The Q&A Archives: How to Grow Bougainvillea

Question: I just bought a bougainvillea, but no information came with it. I need growing information.

Answer: I love the vibrant colors of bougainvillea! This plant is an amazing workhorse that thrives on neglect and full sun. It blooms best if stressed, so water only after soil has dried out, and do not overfertilize. Actually, I've had a "bogie" for years that I've only fertilized lightly a couple of times, water seldom, and it threatens to take over my yard! They are frost tender and will require protection. However, if the leaves get nipped, don't prune until fresh growth starts appearing in the spring. Bougainvillea can be pruned back liberally and it will come bouncing back with warm temperatures. Most have thorns, so plant it away from foot traffic. They do extremely well against hot walls and other inhospitable locations. Enjoy your bougainvillea!

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