The bougainvillea plant is not very susceptible to disease or pests. It can be grown as a vine, potted or grown in a hanging basket. This tropical plant isn't hard to identify. Keep in mind that the bougainvillea plant is a tropical plant and is full of vibrantly colored flowers.
Look for blooming flowers during the winter months. Bougainvillea flowers bloom year round and keep their vibrant colors. Expect to see flowers in white, red, purple and orange.
Take a closer look at the flowers. Bougainvillea plants are sometimes referred to as "paper flowers." This is because the unique flowers on the bougainvillea are thin and resemble paper.
Examine the branches of the plant. Bougainvillea plants have long, arching branches that contain thorns. Their branches can reach 18 to 20 inches long.
Look at the leaves that come off of the thorny branches. If they are shaped like a heart, you are probably looking at a bougainvillea plant. You will also notice that these leaves are dark green in color.