How to care for a bougainvillea

Red bougainvillea

It is one of the most successful climbing shrubs in hot climates thanks to its spectacular size and its great ornamental value. They are exceptional plants for covering pergolas, but they can also be kept in pots and even made into small trees.

Read on to find out how to care for a bougainvillea.

Bouganvillea spectabilis

This incredible plant is native to the tropical forests of South America. It can grow to a height of about 12 meters, but as we said, if that height is excessive, you can cut it without problems whenever you see it necessary.

Its leaves are evergreen, but if the winter is cold with thermometers that drop below 5 degrees, you can lose them. On the other hand, if you live in a tropical or mild climate, it will keep them throughout the year.

White bougainvillea

Bougainvillea is a lover of the sun, therefore, We will put it in a place where it receives as much direct sunlight as possible, even if you are going to have it indoors, otherwise it will not flourish.

During the entire growing season, that is, from spring to the end of summer (and it can reach autumn in some parts of the Canary archipelago and in the Mediterranean region) it is due to water two to three times a week, especially if it is potted. You can add a fertilizer for flowering plants to the irrigation water every 15 days, or use any type of natural fertilizer. In winter we will water between 1 and 2 every seven days.

Pink bougainvillea

As for pruning, although its growth can be controlled throughout the season, it is best to do it in early spring. For it the lateral shoots that the plant has developed the previous year will be cut, always above a new bud or shoot, leaving about 5 centimeters above the main stem. Those that show symptoms of weakness, and those that are too long, also have to be eliminated.

The pests that most affect it are mainly the mealybugs, aphids, White fly y Red spider. All of them can be treated with specific insecticides, or using natural remedies such as chromatic traps, Neem oil, potassium soap, or garlic infusion among others.

Enjoy your bougainvillea like never before 😉.


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  1.   Eva said

    Hello, I have a bougainvillea on the ground that has been drying some leaves for a few weeks. It is in full sun and I water it a little almost every day since living in Seville it supports high temperatures throughout the day.
    Let's see if you can give me a hand to know what is happening to him. Thanks a lot.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Eva.
      Around this time it is normal for some plants to begin to lose some leaves. Anyway, although in Seville it can be very hot, very hot (I have family there heh heh 🙂), it is better to water well every 2-3 days than a little every day, because in this way the water does not reach all the roots.
      A greeting.

  2.   Blanca Martinez Anido Egurrola said

    I have a bougainvillea and it has lost a lot of bracts, I have pruned it, I have added some fertilizer and water it every 7 days because I live in Valencia but now it has few bracts, I have not seen parasites in it and I see that my neighbors have very bougainvillea Well, I don't know if I water it a lot or a little

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Blanca.
      I recommend you water it more often: 2-3 times a week.
      You will do better 🙂
      A greeting.