Answer: Bougainvilleas have a 6-week growth cycle; they grow, flower, rest, then repeat the process. You can prune back the stems which have flowered and after a rest period the plant will begin growing at the point on the stem where you have cut it back. Yes, I'd prune out any unhealthy looking stems. I'd also prune off the dead flowers by cutting the entire stem down a few inches below the last flower on that stem. If you do this several times a year your plants will remain bushy at the bottom (although they will also continue to grow to the top of the trellis), and they will bloom nearly all year long.
Enjoy your beautiful bougainvilleas!
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