Bougainvillea is a tropical flowering vine native to South America. It requires lots of heat and little water to thrive. Provided well-drained soil and at least five hours of direct sun every day, the bougainvillea will bloom profusely in shades of hot pink, yellow, orange and purple. Hardy to USDA Zone 9, bougainvillea does best when temperatures are above 80 degrees F in the daytime and 60 degrees F at night.
Water the bougainvillea for two hours with a soaker hose only when the soil is dry or when the plant wilts.
Fertilize bougainvillea bi-monthly with a 10-50-10 formula containing iron during the blooming period. Follow the label instructions. Fertilize bi-monthly when the plant is not actively blooming. Water the soil prior to applying fertilizer.
Pinch off 1/2 inch of the tips of new growth, using your fingers or pruning shears. Prune the bougainvillea to keep it to the desired shape and size when blooming is complete. Keep all shoots no longer than 20 inches for best bloom, suggests horticulturists with Texas A&M University.