Garden Design → The Bougainvillea →
Index to Flower Gardening
The bougainvillea plant - A Notorious Climber
The bougainvillea plant is a climber and easily grown, but it does not like
. It has rather wicked thorns that are used to hook in to other plants as
it scrambles its way up to sunlight.
This Plant Loves Heat
The hotter the weather, the better
bougainvillea will grow; it doesn't even mind drought, though responds to
Greece Islands, hot and dry are covered with bougainvilleas. This one I found at
the Island Kos
The colorful part of the bougainvillea is not the actual flower, which is tiny
What seems to be the flowers are really brightly colored
bract's surrounding it.
They come in bright orange, gold, yellow, red and pinks
of various hues.
Never Prune the bougainvillea back hard
One thing you should never do with your bougainvillea is prune it back hard
though this is a real temptation when you see it covering over another plant you
like. However, resist the temptation because pruning it back hard will cause an
excess of thorny growth that simply will not flower.
What if you have to prune the plant
If the worst comes to the worst and you really have to prune - or maybe you
already did it - then there is one thing you can do and that is apply a product
like Better Bloom that tends to slow down the growth and so produces flowers. To
prune a bougainvillea properly, you should do a very light prune after
flowering. Snip just the tips of those branches off - as if you were cutting the
blooms for a vase - or even less.
History of the Bougainvillea
The bougainvillea - a native of Brazil and named for Admiral Louis de
Bougainvillea who brought the plant back in 1768 - thrives on neglect. So long
as it has warmth it doesn't care for fertilizer or even much water. It can be
trained to form a bush rather than be a climber, by pinching back the ends.
Strangely enough, this plant is sterile; it has no seed, but propagates readily
by cuttings of 4 to 6 inches long. It often mutates so different varieties are
frequently found. The cuttings root readily, but the roots are very fine and
will often break off rather than holding the soil together. Therefore, care must
be taken when transplanting the cuttings.
If grown in a pot permanently, the outside of the roots can be cut off to about
1 or 2 inches and then it may be re potted into the same size container. For
those who live where winters fall below 40 degrees F., the bougainvillea plant
must be grown in pots and transferred to a greenhouse for the coldest months.