Bougainvillea are subtropical vining plants, well known for their hardy natures and thriving growth. The bushes may expand by 10 to 20 feet in a single growing season, and quickly cover walls and structures in their area. The bright red, pink, orange, yellow, purple or white blooms require a couple of simple conditions to cover the plants.
Bougainvillea are native to hot, sunny spots like Mexico and South America, and grow in hotter areas in the USA. They are technically summertime plants, but because their needs are based on sun and not humidity or high temperatures, they maintain longer blooms than many other summer flowers. According to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, bougainvillea plants may bloom almost year-round in bright, sunny areas.
In order to grow and bloom successfully, a bougainvillea must have the right conditions. Bougainvillea plants require full, bright sunshine every day, and only thrive in bright, warm areas. Keeping the plant in full shade or colder areas results in leaf loss and lack of blooming. Although bougainvillea plants should be watered once a week, Texas AgriLife Extension Service states that the plant does better with some stress and may bloom more successfully if it's left to dry between waterings, rather than being kept consistently moist. Fertilize at each watering to encourage increased blooming.
Bougainvillea plants must have bright light to bloom. As a vining plant, bougainvillea sends blooming vines up walls, structures and trellises to find the light it craves, and may quickly expand to take over its area. For this reason, bougainvillea blooms occur only on the tips of vines and outside of the plant, while the internal branches consist only of wood stems and leaves.