Removing Bougainvilla Thorns - Knowledgebase Question

Pgh, PA
Avatar for cmaxcat
Question by cmaxcat
October 22, 1999
Can I trim all the thorns from these plants without harming them? I have 2 big plants and I keep getting caught and hurt with them since i moved them inside for the winter.

I started to trim the thorns, but I realised how fleshy they are. Any advice?

Answer from NGA
October 22, 1999
Thorns are modified stems that are short and come to a sharp point. Removing them would be similar to removing stems and branches. The only cautions involved are that 1) if you cut them off, you'll be providing lots and lots of wounds for disease entry, and 2) the plant will expend a great deal of energy healing the wounds. This energy would otherwise go into producing new foliage.

If it were my plant, I'd leave the thorns and simply approach the plant with caution, knowing it has thorns.

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