How to Care for Bougainvillea Flowers


Tropical vines are almost always welcome in the landscape, and bougainvilleas have become one of the most popular tropical vines. The plant's colorful bracts adorn cascading stems that makes the bougainvillea a wonderful plant for hanging baskets or potted patio plants. In frost-free areas, you plant in the ground next to a trellis and have a wall of beautiful color for months. The care of bougainvilleas is not difficult, but they do require constant monitoring.

Step 1

Locate the plants in full sun for at least five hours a day. More sun is better, but less will not allow the flowers to bloom. Take Bougainvillea outdoors when the temperature reaches 70 degrees during the day and at least 60 degrees at night.

Step 2

Keep the soil evenly moist. This will take constant monitoring of the soil and the plant itself. Hotter days will require more watering than cooler. Watch for the leaves to look like they are just about to wilt and then soak the plant, allowing the water to run through the drain holes. Do not use a drain tray and do not allow the plant to sit in a pool of water.

Step 3

Use a time release fertilizer in the spring and again in midsummer. Bougainvilleas are heavy feeders, but small amounts of fertilizer over time is better than large amounts all at once. You may prefer a liquid fertilizer diluted to use once a month if that is better for your schedule. Follow manufacturer's directions on amount.

Step 4

Do not repot the plants until the roots take up most of the container. They will bloom better if slightly root bound. When repotting, be very careful not to damage the fragile roots of the bougainvillea and use a pot only 2 inches larger than the previous one.

Step 5

Bring the plant indoors if the temperatures in your area go down below 50 degrees. Keep the plant away from drafts and place in bright sunlight for six to eight hours a day. Reduce watering and fertilizing while the plant is indoors.

Things You'll Need

  • Time-release fertilizer


  • LSU AgCenter: Bougainvillea
  • Texas A&M University: Growing Bougainvilleas
  • Plant Care: Bougainvillea Care, Light, Water and Soil for the Colorful Blooming Plant
Keywords: growing bougainvillea, tropical vine plants, flowering vines

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.