How to Transplant Bougainvillea Flowers


Grown mostly as an annual hanging plant in most areas of the country, bougainvillea also performs well as a garden shrub. It displays papery-colored flower bracts in hues or red, fuchsia and apricot. Both new bougainvillea flowers and older container plants can be transplanted into the garden. California and Florida gardeners can leave their plants in the yard year-round, while growers in less temperate areas will have to dig up the bougainvillea at the end of summer and move it indoors for winter care.

Step 1

Select a sunny location in the yard. Bougainvillea typically fails to blossom if it isn't given adequate sunlight.

Step 2

Dig the hole in your new location. Make a hole that's as deep as your plant's root ball and twice as wide. Remove any sticks, stones or weeds from the hole.

Step 3

Remove a container bougainvillea from its container by grabbing the plant at the root and pulling gently up. If it resists moving, loosen the soil around the roots with a spade then pull again. The plant should come free. Then squeeze the root ball with your hands to break it apart. Separate any tangled roots. If you're transplanting a bougainvillea that's already in the ground, skip this step.

Step 4

Dig a planted bougainvillea up from its existing location, working slowly and carefully. Use a flat spade or a small shovel to loosen the soil around the bougainvillea. Dig up the initial layers of soil around the plant. After a while you'll see plant roots. Continue to dig in a large circle so you're gathering the bougainvillea roots in a clump of earth. You should be able to get the major roots free and then lift the plant. If a couple of roots persist, cut them with sharp scissors. Then, carry the bougainvillea to the new site.

Step 5

Lay the bougainvillea in the hole at the same depth as it was previously planted. Spread the roots out with your fingers.

Step 6

Fill in the hole with soil. Don't compress the soil; just mound it around the base of the plant.

Step 7

Water the transplanted bougainvillea thoroughly until the soil compresses around the plant. Continue to water until the soil is saturated.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Small shovel
  • Spade


  • University of Florida: Bougainvillea
  • Elizabeth C. Miller Library: Transplanting Bougainvillea
Keywords: bougainvillea, transplant flowers, transplant shrub

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.