The Q&A Archives: Care Of Bougainvillea

Question: Can bougainvillea be grown outdoors in my State and can they be in pots or must they be planted spring to fall then brought in and potted for winter? I was told before I purchased these that they were grown here. But I think they meant in a greenhouse or some sort of protection from snow. Please send me details. I had them in southern California two years ago and know noting about this area. If I keep them in the house will it alter their resistance in the Spring? Just a person who loves Bougainvillea's


I, too, love bougainvilleas, and I live in the Pacific Northwest. Sadly, the plants cannot take our winter temperatures and must be protected from October through April. Keep yours in a pot and take it indoors during the winter months, then take it back outdoors when weather warms in the spring. When you move your bougainvillea from indoors to out and back again, you'll need to make the change gradually so your plant won't go into shock. I simply take mine outdoors for a few hours a day beginning in mid-April, bringing it back indoors for the night. Each day it stays out longer, until by the end of the week it's ready to spend the night outdoors. I just reverse the process in late September when it's time to bring it back indoors. You can expect some leaf drop when it comes indoors. The light intensity is different and so is the humidity - but the plant will adjust and begin growing and flowering again in a few short weeks.

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