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Bougainvillea flowering plant

Last Updated on January 12, 2020 by Paul Guzman

Bougainvillea flowering plant

The Bougainvillea for outdoor decor

Bougainvillea flowering plant is a great 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 house of the typical mediterranean garden

Bougainvilleas 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 indoors.  Make sure it’s placed in an area with lots of sun shining through the windows.  Once the winter season is over take it back outside in 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 8 if you follow 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 all they down to about root level cover 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 Bougainvilleas

You will get blooms 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 3-4 times during the growing season.  A good 20-20-20 fertilizer will work well with this plant.

Insects and Disease Problems

The number problem with Bougainvilleas is Leaf Cutter Bees.  They will cut a perfect half-moon type half-circle into Bougainvilleas blooms.  They do not eat the flower they simply cut it out and use for a nest.

Bougainvillea flowering plant

Leaf-spot 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 problem 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 great effect.  Don’t forget to trim after stems and flowers start to fade.

Bougainvillea flowering plant

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 Boungainvilleas

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



Purple Bougainvillea

The most common is the Purple Bougainvillea.  Will grow about 15 ft. wide and tall.  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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