Transform Your Garden with These Bougainvillea Growing Tips

Team McFly Mar 21, 2023
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Bougainvillea Plants

How to Grow Bougainvillea Plants

Bougainvillea is an exotic vine that boasts stunning blooms. It is an excellent choice for patio containers, hanging baskets, and trellises.

These delicate paper-like structures resembling flowers are modified leaves called bracts, which conceal the bloom underneath. They come in various colors: red, purple, mauve, pink, apricot, and white.


Bougainvillea plants are hardy, salt-tolerant, and drought-resistant - making them popular landscaping choices in warm climates. Plus, these flowers require little care to grow, so they'll add vibrant color and interest to any garden space.

The initial step in planting a bougainvillea is to select an area with adequate sun. Ideally, it should receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Dig a hole slightly larger than the plant's root ball and fill it with several handfuls of soil. Loosen the soil gently and water thoroughly so that roots have enough room to take hold.

Once the soil has settled, insert your bougainvillea plant's root ball into a hole. Ensure the hole is filled to about two centimeters below the pot's rim but don't overfill or press too hard; remember, your root system must adjust to its new environment, so be patient and wait until it becomes established.

Before planting your Bougainvillea, adding Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertilizer is wise. This fertilizer helps the plant absorb essential nutrients, remain healthy, and promote blooming.

Make your Bougainvillea plant even more eye-catching by growing it up a trellis or other support structure. These can easily be installed in your backyard or purchased from a garden center. Be warned though - vines grow quickly and may cover an arbor or fence before you know it!

Can be grown as a bush, though their stems tend to be stiff and covered in thorns. Depending on the variety, these shrubs can grow up to 40 feet high with support.

Bougainvilleas produce vibrantly colored bracts that resemble modified leaves during their growing season. These flowers, also called paper flowers, make for a stunning addition to any garden. Choose from various colors, such as pink, white, red, and purple.

watering plants


Bougainvillea is a tropical plant that thrives in warm, dry climates. If you're growing this flowering vine indoors, ensure it gets plenty of sunshine and water regularly.

Bougainvillea plants require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily in order to grow and bloom optimally. They are incredibly versatile plants, capable of creating stunning gardens or hedges along boundary walls. Bougainvillea blooms in springtime and continues to bloom through summer, making it a wonderful addition to your landscape.

These beautiful blooms come in various shades, including pink, magenta, red, white, and yellow. They make stunning additions to gardens, hanging baskets, and pergolas or fences.

When growing bougainvillea in a pot, ensure the soil is well-drained and drainage holes are at the bottom. Doing this will help avoid root rot.

When planting bougainvillea in the ground, the soil must have a pH level of 6.5 or higher. You can add some shredded pine bark to the mix at planting time.

You can improve the acidity of your soil by adding compost tea concentrate or liquid fish emulsion to each watering can you use for Bougainvillea watering. Furthermore, feeding them a flowering fertilizer monthly during the bloom season will help boost their production.

In winter, your Bougainvillea should only be watered if its soil is dry or you use an air-drying method to water. Doing this gives the roots time to absorb more oxygen and nutrients before exposure to hot, humid climates in the springtime.

Bougainvillea Plants

Bougainvillea Plant leaves can turn green, pale, or brown when deficient in essential nutrients. This could be due to several reasons like low soil ph or too much nitrogen in the environment. When phosphorous levels are low, leaves may turn purple or red instead.

Bougainvillea is an avid feeder, so providing it with consistent and high-quality plant food is essential. Water-soluble plant food mixed at half strength works best. Additionally, adding Epsom salts to your watering can help the plants absorb more nutrients.


Bougainvilleas are heavy feeders requiring fertilizer, especially during their blooming season. Fertilize your vines once in early spring before they begin their growth spurt and again during mid-summer when they are at their peak blooming stage.

Fertilizers come in both liquid (fast-release) and granular forms. If you have one, liquid fertilizers are convenient to apply and can be diluted to half-strength for monthly feedings on potted plants.

Organic fertilizer can help plants grow and flourish, providing them with essential nutrients for healthy development. These essentials include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Nitrogen is an essential nutrient, as it allows plants to absorb sunlight and convert it into usable energy. Phosphorus also plays an integral role in photosynthesis, helping the plant make sugars and starches from sunlight energy.

Finally, potassium is an essential plant nutrient as it aids in transporting essential nutrients and maintaining plant structure and function. That's why using premium-quality phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium fertilizer that balances these three elements is so important.

For optimal results, use a phosphate-based fertilizer that releases slowly and regulates nitrogen release. This will also help protect against root burn.

Once you've selected your type of fertilizer, mix the appropriate amount with water to form a solution and spray or soak the plant's soil. Quick-release formulas like 10-10-10 or 5-5-5 can be used, but dilute them at half strength for monthly feedings.

Bougainvilleas thrive in slightly acidic soil with a pH level of 5.5 to 6.0. However, you may need to amend the soil with compost if necessary to reduce this level.

If you don't have time to create your compost, consider purchasing a ready-made soil mixture or potting soil. Additionally, adding some mulch can improve moisture levels in the soil and help it retain nutrients.

You can also use a liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength or water-soluble fertilizers for container plantings. These are easier to apply and ideal for plants without access to natural soil nutrients.

Bougainvillea Plant


Pruning Your Bougainvillea Plant Is Essential Pruning your Bougainvillea Plant is necessary to maintain its shape and size. Pruning helps keep the plant under control and stimulates new growth and flowers.

When pruning bougainvilleas, the ideal time is after flowering - usually during autumn or early spring, depending on the cultivar. However, you can do it any time during the growing season if it's done safely and correctly.

When pruning bougainvilleas, use a pair of sterile shears and wear heavy gloves to avoid pricked fingers. Because these plants contain thorns, protecting yourself with these tools is best.

To prune a bougainvillea, trim away any dead or dying branches. Doing this will encourage the remaining stem to grow stronger and taller.

Next, trim any lanky shoots that have grown too far from the main stem. Doing this regularly will give your bougainvillea a much healthier and more appealing appearance.

Train a bougainvillea onto a fence or trellis, preventing its vines from twisting and creating an unmanageable mess. Training the vines also results in fuller, more attractive branches that are easier to manage.

If your bougainvillea vine has grown too large for comfort, hard pruning can help reduce it by half. This will make managing the vine's shape easier and encourage more flowers.

One year after a hard pruning, you should see new growth. This will likely be softwood that takes some time to harden off.

Once the new growth has had time to harden off, you should begin seeing your bougainvillea producing more flowers. This will tell you whether or not pruning was successful.

Finally, depending on the cultivar, pruning your bougainvillea is recommended once every two years or yearly. Doing this will allow you to maintain its proper height and shape.

When pruning bougainvillea, the exact procedure depends on your cultivar. Generally, you should remove dead or dying wood and twigs crossing and rubbing together. Additionally, cut away any lanky shoots growing too close to the base of the stem for aesthetic reasons.

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