Using a Bougainvillea in Your Landscape

The many varieties of bougainvillea mean you can find one to suit your landscape. Plant your bougainvillea in full sun and water it regularly. Most bougainvillea are tolerant of drought, and suit tropical and Mediterranean climate zones. Here are tips on how to use the bougainvillea in your landscape.

Dwarf Bougainvillea

The most versatile of the bougainvillea types, most dwarf bougainvillea grow well in containers. Among the most popular of the Bambino type are Baby Lauren with lavender-colored bracts, and Baby Victoria, with vibrant magenta bracts. Add ornamental grass or a fragrant flower like jasmine or nemesia to the container for contrasting shape and scent.

Vine Bougainvillea

Train your B. spectabilis vine bougainvillea up a wall or secure the thickest stems to a trellis. Prune as needed to control growth, as vine bougainvillea will expand to fill the space available.

Shrub Bougainvillea

B. spectabilis also makes a fine shrub or hedge. Allow the canes to grow for 2 years then trim with hedge shears into the contours you desire. Pruning back the soft wood stems after a first bloom will make your bougainvillea shrub denser and produce a second bloom in a few weeks. Plant well away from narrow pathways to keep people and animals away from this shrub's sharp thorns.