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Bougainvillea is a plant which belongs to the Bougainvillea genus.

The genus Bougainvillea has 14 species, with three that are horticulturally important: B. spectabilis Willdenow, B. glabra Choisy, and B. peruviana Humboldt and Bonpland. Many crosses among the various species have produced new hybrid species and important horticultural cultivars1.

Among the numerous hybrids, B. glabra x B. peruviana is by far the most common. This cross has its own hybrid name: Bougainvillea x buttiana 1.

In general, the Bougainvillea is a tropical/sub-topical, woody, shrubby vine1. It is either multi-trunked, or has clumping stems1, with either a climbing or spreading plant habit. It can climb to a height and spread of 20 feet or more1. The vine climbs by sending out arching canes with stiff, curved thorns1.

It tropical and sub-tropical climates, the plant is evergreen. In regions with long dry seasons, it may be deciduous1.

Their colorful “flowers” are really bracts, or modified leaves, to which the true flowers are attached at the mid-rib1.

The colourful inflorescence occurs only on new growth, which occurs on short stem axes borne laterally in the axils of leaves1. From their initial emergence to full maturity, the bracts of many cultivars change color. Bracts may retain their color for several months after the flowers have finished, gradually fading to resemble the color and texture of paper (hence one of the common names, “paper flower”).

Stems age from mid-green to green-brown1.

Blooms appear in these approximate colours:   Dark pink and   Gr 2 Paint Orange and   Anti-flash white. Leaves appear approximately as a   Dark spring green

A type of flower / ornamental, it mainly grows as a perennial plant - which means it typically grows best over a long period (from 3 years+).

Normally grows with a vine habit.

Popular varieties of Bougainvillea with home gardeners are Barbara Karst, California Gold, Miami Pink, White and Elizabeth Angus.

Brazil is believed to be where Bougainvillea originates from.

Bougainvillea is normally fairly low maintenance and is normally quite easy to grow, as long as a level of basic care is provided throughout the year. Being aware of the basic soil, sun and water preferences will result in a happier and healthier plant.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Bougainvillea have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Bougainvillea

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Sun

  • Low

Bougainvillea have very delicate thin roots. Use a fertilizer high in micro-nutrients, especially iron will result in healthy root development.

Bougainvillea likes a position of full sun / partial sun and remember to apply water fairly sparingly. Zone 9 to 14 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Keep in mind when planting that Bougainvillea is thought of as tender, so remember to wait until your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing before moving outside.

See our list of companion Plants for Bougainvillea to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Bougainvillea from seed

Transplanting Bougainvillea

Ensure that temperatures are mild (minimum night temperatures should be around 15°C / 59°F) and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Bougainvillea is a tender plant.

How long does Bougainvillea take to grow?

These estimates for how long Bougainvillea takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

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Bougainvillea Etymology

A native to the coast of Brazil. In the 1760’s the French botanist Philibert Commerson discovered the colorful vining plant and named it bouganvillea after his friend and captain, Louis A. de Bougainville, a noted lawyer, mathematician, and explorer from Canada.

Other names for Bougainvillea


Misspellings: Bougainvillia, Bougainvilea

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