The Bougainvillea is a very grand, floriferous plant. Almost pest-free and disease resistant, it rewards its owner with an abundance of color and vitality when it is well looked after. The bougainvillea’s versatility is legendary. It can be adjusted into a small manageable pot plant or a sizeable tree, to spread itself vertically on a wall, or climb up a trellis and form a luscious crown or burst forth into graceful arches. It makes one of the best hedges, bushes, and curb-liners. And as for bonsai or topiary purposes, it has few equals, lending its complex branching to the pruning shears, which promote even more unique and graceful forms. It is probably true to say that without the bougainvillea, our roads, parks, and private gardens would be a lot less colorful that what we see today. Almost everywhere we go, its brilliant hues and cheerful bursts punctuate the lush green mantle that cloaks our tropical environment. Other flowering plants certainly pale in comparison.
Care tips for maintaining and caring.
Bougainvillea are tropical and must be protected from frost. You are almost limited to growing them in some kind of container unless you treat them as an annual (plant a new plant outdoors each year). Bougainvillea thrives in full sun. At least 5 hours a day of direct sunlight is the minimal light required for good bloom. More hours of direct sun are better. Less than 5 hours and the plant may not bloom very well.
Bougainvillea has an extremely fine root system, and should be planted in well-drained soils. Avoid soil mixes with high peat levels and water retention. These types of media retain too much water and will contribute to root rot; be sure to select a well-draining media.
The act of removing entire branches or major structural parts of the plant is required . This could be anywhere from several inches to several feet depending on the size of your bougainvillea. Pruning is performed with pruning shears. Pruning a bougainvillea is recommended when entire branches are deterring from the overall shape of the plant, or jeopardizing the structural integrity of the bougainvillea.
Removing just the ends of branches or shoots. This could be anywhere from an inch to several feet, depending on the size of your plant. Trimming can be performed with hedge shears – either hand-held or electric powered for very large plants. Hand-held hedge shears are recommended for a clean edge and for precise trimming.
Removing just the very tip of new shoots. Since new shoots are only a few inches in length , pinching the tip requires removing just an inch or less.