The Q&A Archives: Care Of (special) Bougainvillea

Question: I purchased four bougainvillea plants in a nursery in Arizona. It had your company name on it. It is one that does not have the sharp thorns on it and the leaves are apple green and shiny. I would like to know how I should have my gardener trim and train it. I'm not sure if the four plants should be kept as a hedge, or would it be better to trim them individually? They have been in my garden for a year and are growing quite tall - maybe 4 ft.
They are in the front yard underneath windows. They get shade in the morning and full sun in the afternoon. I would appreciate any help you can give me.

Answer: By your description I'd say you have Bougainvillea 'Raspberry Ice'. Unlike the more commonly grown Bougainvilleas which climb quite high, 'Raspberry Ice' has a mounding growth habit, reaching only 2'-3' tall and 5'-6' wide. You can shear yours into a hedge form which will keep the plants uniform in size. You'll be rewarded with profuse blooms with this pruning practice because flowers develop on new growth. Enjoy your Raspberry Ice!

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