Bougainvillea are an immensely showy, floriferous and hardy plant. Virtually pest-free and disease resistant, it rewards its owner with an abundance of color and vitality when it is well looked after.

Growing Bougainvilleas

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These vines are heavy feeders and respond best to feeding every week or two with ½ strength water soluble fertilizer, e.g., BOUGAIN Bloom Boost from BGI. With high light and consistent feeding, the plants will bloom at least 11 months of the year.


Bougainvilleas flower best under stress. Keep your bougainvillea slightly on the dry side, and allow the plant to become root bound. In containers they should be watered frequently so the soil feels nicely moist but never soggy. Water thoroughly, then allow to become moderately dry between waterings. They respond extremely well to stress, such as drought and heat, and reward you with excellent bloom. Even with a tolerance for drought, however, you end up watering plants nearly every day because of the small root system. Irrigate enough at each watering so that the water comes through the drain holes in the bottom of the container.

Container Growing

Bougainvilleas do best in large (5-10 gallon) clay containers if grown outdoors (clay containers tend to stay drier, thus stressing the plants) or in large handing baskets. The 10" basket is the commercial standard, but plants will do much better in 12" hanging baskets. Place the containers in full sun, or in a place where they will receive at least ½ day of full sun. If your bougainvillea is not blooming, it probably is not receiving enough sun or fertilizer. These plants thrive in the tropics in areas of low rainfall and intense sun and heat. A well drained bougainvillea potting soil, like BGI Select Quick-Draining Potting & Garden Soil for growing Bougainvillea.