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Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea grown as standard

If you thought that Bougainvillea were a climbing plant, you could be right, however they are also grown as standards as well as being used in bonsai. So they are versatile plants. They do require a warm climate, and are most widely grown in Florida, Texas, New Mexico, California Hawaii and Arizona with only a little interest further north.

In Florida they are a bit of a signiture plant, grown on walls and trellises, looking a little more like trees than a climbing plant in the climate. Brilliant flowers and great green foliage they add color at every turn.

Grown for the masses of colorful flowers from fall through winter, Bougainvillea are a vigorous plant, fairly easy to grow once established and great for covering a wall or pergola in the right position.

In containers a standardised Bougainvillea works well, climbing types can also be grown this way, however look for the smaller growing cultivars for a more satisfactory outcome.

Pruning

You can both tip prune (pinch back) and hard prune Bougainvillea. In the warmer climates you can do this at any time of the year. They do flower on new growth, so taking 1/3 to 2/3 off the plant will not hurt it.

Varieties

With three species B. spectabilis, B.glabra and B.peruviana it is really the hybrids that we see offered for sale by nurseries today.