This ultimate guide on bougainvillea care will help you to grow and care for bougainvillea. Get to know sunlight, watering, fertilizers requirement of the plant.


Bougainvillea is a genus of flowering plants. it is often grown as a gardening plant in warm climates. Bougainvillea came from South America. They are climbing plants grown for adornment in tropical countries and within the Southern U.S.

The Bougainvillea is known as for French navigator Louis-Antoine de Bougainville. Bougainvillea tropical vine is known for the beauty of the large colourful bracts (modified leaves) that surrounds its flowers.

Flowers are small and plain. The bracts may be magenta, white, purple, yellow or crimson in colour. It has a nickname the “Paper flower” due to thin papery bracts.

Bougainvillea Care Guide

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Bougainvillea Plant, Photo by Wander Fleur on Unsplash


Stem cutting can be used for propagation of bougainvillea. Stem cutting should be ½ inch or thicker and should have at least three to seven nodes.

Use rooting hormone such as IBA ( Indole butyric acid ) in low concentration. To prevent root infection use a broad spectrum fungicide when planting cuttings.

Cutting can be propagated in medium sized container of about 6 to 8 inches in diameter.

Any well-drained potting medium is suitable for growing Bougainvillea. 50% :50% peat and soil or 30% :70% sand and soil is suitable. After planting keep the medium a little moist.

Cutting takes 3 to 12 weeks to root. It depends on the use of a rooting hormone and the cultivars. It has brittle roots. You should take caution during transplanting young plants.


Bougainvillea plant requires bright direct sunlight to grow and prosper. Make sure that your plant receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily.


Moderate watering is good for caring bougainvillea plant. Only apply water when top layer of the soil seems dry. Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. Soggy soil can affect the growth of roots.


After rooting use organic fertilizers like mustered cake dust or dry cow dung for best result. Bougainvillea needs regular fertilizer high in phosphates. You can use NPK (10:26:26) fertilizer 5 gm / litre formulation. it use a 15-day interval.

Do not over-fertilize. Too much fertilizer will promote vegetative growth and inhibit blooming.

Use any micronutrient twice a year. The application of soluble minor elements helps prevent leaf chlorosis.


Bougainvillea responds well to pruning. To prevent overcrowding cut out any unneeded shoot. Overcrowding leads to pests and diseases.

Regular pruning is necessary to shape the plants and directs its growth. Flowers are born on new growth. Hence pruning is necessary to induce new growth.

Pruning should be done after flowering has finished, as the encourages the new growth. Deadwood should be removed as it appears.

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Bougainvillea, Photo by Eduardo Soares on Unsplash

Importance of bougainvillea

1. Bougainvillea is a popular ornamental plant.

2. It’s used as an ornamental plant in the landscaping.

3. It is a pollution tolerant plant. It can help in the mitigation of air pollution.

4. This plant is now highly recommended for plantation in urban and industrial areas where particulate or pollution is a problem.

5. The aqueous extract of this plant has been used as fertility control among the tribal people in many countries.

6. Bougainvillea used for bonsai also.

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