The Q&A Archives: prunning bougainvillea

Question: should you prune bougainvillea's, if so when is the right time,
how are they care for during the colder months

Answer: Connie,

Bougainvillea is not dependably hardy in Midland, Texas. You will need to plant it in a container and provide a greenhouse or a very bright protected indoor location for winter. In the tropics bougainvilleas bloom almost continuously. There the day and night cycles are more even. Here in Texas our long summer days seem to discourage them from forming the blooms we so want to see. They bloom better for us in spring, fall and even winter if they are in a warm greenhouse. Their bloom cycle lasts a little over a month. After this the blooms or bracts fall off and the plant cycles through a period of a 6-8 weeks during which it grows leaves and shoots but not blooms. Then it will often enter another bloom period. Prune your plant after the spring blooms are gone by cutting back the lateral shoots of the previous summer's growth to within two buds of the base that growth.

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