How to Take Cuttings From Bougainvillea


Re-create a successful bougainvillea anywhere by growing new plants from cuttings from the original. For your new bougainvillea to take root, your cuttings must include enough of the original plant to provide the new plant with a means of making food through leaves and transporting water through a healthy stem. Take your cuttings anytime of the year: winter for hardwood or spring for softwood cuttings. Both types will grow into a new plant if correctly potted. Bougainvillea grow best when stressed--becoming root bound and lacking water--making this beautiful plant a good option for those who live in dry areas or forget to water their plants regularly.

Step 1

Dip your knife into rubbing alcohol to prevent transmitting diseases to the parent bougainvillea.

Step 2

Cut a length of stem 4 to 6 inches long from the parent plant with the knife, severing the stem at a slight angle.

Step 3

Remove the flowers (bracts) from the bougainvillea to concentrate the growing strength toward making a new root system rather than feeding the bracts.

Step 4

Submerge the cut end of the bougainvillea in rooting hormone to stimulate root growth. Pour the rooting hormone from its original container into a separate bowl to preserve the main supply from contamination.

Step 5

Fill a clay pot with a 50/50 mixture of perlite and peat moss.

Step 6

Insert the cutting 3 to 4 inches into the potting mix.

Step 7

Keep the bougainvillea cutting slightly under-watered and in a warm spot for four to six weeks before transplanting to a larger pot when the bougainvillea becomes root bound.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Bougainvillea
  • Rooting hormone in a shallow bowl
  • Clay pot with good drainage
  • 50/50 perlite/peat moss mixture


  • AZ Central: Bougainvillea Can Be Propegated Using Cuttings
  • Aggie Horticulture: Texas A&M University: Bougainvillea
  • AZ Master Gardener's Manual: Propagation from Cuttings
Keywords: bougainvillea, cuttings, propagation

About this Author

Athena Hessong began her freelance writing career in 2004. She draws upon experiences and knowledge gained from teaching all high school subjects for seven years. Hessong earned a Bachelor's in Arts in history from the University of Houston and is a current member of the Society of Professional Journalists.