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Growing Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea is a vigorous climber that's evergreen in the warm climate of Sydney. You’ll find flowering cultivars in shades of red, orange, pink, white, gold and purple. But these colours aren’t the true flower, they’re bracts; modified leaves hiding the true flower-a small white trumpet hidden within.

Through Spring and Summer you'll find Foley's Nursery is well stocked with a beautiful array colours (new stock arriving monthly). Click here to view our stock.

Tips for growing in the ground:

  • Well draining soil - bougainvillea are drought tolerant and will not tolerate wet soil for long periods of time.

  • Full sun aspect - planting in a hot and sunny position will help your bougainvillea thrive. Although you can plant them into a position with partial shade, they will flower better and longer in more sun.

  • Deep watering - when establishing your plant in the ground, ensure it receives deep, regular watering. You don't want to keep the soil wet all the time, but in the early stages of plant establishment you will need to ensure regular watering. Deep watering will allow the plant to develop a strong root system and therefore become drought tolerant. Once your plant is established it needs very little water. Too much water can encourage vigorous foliage and thorn growth with little flowers.

  • Feeding from Spring - to keep your growing bougainvillea healthy and flowering, apply a fertiliser at the time of planting and in spring. A slow release fertiliser is best as this will breakdown as the weather heats up and one that is designed to promote flowers and fruit is preferred. It is important to avoid over fertilising your bougainvillea as this can hinder flower growth and stimulate too much vine growth, turning your beautiful bougainvillea into a hideous thorn infested vine.

  • Pruning - bougainvillea are usually best pruned once the flowering has finished in late Autumn, however you may decide to prune your plant more regularly depending on how you are trying to grow your plant.

Growing bougainvillea in pots:

  • Choose a pot that’s the next size up. The roots don’t mind being a bit restricted, so it won’t need repotting again until it really fills this one up.

  • Choose a good quality potting mix that will provide good drainage and some slow-release fertilizer to keep them happy. For more advice on how to choose potting mix, check out our blog post here

  • Choose your trellis. This could be a fence or pergola pole (it may need some help to get started like a plant tie) or for dwarf forms you may choose to grow your plant on a trellis and keep it small.


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