The Q&A Archives: Frost Damage To Bougainvillea

Question: I have a Barbara Karst BOUGAINVILLEA. Every 2 or three years we have a cold spell in January that kills half of my plant. BOUGAINVILLEA grow well in my area but mine is extremely exposed to frost on a pergola. Is there a hardier red cultivar that is less likely to die back in 25-30 degree nights?

Answer: As you've discovered, a well established bougainvillea can recover from frost damage. As long as you cut away the affected plant parts, new stems will emerge from the crown of the plant the following spring. All bougainvillea are tropical in nature and all are affected by cold weather. Where occasional cold snaps hit, try growing the hardiest - Bougainvillea spectabilis 'Torch Glow' or 'Bankok Red'. They are still subject to frost damage, but are vigorous growers and recover quickly from such damage.

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