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.

Bouganvillea Information

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Bougainvillea Bloom Season in North America

Bougainvilleas' natural habitat is equatorial where day and night lengths are almost equal. Bougainvilleas in these areas tend to bloom year round, but in North America, best blooming occurs when the night length and day length are almost equal (in spring or fall). In winter, blooming is better than in the dog days of August because of night length. Also, some cultivars are triggered to bloom after a rainy season followed by a dry season.

Best Climate for Bougainvillea

Bougainvilleas are tropical and must be protected from frost. In Zone 8 and cooler, 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) -- which works fine if you obtain a large plant in the Spring.

Bougainvilleas thrive in full sun. At least 5 hours a day of full sunlight is the minimal light required for good bloom. More hours of direct sun is better. Less than 5 hours and the plant may not bloom very well. In shade or partial shade, you will have nice vegetative growth, but little or no bloom.

A Bougainvillea just doesn't bloom well indoors. If possible, keep your plant outdoors (in the maximum sun available). If placed on a porch, patio or balcony, where the plant receives at least 5 hours of sun each day (afternoon sun is best), then it should bloom just fine.

A bougainvillea likes high humidity just before it comes into bloom. Once bloom has been initiated, then it will tolerate less humidity.

Bougainvillea has two distinct growth cycles:

A vegetative growth period for several weeks -- when new leaves and stems grow.

If the plant receives enough sunlight the plant will form buds during this time. If there is not enough sunlight, the plant will remain in vegetative cycle. A blooming period of several weeks when little or no vegetative growth occurs.

The length of time they will bloom is dependent upon the health of the plant and the environment they are in, the more sun and heat, the better. However, long days and short nights (July and August in Florida) limit a bougainvilleas ability to bloom.

Drainage is Essential

Notice the saucers on the pot and also on the hanging basket. If you use these type containers, I strongly recommend that you take the saucer off -- you will damage bougainvillea roots if the plant stands in water or the water can't drain completely from the pot.