The Q&A Archives: Bougainvillea Pruning & Moving It Outside

Question: I bought a Monrovia bougainvillea in the late summer last year and it has been in the house since then. It has wintered over very well.

I don't remember the name of the variety, it has thorns and it is a pale pink bush type. I e-mailed you last fall to ask about caring for it in the house.

What is the best way to prune it and to move it outside for the spring and summer?

Answer: When nighttime temperatures remain above 50F you can begin acclimating your bougainvillea to the great outdoors. Start by taking it out for a few hours during the daytime and moving it back indoors before nightfall. Allow your plant to stay outdoors for longer and longer periods each day. The whole process will take a week to 10 days. Then allow it to remain outdoors all day and all night. When new growth buds appear along the stems, prune the plant back by about one-third. This will encourage new flowering stems. Regularly pinch and prune the stems during the spring and summer and your plant should bloom all season long. Enjoy!

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