How to plant a bougainvillea tree

How to Plant Bougainvillea to Grow Successfully

A little hummer enjoying my “Rainbow Gold”. This is 1 of the reasons you want to successfully plant your bougainvillea – hummingbirds & butterflies love them!

I’ve maintained many bougainvilleas, and I’ve planted many of them. Planting a bougainvillea isn’t too much different than planting any other shrub or vine except for 1 key factor. If you don’t do this 1 thing, it’s a crapshoot as to whether your bougainvillea will do well or even survive. This is all about how to plant bougainvillea to grow successfully.

When I moved to California from New England back in the early 80’s, it opened up a whole new world to me in so many ways. I went to work 2 days a week at a highly esteemed nursery in Berkeley to learn about plants and gardening practices in that part of the world. And boy did I learn a lot!

This is where I first discovered bougainvillea and found out about this 1 important thing to know which came directly from the grower.

I have 4 bougainvilleas, which is plenty for me, and don’t actually plant one in either this post or video. You’ll get the most important points and can refer to how to plant a shrub successfully to actually see the steps to take. Of course prep is very important and that you’ll see in the shrub video.

Another reason to plant your bougainvillea properly – the massive show of color you’ll get.

How to plant bougainvillea to grow successfully:

First of all, make sure you’re planting it in a sunny, warm location. Bougainvillea needs sun & heat to thrive & be a blooming machine.

Just like planting a shrub, dig the hole at least 2 times as wide as the rootball. Loosen the soil on the bottom of the hole to make sure the water will drain out. Bougainvillea doesn’t like to be kept sopping wet & is subject to rot.

So, the soil needs to be well drained. A rich, loamy soil is ideal. You can amend as you need to in your area. I always amend in the ratio of 1/3 local organic compost to 2/3 native soil when planting bougainvillea. I always keep a 2-3″ layer of compost on top for good measure.

When planting in containers, use a good organic potting soil.  Mix in compost at a ratio of 1/4 as the potting soil should already have compost in it. I always top my container planting with a 1-2″ layer of the compost, again for extra good measure.

Just know that you’ll probably have to water your bougainvilleas in containers more than you would if they’re in the ground. Also, the shorter growing varieties are much better suited to growing in containers.

Speaking of watering, bougainvillea prefers infrequent, deep waterings rather than frequent shallow waterings. Too much water = too much green growth & eventually rot. When your bougainvillea is establishing, you’ll have to water it more frequently. How often depends on the size of the plant, the soil its in &  your climate zone.

Spring or summer is a great time to plant your bougainvillea because that gives it plenty of time to settle in before winter comes. If you have an unusual cold snap, a newly planted bougainvillea (say in late fall) is much more likely to get hit &/or not recover.

Choose the location carefully because bougainvillea doesn’t like to be transplanted. That’s a crap shoot also. You’ll see why after below.

I used a sharp florist knife to demo the slitting of the grow pot. You can also use your pruners or saw. Either way, just be very careful not to cut too deeply into the root ball.

The most important thing to know:

Bougainvillea can take full sun & heat without skipping a beat. However, it’s a big baby when it comes to the roots & doesn’t like to have them disturbed. For best planting results, be sure to leave your bougainvillea in the grow pot when planting it.

Put a few slits in the side & bottom of the pot, being careful not to slash too deeply into the rootball. You’ll see me illustrating this in the video.

This method allows the roots to grow out of the pot but also protects the rootball. You want the level of the soil of the rootball to be even with the level of the soil you’re planting it into.

This means the rim of the grow pot might stick up a bit.  I always cut it off as needed because I look the look much better. Whether you cut that off or not is up to you. It won’t hurt the plant at all but I never wanted to see a rim of plastic in the garden.

Maybe you’ve planted one, taken it out of the pot, and it’s done just fine. As I said, it’s a crap shoot and one I’m not willing to take. I just wanted to share with you this 1 important thing to know when planting bougainvillea. After all, I want your bougainvillea to grow, thrive and flower like crazy!

Happy gardening & thanks for stopping by,


  • Things You Need To Know About Bougainvillea Plant Care 
  • Bougainvillea Pruning Tips: Everything You Need To Know
  • Bougainvillea Winter Care Tips
  • Answering Your Questions About Bougainvillea 

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Garden Guides | How to Make a Bougainvillea Standard or Tree

Woody perennial plants such as bougainvillea can be trained as standards which are a tree like form. Because of the bougainvillea rapid growth rate, they can be made into a 3- or 4-foot "tree" in as little as three years, depending on the length of the growing season and the vigor of the plant.


Buy a variety of bougainvillea that will do well in your climate and that will grow to the size wanted. Some varieties known for their use as standards include: Barbara Karst, San Diego, Superstition Gold, Torch Glow, Jamaica Red, Bagen Beauty, Violet, and Double Orange Pink, and there are many more. Don't try to use one of the miniature or dwarf varieties known for their compact growth habits.

Start with a small 6- to 8-inch plant for potting or transplanting into the yard. In USDA climate zones 9 or higher bougainvilleas can be grown outside, but in areas where repeated freezes are a danger they are best grown in pots that can be moved in during the winter.

  • Woody perennial plants such as bougainvillea can be trained as standards which are a tree like form.
  • Because of the bougainvillea rapid growth rate, they can be made into a 3- or 4-foot "tree" in as little as three years, depending on the length of the growing season and the vigor of the plant.

Cultivate fertile, acidic, humus filled soil that drains well. Their tender roots cannot stand wet soggy soils. Prepare a soil by using equal parts: peat moss, rotted leaves or pine bark, garden loam, and sand, or buy a good tropical plant soil mix. Thoroughly mix up the soil mixture and work it into the ground where the plant will be grown or fill a good sturdy 2-gallon pot with it. By using a larger pot, it won't be necessary to transplant again for several years and the bougainvillea will actually do better as its roots get more crowded.

Training the Stems

Cut off an established plant near the ground to force new flexible growth to occur. It is possible to train one main bougainvillea stem or allow several to grow and twine them together to form a braided trunk. Bougainvilleas can be pruned back at any time of the year in warm winter areas or if grown in pots, as they will respond with vigorous new growth as long as they are well watered and fed. If planted outside in areas with cold enough winters that it needs protection, don't cut the bougainvillea plant back too late in the season. It should not have young tender growth just as the weather starts turning cold. Instead start the pruning process in the spring to give the bougainvillea plant a whole season to grow.

  • Cultivate fertile, acidic, humus filled soil that drains well.
  • If planted outside in areas with cold enough winters that it needs protection, don't cut the bougainvillea plant back too late in the season.

Place a sturdy stake of some type well into the soil right next to the bougainvillea plant or push the stake into the pot till it touches the bottom and plant the bougainvillea next to it. Depending on how tall the bougainvillea standard tree form is to be, it may take a 4- to 8-foot long stake to allow for enough of it to be sunk into the ground to support the top. Don't use treated poles as the chemicals will affect the plant.

Once the stem or stems to be trained start growing out, tie them to the stake using soft cloth ties or old nylon stockings. Don't use wires or hard plastic ties as the bougainvillea plant will chafe against them and be cut by them. Braid multiple stem together while they are flexible and tie them to the stake to force them to grow together and straight. Cut off any side stems that try to grow out and cut off any thorns on the main trunk to make it easier to handle. Once the stem has reached the height wanted, start pinching back the main terminal bud to get it to branch out and make a bushy top. After the first two or three years there should be a beautiful bougainvillea tree to adorn the property.

  • Place a sturdy stake of some type well into the soil right next to the bougainvillea plant or push the stake into the pot till it touches the bottom and plant the bougainvillea next to it.
  • Once the stem or stems to be trained start growing out, tie them to the stake using soft cloth ties or old nylon stockings.

Fertilize and water the bougainvillea plant well to keep it growing strong. Bougainvilleas like full sun and lots of heat. Don't use black plant pots as they can get too hot in the full sun.

Bougainvillea at home: planting, care, propagation / Bougainvillea

Most of the flowering plants that adorn our apartments and greenhouses come from tropical countries. Some of them, for example, fuchsia, saintpaulia, hippeastrum , have long been known to a wide range of flower growers, others - jasmine, poinsettia , orchid , have become relatively popular recently. The latter also includes the southern beauty of tropical origin bougainvillea - at home it is just as spectacular as in the open ground in its historical homeland. The plant received its melodic name Bougainvillea in honor of the French navigator Louis Antoine de Bougainville. It was he who led the first French round-the-world expedition, in which his compatriot botanist F. Commerson took part. The scientist delivered to Europe a plant previously unknown in the countries of the Old World.
In the photo: Bougainvillea /Bougainvillea/, grown at home

Bougainvillea: description

At home in South America, bougainvillea is sometimes found in the form of a liana or a small tree, but most often it is a shrub with flexible creeping, climbing or clinging shoots. They are covered with rare spines, with the help of which the plant is fixed on a support. Shoots grow very quickly, reaching a length of 5 m. In our climate, growing bougainvillea is only possible in a room or greenhouse. At home, bougainvillea also gives a good increase of up to 1.5 m, if its planting and care are correct.

Bougainvillea has oval leaves 5-8 cm long, pointed at the end. They are bright green above, lighter on the reverse side. Tubular flowers are inconspicuous, pale yellow, very small, quickly withering. Decorative bushes give colorful bracts - bracts, reminiscent of paper. They can be of various colors, in shape - rounded, triangular or heart-shaped and reach a length of 3-5 cm. There are various shades of lilac, pure white and purple, red, pink and orange. Modern varieties of bougainvillea have an even wider range of colors, their bracts can be purple, cream, orange, bicolor; there are forms that change color over time. Unlike flowers, bracts adorn the plant for a very long time.

Home-grown bougainvillea blooms from May to November, outdoors for a longer period of time, 8-9 months a year. At optimal temperature and lighting during flowering, the leaves are hidden under the bright multi-colored caps of its stipules.

The dream of many breeders involved in the development of new varieties - bougainvillea without thorns or with pure blue bracts - so far remains a dream.

► BRugmansia

In the photo: Bugainvillei (Bougainvillea Spectabilis)
9002 Bengvillery: the only one in the homework: is the point of home. Night-colored, or Nyctaginovyh, and is represented by only 15 (according to some sources, 18) species. Of these, only a few are suitable for growing indoors. These are, first of all, the Brazilian species of Bougainvillea naked (Bougainvillea glabra) and its numerous varieties obtained as a result of the painstaking work of breeders, as well as wonderful Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabilis). Some new varieties are distinguished not only by decorative bracts, but by variegated leaves, for example, the variety of bougainvillea naked "Harris" with cream veins or "Sanderana variegated" - a cream stripe runs along the perimeter of the leaves.

No less popular among collectors and flower growers is Butian bougainvillea, which tolerates pruning well. The bush can be given almost any shape - a heart, a wreath, a small tree.

Bougainvillea, like a true tropical plant, loves spaciousness and bright light, which are quite difficult to create fully at home. To get a healthy flowering plant, you need to stock up on knowledge and patience.

The best place to keep a light-loving Brazilian is a greenhouse. There is enough space and a lot of light, it is possible to regulate the humidity and temperature. In such conditions, in one season, the shoots give an increase of several meters, reaching three meters in height or length, depending on the method of formation of the bush.

In greenhouses, bougainvillea is usually grown in large containers placed against the south wall. In this case, it is possible to obtain large lush-flowering specimens.

In the photo: Bougainvillea / Bougainvillea / grown at home

At home, the southern beauty will feel good on a glazed and insulated loggia, where in winter the temperature is kept within 10 ° C.

In the room, it is best to place it on the south, in extreme cases on the west, window, so that at least 5 hours a day the plant is illuminated by direct sunlight. This is one of the most important conditions for the normal development and flowering of bougainvillea. With a lack of light, the shoots are strongly drawn out, the leaves turn pale, flowering stops. In addition, bougainvillea is afraid of drafts at home, so when ventilating the room, you need to ensure that the flow of cold air does not fall on the plant.

It is useful to take small bushes to the garden, terrace or open balcony for the summer, the main thing is that the place where the plant stands is protected from strong winds.

We advise reading: hypoestes> Spathiphyllum> Crinum>
Eustoma> Sheflera> Pafiopedilum>

Bigenville: Planting and Care 9,0005

Bigenville is acutely reacted to the conditions special need. Otherwise, the capricious Tropican can shed not only flowers, but also leaves, especially if the new conditions turned out to be worse than the previous ones. If the lighting and temperature in the new place are optimal, after a short time the leaves will begin to grow again.

Active growth occurs in spring - autumn, during this period the temperature in the room is maintained within 22-25°C. In an apartment with central heating, the leaves are sprayed with soft water, while making sure that moisture does not get on the bracts.

Feed the plant every 10 days, alternating organic (most often slurry) and complex mineral fertilizers. Experienced flower growers recommend using fertilizers with a predominance of phosphorus and potassium from May to August, since excess nitrogen causes increased shoot growth at the expense of flowering. In winter, bougainvillea is not fed, and if the room temperature drops below 15 ° C, then it is not sprayed.

At home, special attention should be paid to watering bougainvillea. In the warm season, it is watered as needed, usually 1-2 times a week. At the same time, it must be remembered that in nature bougainvillea grows on the rocky soil of mountain slopes, therefore it does not tolerate stagnant moisture. After watering, the water from the pan must be drained, otherwise the roots will quickly rot, and the plant may die.

In winter, watering is significantly reduced, moistening the substrate just enough to prevent it from drying out. As a rule, one watering every 10-15 days is enough. The cooler the room, the less watering is required. If at home the bougainvillea has shed its leaves, watering is stopped.

The photo grown at home surprises a variety of varieties

Planting Bugenvillia

at home for planting a small sizes of 1.5 to 5 liters. In large containers, bougainvillea grows actively, forming a lush green mass, but blooms worse than in a cramped pot. In bulk containers, bougainvillea is grown only in a greenhouse, where there is enough light for the normal development of the bush.

The soil mixture for planting bougainvillea can be prepared from leafy and soddy soil with the addition of coarse sand. All ingredients are taken in equal quantities. Expanded clay, vermiculite or small shards are added to the resulting mixture.

The soil should be light and sufficiently nutritious, but not water-intensive, with a neutral or slightly acidic reaction (pH 6. 8-7). Drainage is arranged at the bottom of the pot, pouring a layer of expanded clay, small pebbles, shards or polystyrene. The larger the container in which bougainvillea grows, the thicker the drainage layer should be. In this case, bougainvillea, planting and caring for which requires a lot of patience, will surely thank its owners with bright and lush flowering.

Replant bougainvillea as needed, old bushes - once every 3-5 years, young ones - once every 2 years. This is best done in the spring, at the very beginning of active growth. You can not break the earthen clod, the plants simply roll over into a pot of a slightly larger diameter. There should be no more than 2-3 cm between the roots and the walls of the pot. The free space is carefully filled with fresh substrate.


When caring for indoor bougainvillea (in pots), annual pruning is important. To make the bushes decorative for the next year, in autumn or early winter, the shoots are shortened to half the length. This enhances the growth of side branches. Spring pruning also has a beneficial effect on the formation of a lush bush. In addition, very thin, twisted, poorly located shoots are removed in the spring, and too long branches are shortened. In summer, young branches are pruned immediately after flowering, then flowers with bright bracts are again formed on the growing side shoots. It is not recommended to prune shoots older than 3-4 years, since very few dormant buds awaken on old wood, and new side branches do not form.

Many varieties of bougainvillea are easily formed into a bush, a tree, a creeper, and with the help of pruning and garter to the supports, you can create original compositions in the form of a wreath, heart, ball, etc. Plants with different colors of bracts grown in one pot look great. In the video: various types and varieties of bougainvillea

Bougainvillea at home in winter

In winter, bougainvillea will require special care. In winter, in the middle lane, the amount of light is sharply reduced and the plant, accustomed to the tropical sun, begins to feel uncomfortable. At this time of the year, bougainvillea needs to provide a rest period. To do this, it is transferred to a bright, but cool room with a temperature not exceeding 10 ° C (the lower temperature limit is + 5 ° C, at 0 ° C this tropical species dies). Watering is reduced.

If the temperature is above 9-10°C, then bougainvillea at home does not go into a dormant period and, with enough light, heat and moisture, blooms in winter. At the same time, flowering will be weaker, and its quality will drop sharply next spring. With increasing day length, gradually increase the temperature and increase the amount of watering. In the video: home-grown tropical bougainvillea in Siberia.

Bougainvillea: breeding

Reproduction of bougainvillea at home is carried out by cuttings. In the spring, semi-lignified apical cuttings up to 10 cm long, remaining after pruning, are used for rooting. In summer, the cuttings are specially cut.

The lower cut is made just below the bud, the lower leaves are removed, after which the cuttings are treated in a growth stimulator solution. In the prepared soil mixture, the cuttings are buried by 2 internodes, positioned at an angle of 45 °

Finely chopped sphagnum moss, sand and coal are used as a substrate for rooting. Root at a temperature of 21-23 ° C. The best effect is achieved when using special greenhouses with bottom heating. During rooting, the lighting should be diffused, and the soil should be moderately moist. Landings should be regularly sprayed and ventilated. Some growers manage to root cuttings in the usual way - under a glass or plastic cap. Such rooting takes a long time.

Propagation of bougainvillea by layering

In order to obtain new plants in a less troublesome way, long lashes are added dropwise, having previously cut the bark into rings. The shoot is bent to the ground and pinned, sprinkling a light fertile substrate on top. From the axillary buds, new shoots will soon begin to grow. When the young seedling is strong enough, it is separated. Bougainvillea grown from cuttings is planted in a permanent place. In the video: how to grow bougainvillea at home

Bougainvillea pests and home growing problems

Bougainvillea is more prone to diseases and pests when grown indoors than in the natural environment. The danger to the plant is represented by aphids and mealybugs, less often the red spider mite settles on the leaves and shoots. Most often, bougainvillea suffers, planting and caring for which are carried out incorrectly.

Aphids can cause noticeable damage from spring to mid-autumn. Insects settle on the underside of the leaves and suck the juice from young shoots and buds, weakening the plants. To combat aphids, the bushes are treated with an Actellic solution.

Mealybug affects not only leaves, but also buds and flowers. The specimens affected by the pest noticeably lag behind in growth. A soot fungus appears on the sticky sweet secretions of the mealybug. The blackened leaves are removed, the rest are washed with warm water, to which insecticidal or ordinary laundry soap can be added.

Often at home, bougainvillea looks absolutely healthy, but does not bloom. In this case, you can try to force it to bloom. To do this, completely stop feeding and drastically reduce watering. Regular watering and feeding of bougainvillea begin only after flower buds appear on the shoots.

Tatyana Ryabova © “Site on Plants” Return to section

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When to plant bougainvillea? Everything you need to know

A bougainvillea of ​​extraordinary beauty winds: when it blooms, its colorful bracts (often mistaken for petals) almost completely cover it. Distinguishing the leaves from each other can be very difficult. But it's also . It's a very easy plant to grow and requires only regular watering and sun. Too much sun. It is able to withstand cold and even light frosts, what more could you ask for? If you want to color your garden, we will tell you when to plant bougainvillea .

In this article we will tell you about all the characteristics, care and when to plant bougainvillea.


  • 1 Características principales
    • 1.1 Leaves and flowers
  • 2 Growing bougainvillea plants
  • 3 When to plant bougainvillea

Características principales

La bougainvillea climber, which it can reach a height of up to 12 meters, which behaves like a stale in a cool temperate climate . It has no tendrils, but leans on tree trunks or walls to develop its long stems. This means that if we want to have it in the garden we must provide you with support which must be strong, such as a solid wooden trellis or, even better, a fence.

The scientific name of this plant is bougainvillea. The origin comes from the tropical and humid forest zones of Central America and South America. Although there are 35 described species of the bougainvillea family, only 18 species are accepted.

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This is a shrub with perennial characteristics. It is usually used to cover walls, arbors and fences. It has a system of rather sharp spikes through which other plants or various structures are placed in order to be able to spread and cover a large part of the ground. Bougainvillea is very interesting as can be cut into the round shape of and split as an extra decoration for your garden.

Leaves and flowers

If you look closely at these plants, you will see that their stems are quite strong. They tend to be able to grow in just about any terrain, so they aren't too picky about it. Branches begin to connect with everything in their path as it grows and spreads. Thanks to its spikes tipped with a black waxy substance, it can live almost anywhere. If we want bougainvillea to spread along walls to cover an area or serve as a decoration, it is common to set up small wire hatchlings so that the plant itself grows in that direction.

The leaves are usually dark green in color and have a simple constitution. These are oval-shaped leaves that are typically 4 to 10 cm long and 2 to 4 cm wide. . However, despite the fact that the leaves have a beautiful appearance, it is their flowers that stand out the most. Although we call bougainvillea flowers, it really isn't. These are the bracts that surround the true flowers, which are very small and white in color. Bracts are modified leaves that look like flowers.

Growing bougainvillea plants

Before you know when to plant bougainvillea, you need to know how to care for it. If you want your plants to be able to decorate walls or fences with beautiful flowers, we just have to take into account some aspects of caring for this plant. If we want to increase it, is the safest and fastest way - through cuttings. First of all, it is necessary to determine a place whose soil has wet characteristics and can receive direct sunlight. Because it comes from warm places, it usually needs a lot of direct sunlight to grow well.

We just need to select cuttings with hard and developed wood to carry out the previous rooting process. It is necessary to prepare a mixture of sand and peat seedlings. We can impregnate the tips of our cuttings with hormone powder to improve rooting. This powder can be bought at almost any nursery. The most important thing in this process is to place the seedlings or pots in which we are going to place the cuttings in a completely controlled environment. That is, you will need an environment with good humidity and light conditions. If all this is done in good conditions, in just a few weeks they will take root and they can be transplanted to the chosen place.

As we mentioned earlier, this plant does not require much care, as it has a high level of rusticity. We must know that it comes from tropical and humid forests, so it does not tolerate too cold temperatures. It is convenient to cover bougainvillea with a plastic tarp in case our climate is somewhat colder. It can only withstand temperatures of -3 degrees and for a short time.

As for irrigation, it has some differences depending on the season we are in. In summer, you need to water this plant about once a week. Please note that the soil must have good drainage to avoid waterlogging. On the other hand, irrigation is practically non-existent in winter. Watering is only necessary if we see that the soil has dried out due to lack of rain. There is usually enough rainfall in the region.

When to plant bougainvillea

The most recommended time is spring. when danger of frost has passed until next winter and before the plant has started to grow. However, when we buy it, it is usually already in bloom, so if we take it out of the pot and put it in the ground, it may be a little uneasy if we do not process the ground bread. a lot of.

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