How to Shape Bougainvillea


Gardeners fortunate to live where bougainvillea flourish often add at least one of these delightful shrubs to a landscape. These low-maintenance shrubs will provide continual blossoms to add color and interest to any landscape. Bougainvillea do not require extensive pruning to keep them healthy and vibrant. Shape bougainvillea shrubs in any way you desire to keep them tidy-looking or leave them alone and just let them grow.

Step 1

Trim away the longest stems and branches by as much as half to shape the bougainvillea into a shrub. Remove these stems at any point along the stems with the pruning shears.

Step 2

Clip away some of the underside of the bougainvillea to make it into a topiary shape, if you desire. Make the top of the bougainvillea rounded or square to continue the topiary shape.

Step 3

Pinch back the soft stems as they grow during the growing season if you desire a bushy plant with lateral growth. Remove only the top ½ inch from the newest growth by pinching it off.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gardening gloves to protect yourself from the sharp thorns on the branches of bougainvillea.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Pruning shears


  • Vianen: Bougainvillea
Keywords: bougainvillea flourish, shape bougainvillea shrubs, prune a bougainvillea

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.