How to Plant Bougainvilleas


As an Amazon rain forest native, bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabilis) requires, above all, lots of heat. Grown as a vine or shrub, bougainvillea blooms from April to September with papery magenta, peach or white flowers, depending upon the cultivar. The bougainvillea has a delicate root system and should be planted carefully and quickly. The plant has sharp thorns, so wear heavy gloves when working with it.

Step 1

Plant the bougainvillea where it will receive full sun and in soil that is well-drained.

Step 2

Measure the nursery pot in which the bougainvillea is growing. Dig a hole that is the same depth as the pot but three times the width.

Step 3

Tip the pot on its side and slide the bougainvillea out. Place the roots in the planting hole and fill the hole with soil. Gently pat the soil around the base of the bougainvillea to remove any air pockets in the soil.

Step 4

Place a 3-inch layer of mulch on the soil, keeping it 2 inches from the base of the bougainvillea and spread in a 1-foot radius around the plant.

Step 5

Water until the soil is moist, not soggy. ‭

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy gloves
  • Shovel
  • Mulch


  • University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service: Bougainvillea Spp. ‭
  • "Taylor's Master Guide to Gardening"; Roger Holmes, Rita Buchanan; 2001
Keywords: plant bougainvillea, grow bougainvillea, bougainvillea care

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.