Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea) – Colors, care and reproduction

Bougainvillea is the name we use to designate all those flowering plants of the genus Bougainvillea . It also stands out for being one of the most appreciated flowering plants for the garden. The incredible fuchsia color and its resistance make it one of the chosen when buying.

In this card on plants of the bougainvillea from Amigos de la Jardería we will explain everything you need to know about it, including care, pruning or how to make it become a climber .

Bougainvillea taxonomy

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Nyctaginaceae
Tribe: Bougainvilleeae
Genus: Bougainvillea

Habitat and distribution of bougainvillea

Bougainvillea is a beautiful climbing shrub native to the tropical and subtropical forests of South America . Approximately 14 species are known. In its natural habitat, bougainvillea is an evergreen shrub , but in slightly colder climates it becomes deciduous and can reach up to 8 meters in height.

Characteristics of bougainvillea

Bougainvillea displays a wide variety of colors, such as fuchsia, yellow and red (depending on the species), although people tend to confuse that color with that of the flowers, which are actually bracts.

The flowers, in the case of bougainvillea, are small and white , while the bracts are colored and their function is to protect the flower. In addition, its stems are covered by thorns , which protect the bush and at the same time help them to climb surfaces.

It is widely used in gardening, not only for its colors, but also for its spikes, which can be used as a natural barrier or as a covering plant either on surfaces such as walls and walls, or on embankments.

Bougainvillea care

The ideal place to place our bougainvillea will be  a very sunny place , since without light, the plant loses its leaves and the bracts lose their color. The  substrate must be of quality, especially if it is planted in a pot. The most important thing will be that the land offers them good drainage .

We will take into account some cares depending on whether it is in the garden or in a pot:

  • In the garden , bougainvillea tends to grow on fairly poor soils and is even harmed by excess compost. Irrigation should be once a week in summer and in the winter months the rainwater will be sufficient.
  • If we have the bougainvillea planted in a pot , we must water it a couple of times a week in summer, while in winter only when the soil is dry. When watering, we will not wet the leaves as this could favor the appearance of the scale.

Bougainvillea care in winter

Contrary to what it may seem, bougainvillea is a plant that does not require too much care. The main factor that can harm our shrub will be too low temperatures . Below 5ºC, bougainvillea loses its leaves, likewise, in lower temperatures and with prolonged exposures, they would end up dying.

However, there are species such as Bouganvillea spectabilis or Bouganvillea galbra that are capable of resisting -3 and -7ºC respectively. If frosts do not occur in our area , we will not have any problems (apart from the fall of leaves that will later sprout again).

If we suffer frosts, we must protect the bougainvillea indoors or under cover, but remember that plants are enemies of heating, therefore keep it in a room without heat where it can be cool. We will also reduce watering at this stage as the plant will go to rest.

Bougainvillea pruning

Pruning should be done at the end of the cold months , in this way we will stimulate flowering and the growth of new shoots. We will cut the branches that are dry, twisted or in poor condition.

If we want our bougainvillea to climb a wall, wall or pergola, for example, we must help it by fixing it with wires or spikes that we will have to check while it grows, since otherwise they can damage the stems. We can also prune the bougainvillea with a «weeping demeanor», for this we will remove dry branches and cut the branches that are too long.

Remember that the correct way to cut is a little above the bud and make the cut diagonally, in this way the water slips and we avoid rotting of the wounds. We must also remember to have the scissors well sharpened and disinfected to make clean cuts and prevent possible infections.

Bougainvillea transplant

Here we have the true Achilles heel of bougainvillea. Transplantation is the most critical point that our shrub can suffer, since its roots are extremely sensitive. So when we have to perform the transplant, we must try not to break any of them.

It is advisable to transplant the bougainvillea only once . It is best to plant it directly in the garden or in a pot of the size we want and not disturb it any more, since its manipulation is extremely sensitive once it is on the site and adapted we will have a resistant, easy-care and precious bush.

Bougainvillea reproduction

To multiply our bougainvillea plant we must make cuttings , which can be made of young wood or harder wood . Bougainvillea will surprise us because despite the little care it requires, it provides us with enormous beauty in the garden and is easy to multiply.


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