How to Re-Pot a Bougainvillea


Bougainvillea is a type of tropical vine, native to South America, that blooms in bright colors. Because it is hardy only to the warmer USDA zones (10a to 11) it is frequently grown in pots and brought indoors in the winter. Bougainvillea bloom better and more frequently when their roots are crowded in the pot, according to master gardeners with Travis County Master Gardeners, so re-pot your plant only when it is too large for the current container. Re-pot the bougainvillea in spring, prior to new growth.

Step 1

Fill the new planting pot halfway with soil. Water the soil until it is saturated, and allow the pot to drain completely.

Step 2

Remove the bougainvillea from its current pot by tipping it on its side and sliding it out. If the plant is stuck, rap sharply on the sides and bottom of the pot to loosen.

Step 3

Place the bougainvillea's rootball on the soil in the new pot. Add or remove soil so that it will sit at the same depth as it did in the old pot. Backfill with soil and water until the excess water runs out of the bottom of the pot.

Tips and Warnings

  • Bougainvillea has thick, sharp thorns, so wear heavy gardening gloves when working on it.

Things You'll Need

  • Planting pot (next size larger than current pot)
  • Potting soil
  • Heavy gardening gloves


  • Travis County Master Gardeners: Plant Portrait: Bougainvillea
  • North Dakota State University: Questions on Bougainvillea
  • ‭"‬California Master Gardener Handbook";‭ ‬Dennis R.‭ ‬Pittenger‭; ‬2002
Keywords: repot bougainvillea, transplant bougainvillea, bougainvillea in containers

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.