Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Care for a Purple Queen Bougainvillea

By Sarah Terry ; Updated September 21, 2017

The Purple Queen bougainvillea is an evergreen perennial plant that grows best in tropical climates where the winter temperatures don’t drop below 35 degrees F. You can enjoy this bougainvillea’s vibrant purple blooms throughout the summer and fall by growing it either as a spreading groundcover, growing up to 1 ½ feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide, or as a climbing vine, growing up to 15 feet tall on a trellis. Plant your Purple Queen bougainvillea in well-draining soil that doesn’t become waterlogged. Place your bougainvillea in full sunlight, where it can receive at least five hours of sunlight each day.

Water your Purple Queen bougainvillea to moisten the soil deeply and evenly two or three times each week during the first growing season. After the first year, water the plant once every week or two to supplement rainfall when there is less than ½ an inch of rain for the week.

Feed your Purple Queen a liquid plant fertilizer once every two weeks during the growing season when you water the plant. Apply a high-phosphorous fertilizer that contains iron and magnesium according to the instructions on the label.

Erect a trellis beside your bougainvillea to support its climbing growth. Alternatively, you can allow the plant to creep along the ground if you have the space.

Prune your bougainvillea in the spring, before the buds begin to form. Snip back the stems to keep the Purple Queen’s shape and thin out crowded, tangled or unsightly growth.


Things You Will Need

  • Garden hose or watering can
  • Liquid plant fertilizer
  • Trellis (optional)
  • Pruning shears


  • You can enrich the soil prior to planting the Purple Queen by working in some organic compost or aged manure.
  • If you're growing your Purple Queen bougainvillea in a container, place it outdoors in full sunlight during the growing season to ensure blooming.


  • Be careful when you're removing the Purple Queen bougainvillea from the nursery container so you don't damage the roots.
  • Don't allow the bougainvillea's soil to dry out, especially if you're growing the plant in a container. Pot your bougainvillea in well-draining potting soil and water it two or three times each week to keep the soil evenly moistened at all times.

About the Author


Sarah Terry brings over 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.