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How to Propagate Bougainvillea From Seed

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017

Bougainvillea is a plant that can, even if planted as the sole tropical, turn your backyard into a tropical paradise. Although it is a very easy plant to care for, and will tolerate a lot of neglect, it will require at least five hours of sunlight a day to keep it in bloom. Bougainvillea also enjoys high humidity prior to blooming. Growing bougainvillea from seed is very challenging, as it is most commonly propagated from cuttings. If you have the pod from a bougainvillea plant, it will take about 30 days for it to ripen. The bougainvillea plant is hardy to USDA Zones 10a to 11.

Pour equal parts of peat moss and perlite into the seeding tray. Water well and allow the water to drain from the bottom of the tray.

Plant the bougainvillea seeds 1/2 inch into the soil and cover them lightly with more soil.

Cover the top of the tray, loosely, with plastic wrap.

Place the tray on a heat mat set to 75 degrees F.

Check the soil frequently to make sure it stays moist. If you need to water, set the entire tray in a larger tray full of water. Allow the soil to soak up the water from the bottom, let it drain and then replace the plastic wrap and place the tray back on the heat mat.


Things You Will Need

  • Perlite
  • Vermiculite
  • Seed starting tray
  • Water
  • Plastic wrap
  • Heat mat


About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.