How to Propagate Bougainvillea From Seed
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.
Root A Bougainvillea?
Bougainvillea needs five to six hours of sun at minimum and blooms best with even more sun and in the hottest microclimate you can manage. All the pinching and pruning that bougainvillea requires for profuse bloom provides plenty of ready material for propagating by cuttings. Layering is a propagation technique in which you bend an actively growing, flexible stem to the ground to root in place in the garden. Wear gloves and long sleeves when taking bougainvillea cuttings and bending stems to avoid being scratched by the plant's large thorns. Stems in active bloom are not good candidates for propagation.
- Seed starting tray
- Plastic wrap
- Heat mat
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Bougainvillea Group
- National Gardening Association: Bougainvillea Propagation
- University of Florida Extension: Warm Climate Production Guidelines for Bougainvillea
- University of California Integrated Pest Management: Bougainvillea Spp.
- University of California Marin County Master Gardeners: Bougainvillea "Rosenka"
- Fine Gardening: Making More Shrubs