How to Care for Bougainville


Bougainvillea is one of the most popular tropical flowering vines grown in home gardens. They produce copious amounts of red or pink flowers during the hot summer months. They are not hardy in the north and are best grown there as potted plants. Bougainvillea will not bloom if grown indoors all year round. Grow them in a sheltered sunny spot during the frost-free, summer months.

Step 1

Pick a site in full sun for your bougainvillea. Make sure it gets at least five hours of sun per day. It will produce more blooms with more hours of sun. They aren't particular about their soil and will grow fairly well in any type of soil, as long as water drains away after a rain.

Step 2

They are native to tropical America and will not survive outdoors where winter temperatures go below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In colder areas, grow in pots and bring indoors over winter.

Step 3

Water bougainvillea with the equivalent of one to two inches of water each week. Do not allow their soil to dry out, whether grown in the ground or in pots. Bougainvillea that are pot-grown may need to be watered daily during the hottest parts of summer. Do not place a saucer under the pot; they will not tolerate sitting in water, even the small amount in a drip-catching saucer.

Step 4

Feed with slow-release, granulated fertilizer. Bougainvillea grow best with small amounts of fertilizer available to it throughout the growing season, rather than large doses applied periodically.

Step 5

Train bougainvillea to grow up a trellis, fence or other structure. They will not grow well crawling over the ground. Fasten the vines to the structure with twine or raffia to get it started, and it will soon grab onto the structure itself as it grows larger.


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About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.