Flowering Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea flowering plant

Last Updated on January 5, 2023 by Paul Guzman


The Bougainvillea for outdoor decor

The Bougainvillea flowering plant is a spectacular summer flowering plant.  It thrives in hot climates; this makes it perfect for the southwest regions of the U.S. What it doesn’t like is freezing temperatures.  If you live in areas that get below 32° Fahrenheit, you can still use the Bougainvillea.

Bougainvillea flowering plant
Plant with purple flowers climbing on a white-painted house of the typical Mediterranean garden

Bougainvillea Do well in Large Containers

Plant it in a large pot with a well-drained potting mix.  Before you get those freezing temperatures trim the plant back and store it indoors.  Make sure it’s situated in an area with lots of sun shining through the windows.  Once the winter season has passed, take it back outside in the full sun. Water and fertilize for some great spring color.

Is it a vine or a shrub?  It is both and they will reach out and spread 20 ft. wide and tall.   You can make it grow on a trellis or a fence but will need help with support.

USDA zone is 9 – 11 but will do well in zone eight if you follow the instructions below.

What about planting outdoors where it freezes?

Yes, you can make them over-winter outdoors.  You could try planting them outdoors where it will get full sun all winter long. Prune the plant down to about root level and cover it with burlap or mulch.  Make sure to water at least 2-4 times per month during the winter season. Remove burlap or mulch after the last frost in your area.

Prune Fertilize and Water Bougainvillea

It will bloom all spring, summer, and fall months if you prune when stems get long and the blooms start to fade away. Do not be afraid to trim way back…water then fertilize.  You will be rewarded with new stems and blooms.  I’ve done this 3-to four times during the growing season.  A good 20-20-20 fertilizer will work well with this plant.

Insects and Disease Problems

Even though it is a disease and insect-resistant plant it will develop some problems.  Most are aphid insects.  They will usually suck on the stems and foliage.

Spraying with a good insecticide will kill them quickly.  You can also go organic and use insecticidal soaps or Neem oil but these products take several applications before they start to work well

Another problem with bougainvillea is Leaf Cutter Bees.  They will cut a perfect half-moon-type half-circle into Bougainvillea’s blooms.  They do not eat the flower, they simply cut it out and use it for a nest.

Bougainvillea flowering plant

Leafspot and Phytophthora are diseases that attack these plants.  It is prevalent where there is lots of moisture and rain.  In and around the Southwest this is typically not a problem.  However, if you do run into this, it is best to apply a good fungicide at the first signs. Red-green spots on the outer edges of the foliage are the first signs of fungus or Phytophthora.

Avoid planting them in water-logged areas.  Make sure they have plenty of sunshine and thin out 2-3 times per season.

Use the Bougainvillea in and around Arbors and trellis for a pronounced effect.  Don’t forget to trim after stems and flowers start to fade.

Bougainvillea flowering plant
Paul Guzman holding two hanging Bougainvillea

You can also use them as hanging baskets.  If using them on a wall they will need support so that the stems will cling to trellis, wire, or metal fencing.  They are fast growers and come in numerous colors.

Types of Bougainvillea

There is the Purple Queen, Scarlett O’Hara, The Gold Rush, and Barbara Karst Bougainvillea shown above.  All these are made by Monrovia.com

Purple Bougainvillea

The most common is the Purple Bougainvillea.  Will grow about 15 ft. wide and tall.  It will bloom from late spring until late fall.

Purple Bougainvillea
A nice-looking purple Bougainvillea at Guzman’s Greenhouse


Bougainvillea flowering plant



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    • Irene
    • June 4, 2023

    Great advice for all plants! Thx!!

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