Grow Well Guides

Bougainvillea

Hailing from the regions of South America Bougainvillea are a hardy climber, the colourful papery flower bracts, make a great display in spring and summer. The best known variety is the bright ‘Red Scarlet O’Hara’, there are other colours including yellow, white, orange and pink. There are even dwarf varieties great when grown in containers.

Planting Calendar

Summer
Autumn
Winter
Spring

Bougainvillea can be planted all year round, however plants are usually instore from September to February.

Prepare

Position

As bougainvillea has a climbing habit, it will need something to grow up against, which can be a fence, trellis or wall. Make sure that the bougainvillea is planted in a position that gets full sun, or at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. They are salt tolerant and can be grown in subtropical coastal areas.

Soil

When planted into the ground Bougainvillea likes a free draining soil that is rich in organic matter. To improve the organic content in your soil fork over then add Kings Compost and Kings Sheep Pellets and mix together well. When grown in containers, plant into Kings Container mix. This mix contains added water storage crystals and Saturaid, two products that help maintain moisture in the soil.

Plant

Gently tap the plant out of its pot. Dig a hole twice the depth and width of the plants root ball. Mix Kings Compost, Sheep Pellets into your existing soil. Back fill the hole with this soil, so that when planted the top of the plant’s roots sit level with the surrounding ground. Firm the soil down gently and water in well with Aquaticus Garden Booster. In heavier clay soils, where drainage is likely to be an issue, plant onto a raised mound and sprinkle Gypsum Clay Breaker into the bottom of the hole, this helps slowly condition the soil and help to break down the clay. Make sure the plant is also tied to the fence or trellis to help train it as it establishes itself over the first year.

Care

Watering

Bougainvillea are drought tolerant so do not need a lot of water. In hot dry weather 2 deep watering's a week should be enough for plants in the ground. Plants that are planted into pots may need more water. Bougainvillea's will drop their flowers bracts when stressed from lack of water.

Feeding

A monthly application of Aquatics Organic Garden Booster as well as a handful of Sheep Pellets will help to keep your plants strong and healthy.

Spraying

Whitefly and mealybug can be an issue on Bougainvillea. Spray with Groventive Garden at first sign of pests.

Pruning

Bougainvillea's flower on the new seasons growth. Lightly prune back plants once flowering has finished in autumn. Bougainvillea respond best to a light, regular prune rather than a hard one.

Beginner Tip

When pruning, be wary of bougainvillea sap, especially if you have sensitive skin. And while you've got the loppers out, watch out for the fierce thorns on older varieties too.

Expert Tip

Potted Bougainvillea's will need more regular feeding than ones planted into the ground.

Top Varieties

Bambino Series

A smaller growing species, coming in various colours, some with variegated foliage. Bambino’s are well suited for the smaller garden and are also great for containers Growing 1m x1m

Magnifica Traillii

Adorned with bright Magenta flowers this is a strong grower reaching to 5m

Scarlet O'Hara

One of the most popular varieties with bright red flowers growing up to 5m

What you need to Grow Well

Frequently Asked Questions