Bougainvillea Plant – Versatile Outdoor Color

The Bougainvillea plant is known for its colorful flower bracts and quick growth rate.

These evergreen climbers can be grown in containers, hanging baskets, or above-ground planters.

Bougainvilleas can be trained as a shrub, or strategically planted to decorate a fence, pergola, or arbor. Smaller species can be used as ground cover.

The colorful flower bracts bloom in various shades of purple, red, white, pink, yellow, and orange. The variegated leaves are two to four inches in length.

The height will depend on the species and the supporting structure. If left to grow, spread can reach up to forty feet. Bougainvillea grow year round in USDA hardiness zones 9B-11.

Bougainvillea Care - Indoors

If you live in a cold climate, you can grow Bougainvillea in containers. Containers can be sunk in the ground or stay above ground.

They are portable, and can be easily moved indoors during the cold months for over wintering.

Tips for Overwintering Bougainvillea

Location – Store this climber in a cool location where it gets ample sunlight (near a window in a garage or basement).

Watering – Water sparingly; keep soil slightly damp to keep roots from drying out.

Temperature – Should not be below freezing.

Removing From Storage – When temperatures warm up in the spring, it’s time to bring your Bougainvillea out of winter storage. After a few weeks of watering and fertilizing, new growth should start to appear.

Outdoor Bougainvillea Plant Care

Bougainvillea vines grow in warm, tropical climates, and add vibrant beauty to outdoor landscapes and gardens.

These climbers are a versatile tropical plant.

They can be used displayed in a hanging basket, planted in containers (making the easy to move indoors for overwintering), or planted to climb fences, arbors, and pergolas.

How to Grow Bougainvillea Flowers

Bougainvilleas can be planted year round in hardiness zones 9B-11. They thrive when planted in rich, organic soil with good drainage. Be sure you choose a location that receives full sun to light shade. Note: Be aware that this is a thorny plant.

Steps for Planting:

  1. Dig a hole 2-3 times the diameter of the root ball. Note: The hole should be as deep as the root ball is tall.
  2. Carefully remove the root ball from the container. If the plant is root-bound, you can cut the plastic container for easy removal.
  3. Place the root ball in the hole – the base of the plant should be level with the soil surrounding the hole.
  4. Fill in the hole with soil. Note: Water the plant during the planting process to prevent air pockets.
  5. Form a basin around the plant to hold water until it drains down to the roots of the plant.

Care and Maintenance:

  • Prune bougainvillea plants regularly to control growth and encourage flower bract production.
  • Place a 3-4 inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant to conserve moisture and prevent weed infestation.
  • Apply fertilizer once a month during growing season.
  • Water frequently during warmer temperatures. During colder months, water when the soil is dry.