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how to train a bougainvillea to climb

Double-flowered varieties are available too. They’re fast growing, but if the conditions aren’t all to their liking, they grow much slower. I had no idea. The tag that came with it had very little info. They thrive in places like Southern California, Spain,Greece, Hawaii, etc. Hi Melanie – Oh dear, that is a cruel neighbor. I have a question about my Bougainvillea. If you took them out of their grow pots when planting, this could be an issue too. Should I trim it – which has never been done (to my knowledge since 2013). It’s definitely not a flower to use in big arrangements nor work with the day or 2 before the wedding! Tks My question is if I leave the plant in the 7 gallon plant container made of a plastic like material and will never disintegrate in the ground. Nell. You can always cut off the rim if you need to. Just wondering if you can tell me how many bougies would I need to cover a fence line of 15 metres? anyway, i discovered that a main root was growing out of the drain hole of each pot. The other good thing is that there’s no other plants around for them to smother. We just want to fill in our slope as quickly as possible- it looks I have a very sunny sunroom where it can get the sun it needs in winter. I planted a beautiful Miami Pink Bogie with trellis outside my patio wall and it was growing beautifully. I would never live to see a new one get as big and established as the one I have. What a wonderful website! I just bought three of these beauties and am going to plant them next to a wire fence that was put up to contain my dog. Nell, Hi Terry – Thank you for visiting our site. Etienne – Thank you so much for sharing. I thought sun damage as well but could not figure out why since they are sun loving plants. Can you tell me what varieties “hedge” up the best? Depending on the variety/species of bougainvillea you’ll be planting, you may want to rethink planting six. I’ve never grown 1 in that climate but I do know that it can be difficult unless you have a greenhouse, conservatory or heated sunroom. Whether the answer is yes or no, what would be the best place to purchase Bougainvillea trees? Can I leave my Bougainvillea in the large pot that it is in? There’s really nothing you can do about the shoots, except to prune them out. I recently purchased a home that was terribly overgrown with plants everywhere. Bougainvillea is a hardy tropical vine that grows in areas where winter temperatures remain above 30 degrees F. (-1 C.). First off, let me mention what a great site you have with tons of info! It flowered this year in June and kept going until currently. Simply cut off the upper rim if it’s sticking way up above the soil line & cut multiple slits in the sides & also the bottom. The plant is on a trellis and is 5′ tall and just as wide. Bougainvillea. Looking forward to your reply! But those that just don’t flower, hit the compost heap because they just don’t love the wet tropics. I’m in Phoenix, Az. I pruned it 3-4 times per year to keep it shaped. Push developing shoots onto the trellising object as the bougainvillea plant grows. 1 or 2 nights of a light frost won’t harm them but anything more that could. You have a longer growing season than other parts of the country do. Also, sometimes it takes them 2-4 of years after planting to really settle in & bloom. I'm planting Mandevilla, Bougainvillea and the delicious Dragon Fruit." Flowering times and needs are therefore slightly different between varieties. Is this normal behavior? Is the one on the right seeking the sunshine hence the faster growth ,? I ordered one purple and one orange and wanted to grow them together. to reach that size, it would prefer to be in the ground. I want our stars to go up the wall and over a window. My question is, my mother is in search for a multi-colored Bougainvillea Tree. I don’t want it to attach itself to the wall, just the trellis. I’ve seen smaller wrap around plant pots but not any large ones. Yes, it’s best to plant it right in the grow pot because bougies don’t like to have their roots disturbed, which is something I learned the 2nd day of working at BH. We use water from the river that we live on which has some salinity at times but my lime trees are doing fine. Hi Lilian – That’s a tough one. Why in the world have a bougainvillea if you can’t get any […], […] to attack the flowers and that’s a very good thing. Happy gardening, Nell. Hi Nell, Nell. Water them & put them outside to see if any new growth appears. I was a professional gardener in the Bay Area for 20 years & was doing work in a former client’s garden. On arbors, trellis’, fences, buildings & walls. After that, it was never the same. Unprecedented access to thousands of square feet of indoor terrain means climbers are stronger than ever—weather, temps, and daylight are no longer factors. **Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp.) It’s hard to say without knowing all the conditions. Hedge – just keep on pinching & pruning out all that soft growth. Bougainvillea thrives in places that are hot and relatively dry. When i got the plant I repotted it and put it in the sun. Bougainvillea loves sun & heat so new growth will come in the spring. Both pots have cracked badly and I need to replace them.The problem is that the trees have grown their big roots into the gound …What can I do to have them in new and stable pots while not cutting those roots ? Will it be likely to harm the oak? I have two beautiful and well stablished Bous. Just enough so it isn’t seen? Any suggestions? If you want more blooms, check this post: I’ve never fertilized mine & they bloom just how I want them to. Water your bougainvillea deeply as needed to encourage new root growth. My Bogie came with a trellis and I have placed a trellis on each side of the planter box so Bogie can spread and grow along the wall. Is this enough? She’s got little tiny pink buds all over. They are planted against a fence with no other plants, trees or foliage by them. Hi Jim – I live in Tucson & my bougainvilleas take a lot of sun & heat without wilting bur they’re in the ground. The trees are over 30 feet tall. After established, they’re drought tolerant. Hi nell potted a bambino Bougainville some 10 weeks back and nothing has happened can’t see any new growth , others I planted in soil against a wall , 6 weeks back all bambino have taken off with much growth it is winter in Perth , Australia now temp being very mild 12- 19 most days , any thoughts on this , cheers , paul. I have two variegated bougs in pots. It looked great in the shop but when I got it home all the pink petals have turned white and fallen off. They are approx 3 feet tall. These are small caterpillars that chew away at the leaves. Should I string more? We need it as a ground cover. Thanks for any ideas. Do I need to worry? btw, great info on leaving the roots in the pot, cutting slits for root wiggle room. Nell. I tried watering (both deep watering and light watering) 4 days minimum and increasing the reduced watering to even 2 weeks, however over this 6 month period the same thing kept happening and the tree was slowly dying…..i then decided to ignore what is written on the internet and water it every 2 days. You can try fertilizing with a food specific for bougies but don’t do it any later than mid-Sept. Nell. fill in. It’s an annoyance as it requires maintenance nearly every month. Nell, Hi! A rapid grower, the bright flowers of a bougainvillea are easy to get in any part of your garden. Here’s some info on that: Nell. Choose a full sun location and a training system for your bougainvillea. I worked at a nursery in Berkeley, CA that carried bougainvillea and that’s where I first learned a few things about it. I find them very resistant. Thanks. Then, I would make 5 single slits all the way up & down the sides of the pot (for a 5 gallon size). My Bougainvillea glabra didn’t get any water for 9 months last year & it’s lookin’ great. Hope that helps! I’ve pruned & trained both of mine but it takes work so it can be done. Bougainvillea Trellis Drought Tolerant Plants Garden Trellis Outdoor Gardens Planting Flowers Vines Backyard Landscape Train After planting, continue to water the bougainvillea periodically, allowing the soil to dry out entirely in between watering. Nell, Hi Maria – I’ve pruned my bougainvilleas growing outdoors quite a bit. It’ll ultimately need a large pot over time; at least 20″. I lived in San Francisco for 20 years but there’s a lot of NorCal above that & to the east with many different climate zones so I can’t answer. I do this when the evenings are starting to warm a bit. I covered the base of each with manure & covered them from tip to bottom when the hard frost hit (a few days) I uncovered them, moved the manure around & turned on the water letting them get a good soak. Others are much newer. Now they are dying. By the way Im very attentive to my plants and have a lot of experience with gardening just haven’t tried these Hi Edie – Yes, there are about 15 varieties of variegated bougainvilleas that I know of. Also, don’t take it out of the grow pot when planting. Nell. I also bought way too many plants! Hi Prabhakara – You’re welcome! Here’s a post I did on planting them: Nell. It is 32 years old and it is the most important plant in my backyard as it makes a big statement. You’ll need a strong support & a method of attachment. Nell. It had a nice spray of bright white bracts that turned to light pink (beautiful). Maria. Nell, Hi Nick – Hers’s a post on repotting bougainvillea: i would much prefer the roots to grown down into the soil, rather than laterally, which is how they are growing now. No it does not need to be grown on a wall or trained on a trellis. Many thanks. Planting it in the center might be easier for training though. Not all of them but a good portion of them. Thanks for providing such great information!! Why the color change? Leaving it in the pot just insures planting success. Sounds like you have a bougainvillea. Apply at least a 4-6″ layer of a good, organic, local compost & see what happens. Each have new growth shooting up from the bottom but how do I get them to pick up where they left off last year? The oak probably helps to protect it a bit because the wind can knock a lot of the blooms off. Or would there be any point? Or, depending on you species/variety of bougainvillea, it could be going deciduous or semi-deciduous as a reaction to the cooler days & evenings. Nell, I love these plants and haven’t tried one yet. I planted 6 bougainvilleas two years ago, added peat moss to the clay soil and they were doing fine until this summer. Am I expecting too much too fast? It does get lots of light and sun, and I am afraid it is going to take over our dining room ! These are small caterpillars that chew away at the leaves. No lack of choices regarding choosing a bougainvillea. Without support, they just flop down & can become a sprawling low blob. Make a few slits in the pot if you can. In my Santa Barbara garden I had a 19′ Bird of Paradise, a humungous Bougainvillea glabra and many other anchor plants so that didn’t come into play either. Here’s a post on planting bougainvillea: Nell, I was just wandering i am looking to make a small hedge around my garden beds yousing a dwarf boug do i need to create a small wire line around the garden bed for it to cling to thanks, Yes Jason, that would be best to keep them in the form you’d like. A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Ive read about three options for overwintering: Place it in the garage near the hotwater heater in darkness which would provide a little warmth and let it go dormant, overwinter it in the house in a south window where it would only get a little light because Portland is cloudy and rainy all winter, or put it under a grow light in the garage. Choose a container with drainage holes. Basically a living fence to replace an ugly, dilapidated wooden fence that is falling down. since i have them planted part sun and part shade… Help please! The first year I bought the house in San Dimas, CA. Bougenvillias thrive here and we are not a dry climate. Bougies can take 1 or 2 nights a bit below freezing but any more will damage or kill them. And how far should each be planted apart from each other. Is there anything I can do to get it back to orange? My question is, do I plant it at center or at one end of the wall ? This thing is pretty but also just a mess with lots of dead debris inside. Otherwise, you’ll need to provide some guidance in the form of eye-hooks & wire or something like that. Then it hit me that this was a bougainvillea, duh. How can I keep them through the winter. However, they do cause a type of dermatitis because when poked by one, it can deposit a little plant matter in the skin which can lead to swelling, redness & irritation. Any input would be appreciated. Hi Emily – I would happily send you a cutting but I don’t think it would make it because they almost immediately droop after picking. This is my first year with this plant absolutely love it. Hope that helps! Hi Lan – A soil mix that doesn’t contain too much peat & has excellent drainage is best. Add in a good amount of compost & it’ll be happy. I didn’t know I was suppose to leave Bogie in the original pot. Hi Beth – My bougies get by them every year too. For over 20 years in Pacifica, south of San Francisco, I had no idea what this “hedge plant” was growing up against our wall. Mine got hit by 1 cold night last year: Nell, Hi Allie – It’s hard to say because it depends on if the roots are dead or not. Some She may be as old as me! I have two beautiful Bougainvilleas in front and back yard. Can you please help me in managing them. Thank you for all of this info. Here in Australia we only seem to be able to purchase stainless steel fittings that once drilled in to the concrete wall allows the wire to only sit out roughly 30mm, without heading down the track of expensive balustrade fittings. Please Help!!! I’ve never grown one indoors but know you need high light, low water. Has done great until the last three weeks and suddenly the top shoots are all drying up, leaves turning brown and falling off. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, Bougainvillea image by Sean Wallace-Jones from, Okeechobee Extension Service: Bougainvillea. I love your page. The steel would be too hot. I’ve always had bougainvilleas bloom like crazy (in my drier climates) so the thought had never crossed my mind. However, in zones 9-11, bougainvillea can grow outdoors year round, climbing and covering as much as you let it, taking only a short semi-dormancy break in early spring. Thank you…great site. Would you be willing to sell a cutting of yours? Nell. When I lived in San Francisco there were 5 or 6 straight nights of frost years ago. Do I remove my timer watering stake? I have my heart set on some beautiful fuchsia bougainvillea. I love bougainvillea, they make my heart sing, make me smile & brighten the world with their vibrant colors. I’ll give you a couple of tips I’ve heard along the way: put it in a garage with exposure to sunlight & keep it on the dry side. Hope that helps! Thanks Nell for responding so quickly. Will this burn the plants in the extreme heat? As I noted above in “planting”, angle them towards whatever they’ll be growing on. Typically, you will see the best display of blooms follow… Hope that helps! There is a stone 7cement covere patio and there is a 3 foot empty spot right next to the side of the house through which the major trunk grows. It has 26 established bougainvilleas. Nell, Hi Tracy – You can just make slits in the sides & that’ll be fine. Wrap the stem of the vine around the stake, holding it gently in place with a soft plant tie, and prune away any side branches. My question is overwintering. I’ve had a few of them planted right up against the house & garage with no problems. Remove large, obstructive branches. & it’s already showing a lot more color so I’m happy. Bougies are tough – just make sure it doesn’t dry out in the transition period. I often see beautiful bougs in window boxes but I’m unsure how big the boxes are. Patrick Kelly, Hi Renee – No, it most likely won’t turn orange. Nell. You can hedge many of the bougainvilleas but it’ll take a bit of pruning to keep them at 6-10′. Be careful when pruning because they have thorns. Hi Clare – When prune a bougainvillea, it puts out lots of soft, new growth & it sounds like that’s what you have. Hi Sylvia – Bougainvilleas do fine in pots. Thank you for sharing all your Boug intell…….I have made a lot of mistakes in the past and do not want to continue that pattern so I started looking for info and found you:) I am moving into a home in Southern CA and I have no idea how to handle an extremely mature , overgrown, slumpted over, beautiful blooming bougainvillea. Thanks! The thorns on some types are hook-shaped and will assist in securing the plant to chain link or other fencing or structures. Nell. I should mention that we have lived in this house for 15 years and this is the first year Nell, Hi Nell… I live in British Columbia, on the coast, and bought a beautiful bougie in the Spring… planted it in the PERFECT spot, and it was spectacular !! You probably have the variety “San Diego Red” which is popular in those parts. I think they’d be fine in your veggie garden as long as they don’t pile up too high. It’s the middle of September and the days are finally only reaching 100 degrees and nights are in the lower 70″s. How did you train your boug to go up and around your garage? Also, it is not some leaves but all the leaves on those sections of branches that are dying, I have pruned most of those branches off now but wondering what is causing this and if there is something I should do to help the situation. My dilemma has to do with having to plant one in a pot. Yours may or may not bloom again this year – pinching helps. I have 2 variegated orange bougainvilleas in hanging pots that wilt in the direct summer sun. The ivy might eventually cover, or partially cover the bougainvillea at some point becuse it’s a clining vine & bougainvillea isn’t. Not as much flowering though. How could we train it to climb on the embankment? The hybrids go through a lot of breeding so perhaps that has something to do with it. Bougainvillea is drought-tolerant. Nell. Debbie Wilson, Hi Debbie – I’m not sure how cold you get, but bougies can take more than 2-3 nights below freezing. Of course, I wasn’t there when he did it, so it was crooked and looked ridiculous, when he got done. Dig the hole twice as wide as deep & add in a good amount of loam (you don’t need this if your soil drains freely) & organic compost. Where are surrounded by bougainvilleas here in Southern California but the trees are a rarity. They love the heat. I trimmed the branches back 1/3 after the bracts fell off and feed it 6-8-10. would be a good companion but it sounds like both are doing fine. I don’t know of anyone online who sells them. Also, you can plant your BK slightly at an angle going towards the T-pole which will help you in the training. Bougies love hot sun. Thank you for sharing Jason. Hi there – I also live in SB and just got two boug. Thanks, Hi Leslie – That is a ground cover – Bougainvillea “Golden Jackpot”. Remember, they do best if you plant them directly in the ground in the grow pots, just make a few slits. I live in Barcelona so the climate is very sunny and warm/hot of many months of the year. I know exactly where Paso Robles is because I lived in Santa Barbara for 10 years. I’d like to train a B to grow up one of the big cedar posts about 12′ high and spread over the pergola. If it’s a larger growing variety, just make sure the pot is large too. Please help me determine what would be the best. Nell, Hi Gina – You’re welcome! Your bougainvillea must be planted in a warm spot and must be brought inside over winter if it freezes in your area. i want to replace the on which did not survive. Climbing the Walls. Sorry Nell, that should have read 20mm (2 cm) not 30. It seems to be helping a little, but not as much as I hoped. Can I spray them with a dish soap and water mist to kill whatever this is, or is Neem Oil better? Any other thoughts? Besides rosenka, orange king, CA gold & delta dawn are ones that run the orange to gold range. Prune? These three bracts hide the true flowers inside, which are small, trumpet-shaped flowers in whites and yellows. I have done all of this and the plant itself is very healthy looking and growing, but I still can’t get blooms. ????? Hi Sandy – You are welcome! A mixture of loam & organic compost worked into the native soil is what they like. The best thing to do is go to a reputable,independent, local nursery & see what they have to offer & what they have to say. Bougainvillea is one of the most popular climbing plants in the poorer countries. I’ve seen this done in Hawaii where I grew up but always with a single color or variety. Regarding the sewage pipes, bougainvilleas have a fine root system. I’d recommend getting one of the smaller varieties which do best in hanging baskets or as ground covers. Training Bougainvillea When looking for a home for your bougainvillea, think about how you plan to train it. Is there anything I can do to help them? Nell, Hi Cheryl – Both are very vigorous growers & bloom a lot in full sun. About How long should it take for the tree to be covered with the bougainvillea? Can this beauty still be saved (and bloom fully again)? I’ve done a few posts about bougainvillea but this one is straight-up everything I know about it including planting and care. Are there companion plants for San Diego Reds that you’d recommend? The seeds you can propagate at any time of year, just don’t let them get too cool. Keeping my fingers crossed. Hi Nell. Sunshine is not a problem and the rainfall is abundant, it is seasonal and it never gets dry. Nell my magenta colored bougie has been in the ground 3 years. Otherwise, you’ll need to provide some guidance in the form of. Hi Dennis – If only the top & outer shoots are drying up, it sounds like 2 things to me. Also, they love a nice, rich organic compost. If you are going to try, then be sure to cut the soft stems (which tend to be short by the way) because the blooms on the hardwood will start to wilt in 5-10 minutes. They can take a night or 2 around 32F but not any prolonged cold spells. Plant your bougainvillea in the ground or in a container. we use and what variety? There are many varieties of bougainvilleas which grow to different heights – ground covers all the way up to 30′ tall. I live in zone 7. I’ve searched online for how to care for it and am finding so much conflicting information. On a wall – If you have a chain-link fence, after a little initial guidance, it will attach itself. Bougainvilleas bloom on new wood. That way you’d get maximum flowering. We get plenty of rain all year, but especially in the summer and the humidity levels are always high. Thank you. Thanks very much. What to do? Please help. Plant garden trellises 2 to 3 inches in the ground or rest them against the side of the house. I live in an apt. Nell, Thank you Talinda! I moved to Tucson 2 months ago & the sun is very intense & they do great here. Nell, Hi Nell Could you tell me if Bougies will dig up surrounding paving with their roots. Training: Bougainvillea won’t naturally attach itself and may need help climbing. Now that’s an Edward Scissorhands at it’s finest! Here in Southern California they are common, inexpensive & grow like crazy as I imagine they do & are In south Australia. Taking the bitter with the sweet! I have 6 plants in their grow pots with the bottoms removed, in 3 wooden tubs with soil covering the pots. Just know that when you prune them into hedge form you don’t get much flowering. I thought it was a shade area, but evidently the afternoon sun is baking everything for shade or partial shade I’ve tried. They drop their leaves in reaction to cold temps. We planted a red bougie on the slope behind our barn. You never know with plants, do you?! Some varieties & cultivars produce more of them then others. Nell. Hope that helps! But here is my question I live in Otawa, Canada and would like to bring it indoors until next spring can I cut it back before or should I wait until next spring. While changing the pots (shallow fairly small bonsai pot), I divided it in two, and I always get them outdoors from end of spring to the fall, and they have been doing great, blooming twice a year for several month, in winter or summer, it seems they don’t see the difference, if there is enough light, they will bloom, with or without direct sun. Is this a problem sign? The bougainvillea could get it but I’ve never seen either 1 of those pests infest bougies. Yours are only 2 years old so that could be the issue because established bougies can withstand more stress. I have a question that whether bou grow in pottin mix soil? I’m not sure what size pot you bought it in – 1 gallon, 5g or 15 g – so it’s hard to say. I plan on wrapping chicken wire mesh around the trunk for support of the vines for this. We got our bougainvillea as a gift last summer, we plant it in a very large pot with holes in the bottom. Have not seen that color for sale anywhere since. It could be that reason, it’s going through an adjustment period or something with the watering. 1 of mine has completely defoliated, the other has not. When bougies are newly planted, they need regular watering but after established, a more infrequent, deep watering is best. it looks like a mess of sticks with a bit of green here and there that I asked them to leave. Unfortunately after about a year the tree has died due to the trauma and I had this tree trimmed with the idea of using the trunk and its bare branches as a stand for growing some bougainvillea vines. Brought it inside, and was expecting it to go dormant. Nell. My bougainville is over 50 years old and still going strong, Besides, too many butterflies & hummingbirds visit my plants so I want them to enjoy the flowers “au natural”. For me my darkest purple will only start flowering in the shorter days of winter, in other words its a short day length bloomer. There are many varieties of bougainvilleas on the market but none of them are resistant (that I’m aware of anyway). It’s a crap shoot when it comes to transplanting them so I’d leave it in the pot & plant it that way. I loved the 1 growing up & over my garage but the fallen flowers were quite the sweeping & raking project every week!

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