Bougainvillea: A Leafy and Colorful Climbing Plant

Discover why bougainvillea is such a popular and desirable plant. Its colors and coverage will enchant you.
Bougainvillea: A Leafy and Colorful Climbing Plant

Last update: 23 March, 2022

In this article, we’re going to tell you all about bougainvillea. It’s a plant that you can grow both indoors and outdoors and is a popular choice for terraces. Its leafiness, coverage, and color make it stand out during each of the different seasons throughout the year. Its flowers are white, red, yellow, and pink and when you see it in bloom it’s quite a magnificent sight.

Bougainvillea grows in hot and dry climates such as Brazil and other countries with similar temperatures. It’s versatile enough that you can plant it in pots, on terraces, and in flower beds. The best thing is that you can mold this plant into a certain shape, height, or coverage.

As long as you’re careful not to damage the branches, you can even support it with trellis or ties to give it a more complex and bespoke shape. Ready to learn more? Keep reading!

What exactly is bougainvillea?

There are more than 300 different species of bougainvillea.
There are more than 300 different species of bougainvillea.

As we’ve already mentioned, bougainvillea is beautiful. As a climbing plant, it’s ideal for providing coverage on facades and creating privacy on terraces and gardens. Part of the Nyctaginaceae family, it attracts attention because of its shape and color.

The most notorious characteristics of this ornamental plant are its flowers. Bursting with color, bougainvillea flowers differ in color and include white, red, yellow, and pink. Although its buds are small, they’re abundant, which gives it a delicate feel.

There are more than 300 different species of bougainvillea. Among the best known and the ones commonly used in decoration are the glabrous and the santa-rita (bougainvillea spectabilis).

How to take care of your bougainvillea?

This tropical plant is grown in different colors.
The flowers of this tropical plant grow in different colors.

Being native to South America, bougainvillea is best known and cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas. Many people believe that this plant tolerates extreme temperatures, but this isn’t entirely the case.

This natural beauty doesn’t tolerate temperatures below 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, it’ll lose its color and its flowers and will eventually die. Equally, the same thing happens in very hot climates if it’s exposed to direct sunlight. Its leaves and petals will begin to burn and becomes worse if there’s no constant watering.

As such, it’s in the temperate zones where this plant grows the best. A great option for decorating both interiors and exteriors, its care is minimal. The only thing you’ll need to encourage healthy growth is the same as any other species of flora–a little sun and twice-weekly watering.

Special care

With bougainvillea, you don’t have to worry about buying substrates and fertilizers. This doesn’t mean that you don’t need them, rather that they’re not essential. Obviously, you must offer it a substrate with the right nutrients to guarantee its growth. Generally, it’s better to buy this in a nursery or a specialized garden store.

If you’ve already bought your plant from a nursery, dig a hole and plant it in the soil it came with. Just remember to remove the plastic container first.

Pests on bougainvillea

The most common is purple or violet.
The most common is bougainvillea flower is purple or violet.

Pest management is definitely something that you need to consider, but it can be prevented in most cases. However, it’s mostly affected by the cochineal insect, so you must be careful when you water it and avoid wetting the flowers. Make sure that the liquid is always focused on the branches.

Now, if your bougainvillea already has pests, try this home remedy: mix two cups of vegetable oil with half a cup of pure liquid soap. Shake well, dilute with a little water and apply it to your plant with a sprayer. If your case of pests is extreme, you may need to buy an insecticide.


We’ll finish our article by discussing pruning. This should be done according to the objective you want to achieve with your plant. However, you should prune your plant between January and February, because the weather during these months favors the plant’s renewal. During this process make sure you remove any dry or damaged leaves.

Do you want to have a bougainvillea at home?

As we’ve learned, bougainvillea is a beautiful plant. Don’t hesitate to grow your own and show it off in your home. You’ll enjoy its flowers and focus of color that’ll bring your home to life in a beautiful way.