How to Trim Bougainvillea


A bougainvillea plant is a shrub that behaves as a climbing vine. These hardy perennials are ideal for areas where you desire privacy and/or splashes of color, as these shrubs grow vibrant blossoms in many shades including orange and purple. It is best to get in the habit of pruning your bougainvillea both to manage excessive growth and encourage flowers. By performing a few cutting techniques, trim your bougainvillea to maintain your plant's vitality.

Step 1

Put on a pair of elbow-length gloves and use pruning shears to shape the bougainvillea to your preference. Trim away the branches from the tops and sides of the plant.

Step 2

Cut off any discolored branches that you find. These dead limbs absorb space and nutrients.

Step 3

Look inside the plant and remove any limbs that face inward or push up against each other. The removal of congested branches helps improve air flow.

Step 4

Locate new stem growth and pinch off the top 1/2 inch from these younger limbs. Pinching off the tips encourages new appendages with vibrant flowers.

Step 5

Continue to repeat steps 1 through 4 to maintain the form that you want and maximize bloom output.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves (elbow length)
  • Pruning shears


  • Bougainvillea Growers International: How to Pinch & Prune Bougainvillea
  • University of California: Bougainvillea
  • Louisiana State University Agriculture Center: You can grow spectacular bougainvilleas

Who Can Help

  • Aggie Horticulture: Bougainvillea
  • Bougainvillea Growers International (BGI)
Keywords: bougainvillea, trim bougainvillea, bougainvillea care

About this Author

Jenny Glass has been writing professionally since 2001 and is a glass artist with a Web design and technical writing background. In addition to writing for Demand Studios, she has been a contributor to "Glass Line Magazine" and runs her own art glass business.