Plant of the Month: Bougainvillea

Kate Mitchell

June 13, 2023

Bougainvillea is a vibrant, drought-resistant evergreen vine, with colorful flower bracts that bloom all summer! This plant thrives in warm climates and loves well-drained soil, so it's a great choice for brightening your Florida landscape. Let's find out more about this cheery, easy-to-grow plant.


Bougainvillea was first documented in Brazil by French botanist Philibert Commerson in the 18th Century. He named it after his friend, Louis de Bougainville. It is native to South America.

Bright pink flower bracts on a background of dark green leaves


The bougainvillea's bright blooms aren't actual flowers at all, but modified leaves called bracts. These paper-textured bracts surround small white flowers and come in a variety of colors that are sure to bring long-lasting charm to your yard. Whether you go for pink, purple, red, orange or even magenta, your outdoor space is sure to look beautiful. Check out this article to see some of the available varieties.

Bougainvillea is dense and thorny, making it perfect as a barrier plant for property lines. It grows well on walls, fences, arbors, and even as a shrub if trimmed regularly as hedges are trimmed. It also grows well in pots, or dwarf varieties in hanging baskets. Bougainvillea usually blooms from April to December.

Bougainvillea with pink blooms growing up a stone wall

How to care for bougainvillea

As always, the best way to begin is to plan your landscape with care so that each plant is placed in a suitable position. Bougainvillea will grow best in full sun. Although it needs plenty of initial watering, once established it will be very drought tolerant. It needs well-drained soil, as too much moisture can result in fungal growth, but otherwise bougainvillea doesn't tend to be troubled by pests or disease.

The best time to plant is in the spring. As bougainvillea has sensitive roots, it's important to avoid disturbing them as much as possible when planting. Some varieties of this quick-growing vine can stretch up to 40 feet wide. It may need pruning to control its size; you can also pinch off the tips of young stems to keep it tidy.

If you have any questions about bougainvillea, or about landscape design and maintenance in general, be sure to reach out to the friendly professionals at LawnMore for some tips and advice.

Purple bougainvillea cascading prettily over a wall

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