sun and hold its rays in quite the same way.

15. Bougainvillea Miami Pink

Bougainvillea Miami Pink

The crisp white bougainvillea flowers pop against the harsh pink bracts of bougainvillea Miami Pink. If you want to show the botanical traits of bougainvillea to their max, try growing Miami Pink to show off to your garden-savvy friends.

How to Grow Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea grows best outdoors when it is given space to climb, often reaching well over 20ft up pergolas and walls. But, you can grow bougainvillea equally well indoors with a little bit of care and attention.

Below, we’ll look at how to plant and support bougainvillea in any conditions.

How to Grow Bougainvillea

Growing Bougainvillea Outdoors

Bougainvillea are tough plants and can cope reasonably well with competition from annuals planted at their base, but they should be spaced well apart from other perennials, and given plenty of space for their roots to run.

Dig a hole twice the size of their root ball, and gently tease the roots away from the soil before planting. Add compost to the planting hole and gently firm in with your heel. Water them in really well, completely soaking the planting hole once it’s filled in. 

This should encourage roots to run down and out immediately after planting, rather than spiraling round in their previous shape.

Soil & Drainage

The ideal soil for bougainvillea is a loamy mix of loose garden soil, rich in nutrients and just slightly acidic. Bougainvillea needs really good drainage as its roots are incredibly susceptible to root rot, but they also need plenty of water.

Finding the balance can be tough, but if you get to know your garden you should be able to find a good spot. Try to find somewhere where the roots will be in shade, but the top growth is in full sun (or plant ground cover like Vinca or nasturtiums which will shade the roots in summer). 

Then, check the soil for drainage. If it’s clayish, you’ll need to mix in at least 30% grit, and another 30% compost to get the balance right. If it’s sandy, add loads of manure or compost to improve the nutrition.

Click here to learn more about worm composting and how to make your own worm farm

Light Preference

Bougainvillea needs full sun. They are tropical and subtropical plants that do best when their foliage receives 8 or more hours of direct light per day, but they can cope with 6 hours provided they are also protected from wind, rain, and hail.

Temperature

Bougainvillea are not hardy plants. They are tender perennials, so if your area freezes for more than a couple of days, or the temperature drops below 10F they won’t make it through winter.

Try to keep them at 70F or more where possible. In colder regions, they can often be kept happy through winter by training up the side of houses, where leaking heat helps to thaw them and protect them from heavy frosts.

Watering Needs

Water bougainvillea at least once a week with a full watering can, or around 10L of water. Aim the water at their roots to avoid wetting their foliage.

While they do like to be dry at their roots, they are fast growers, so need plenty of moisture to support fresh new foliage and bright new bracts right through summer.

How to Grow Bougainvillea in Containers

How to Grow Bougainvillea in Containers

Bougainvillea are generally happiest in the ground, but for us gardeners in the North, it can be challenging to protect them from frost. Thankfully, they recover well in spring, so if you plant them in a large terracotta pot you can cut them back to a manageable size in late fall and winterize them indoors, or in a greenhouse.

Then simply take them back into the garden when any risk of frost has passed in late spring, and begin watering them again.

The best pots for bougainvillea are terracotta as they help to prevent root rot by allowing water to soak through their walls as well as drainage holes at the base, giving you an easier job when watering.

Growing Bougainvillea Indoors

Bougainvillea are big plants, but they can be trained and pruned to limit their size without affecting their health. This makes them excellent houseplants, which help to oxygenate our homes and add a touch of brightness for even longer through the year.

Bougainvillea grown indoors tend to flower for up to four weeks extra thanks to better-regulated temperatures, but if you can, you should aim to humidify the room slightly, either with a humidifier or with humidifying plants like aloes or peace lilies.

For a reliable humidifier, check out our complete buying guide here


Propagating Bougainvillea

Propagating Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea Propagation from Seed

In mid-late fall, bougainvillea produces tiny brown seed pods in the place of the small white flowers within each bract. These seeds can be harvested when the pods are dry and propagated at any time of year.

The best time of year to propagate bougainvillea from seed in early spring, indoors, to give them the best chance of germination, but if you can provide them with warm temperatures and even moisture they can be sprouted in fall or winter indoors, and grown on for healthy young plants, ready for spring planting.

Just fill individual pots with loose compost, mixed with perlite. Sow bougainvillea seeds on the surface and cover lightly with compost. Place them somewhere warm, with a clear plastic cover to keep humidity in (Perspex or plastic wrap work equally well).

Water if the soil looks dry by placing the pots in a bowl of water until it has soaked up to the surface. Germination can take up to 12 weeks, so be patient.

How to Propagate Bougainvillea from Cuttings

Like many tropical plants, propagating from cuttings goes against a few of our basic instincts. Rather than leaving cuttings somewhere bright and warm, they actually prefer to develop their young roots in a shady, humid corner, which helps to protect the struggling foliage while roots develop.

Take bougainvillea cuttings in late spring or early summer, when new shoots grow strongly, but before bracts and flowers start to form. Choose a non-flowering stem, and cut just above a leaf node, 4-5 leaves from the tip. 

Strip all leaves apart from the young leaves at the tip, and then trim the base with clean scissors just under the lowest node (where leaves once emerged). Dip the cut end in rooting hormone and place in it potting compost.

Soak the compost, and cover it with a plastic bag to keep humidity in, then store it somewhere shaded and cool. Cuttings should root in around 8 weeks, and be ready to plant out the following spring.


Bougainvillea Care Tips

Bougainvillea Care Tips

Mulching

Bougainvillea benefits immensely from a winter mulch. In late fall or early winter, before the temperatures drop, cover the base of the plant with 2-3” of leaf litter, bark chippings, or compost (any organic mulch will do). 

As well as protecting the plant from frost, the mulch will slowly rot down through the following spring and summer to provide nutrients and help retain moisture.

Check out our review of the best wood chippers, mulchers, and garden shredders here

Fertilizering Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea doesn’t need much in the way of fertilizer, but if they are growing weakly add a mulch of manure or compost, or sprinkle a granular feed around the base of the plant in late spring when new growth begins.

Liquid feeds can promote foliage, but limit the coloring of bracts, so should be avoided on bougainvillea if you have access to dry fertilizers.

Training Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea grows best on pergolas, which mimics their natural habit of climbing up trees for sunlight. However, in cooler climates, pergolas and trellis can be too exposed to wind and rain, so many opt to train bougainvillea up the side of their homes.

Try fixing wire supports to your brickwork for solid support that can be easily adjusted. This gives bougainvillea enough to naturally cling to but is also easy to tie on with twine for added support when needed.

Pruning Bougainvillea

When you first plant a young bougainvillea plant, pruning is simple; just take a clean pair of secateurs (see our review of top rated secateurs here) and snip them out 4-5 nodes below their growing tips. Cut just above a set of leaves. This promotes more shoots and more flowers.

Once a bougainvillea has become fully established it can stop flowering near the base, so it’s a good idea to prune back on full stem right to the ground in late spring. This encourages new growth next spring, which will produce colorful bracts near the ground as well as at the top.

The best time to give bougainvillea a general prune is just after flowering finishes in late spring. Cut back 6-7 nodes from the tip to encourage more shoots through summer, which will flower the following year.


Common Bougainvillea Pests and Diseases

Bougainvillea in a fence

Bougainvillea are resilient plants but thanks to their low fragrance, and minimal essential oil production they do suffer from many, many, pests.

Thankfully, their disease tolerance is high, so the pests usually cause aesthetic damage rather than problems that significantly affect your plants.

Below, we’ll look at how to control and prevent common pests and diseases with proper bougainvillea care

Aphids

Are a common problem in most gardens, and virtually impossible to eradicate, but there are some natural controls you can take to reduce the populations of these tiny white flies.

Introducing or encouraging wasps and ladybugs in your garden will dramatically reduce aphids. To encourage wasps, make sure you have water in the garden.

Wasps rehydrate more than they eat, so ponds, fountains, or bird baths are a great way to encourage these useful predators. Ladybirds are attracted to scented flowering plants, so marigolds, daisies, and nasturtiums help to attract them into the garden.

For more on dealing with aphids, refer to our guide on here

Spider mites

These tiny red arachnids are technically spiders, but they behave very differently. They feed on the chlorophyll from the underside of leaves, leaving tiny holes where fungal infections can take hold, and spin webs to protect their young which increases humidity.

Spider mites thrive in dry conditions, so the free draining soil at the base of bougainvillea is a common cause of spider mites. Watering more regularly can help, allowing wasps into the garden can reduce the problem.

Slugs and snails

Slugs and snails can climb to surprising heights, so even the tallest bougainvillea isn’t out of harm’s way. Lay roughly crushed egg shells around the base of your plants to discourage them, or rub Vaseline over the lower stems.

Vaseline doesn’t damage the plant, but stops slugs and snails from being able to climb easily.

Looper caterpillars/moths

Any papery-leaved plant will suffer from caterpillars, but if you feed birds in the garden you are much less likely to suffer from a serious infestation.

Either pick caterpillars off and feed them to wild birds or encourage birds in by hanging feeders near bougainvillea. They will quickly find the caterpillars as well as the seed. 

Our review of the best oriole feeders should invite your birds in your garden

Leafcutter bees

Leafcutter bees cause a lot of damage to ornamental plants, but I would strongly discourage anyone from stopping it. Bees of all types are struggling to survive in a world of monoculture farming, and pesticide-heavy gardening. 

When bees eat away at leaves, you will see them carrying small discs of those leaves away. They use them to create tunnels to insulate their larvae in wall cavities and hollow plant stems. Other than imperfect foliage, this causes no harm to bougainvillea. 

Fungal and bacterial leaf spot

Fungal and bacterial leaf spots are usually spread by insects climbing across damaged foliage. Fungal problems are particularly exacerbated by dense foliage which holds moisture and encourages higher humidity.

To reduce the risk of fungal spots on foliage, try to keep a well-ventilated structure, removing any dead growth and allowing air to flow through the center of the plant.

Bacterial leaf spot is harder to control but looks similar to fungal leaf spot; small reddish-brown spots, rimmed in yellow, which expand and eventually connect into irregularly shaped lesions.

As the lesions develop leaves and bracts can deform, giving a crispy, curled appearance to foliage. Remove any affected materials, and reduce watering for a couple of weeks.

If the problem persists, treat the plant with an organic fungicide (neem oil is generally safe, but should be used in the evening to limit damage to beneficial wildlife).

Root rot

Poorly drained soil is a habitat to fungi such as Rhizoctonia, Phytophthora, and Pythium that attack the bougainvillea. The leaves will become yellow and the growth of parts or the whole plant will suffer.

Acute cases will cause the bougainvillea to wilt or die. You can stop root rot by applying copper ammonium before planting. Prepare two tablespoons and mix with one gallon of water and drizzle the soil entirely. 

Apply every seven to fourteen days as needed. Avoid planting your bougainvillea on water pools and over-watering.


Bougainvillea Frequently Asked Questions

Bougainvillea thriving in sunny weather

Does bougainvillea grow best in pots of the ground?

Bougainvillea grows best in free draining but rich compost in the ground, where it benefits from good drainage, but is less likely to completely dry out in mid-summer.

Is bougainvillea fast-growing?

Bougainvillea can reach an ultimate height of well over 60ft if left to grow up trees or the sides of buildings, and in perfect conditions will reach that high in under 10 years. In our books that makes them pretty fast growing!

How many times does bougainvillea bloom?

Bougainvillea blooms 2-3 times per year in nature, but in cooler climates will bloom just once in late spring or early summer. Deadheading does not encourage more bracts, so find the brightest spot possible to encourage bougainvillea to flower again in late summer.

How do you train bougainvillea?

Bougainvillea will scramble through fences, pergolas, and up wires and requires no active training or tying in to encourage it to grow vertically.

However, if your bougainvillea is growing in the wrong direction, cut back the misplaced branches to a leaf, shoot, or node that is pointed in the direction you want it to take.


Bring More Bright Colors to Your Backyard by Growing Bougainvillea 

If you’re starting a new project or trying to brighten up a sunny patio, bougainvillea is one of the best plants you can add to your garden for reliable color.

If you’re a seasoned gardener, then bougainvillea is one of the most intriguing climbing plants for your growing collection. Its unusual bracts replace flowers, helping it to attract pollinators to small, discreet flowers.

Like most plants we write about here, bougainvillea has some truly inspiring botanical traits and is well worth growing to see them in action.

About the Author Mabel Vasquez

Mabel has enjoyed a long career as a horticulturist, working in nurseries and greenhouses for many years. Although she loves all plants, Mabel has developed a particular passion over the years for herb gardens and indoor plants. Mabel has since retired from her horticulture career and loves sharing her many years of experience with our audience here at Sumo Gardener.

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