Does Bougainvillea Grow Quickly?


You are referring to one of the most popular vining shrubs that is commercially accessible whether you spell it bougainvillaea, buganvilla, bugenvilija, or one of the many other variants of this name. Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp.) is a genus of shrubs that are known for their extreme hardiness and resilience, and they are also known for their ability to provide a beautiful garden display with their wonderfully vibrant bracts. Zones 10 and 11 on the United States Department of Agriculture’s plant hardiness map are ideal for growing bougainvillaea, which may fulfil a variety of landscaping functions.


Bougainvillea is a kind of shrub that is recognised for its quick growth when it is planted in the right environment. The exact growth rates vary from species to species, cultivar to cultivar, and environment to environment.

Why Plant Bougainvillea?

According to research conducted by the Clemson Cooperative Extension, bougainvillaea is one of the most common types of climbing and creeping plants found in warm climates. Gardeners like it for the incredibly spectacular bracts it produces as well as the ease with which it can be grown. Bougainvillea is a kind of woody shrub that often develops as a shrub with many trunks that generate long, arching branches that have thorns that may scrape your arm if you aren’t cautious while cutting it.

The flowers emerge from the branches of the plant as delicate tubes of either yellow or white colour. Each one is framed by bracts, which are modified leaves that have a papery appearance. The bracts, which may be found in regal purple, red, or deep pink, are the actual stars of the show due to the rich and vivid hues that they display.

You may start your own bougainvillaea plant from a cutting or use one that is already growing in a container. According to the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, your little plant will not remain small for an extended period of time if it is planted in suitable soil and placed in an area that receives enough amounts of sunlight. This plant develops at a rapid rate. Even if the precise growth rates that may be anticipated vary depending on the type and cultivar of bougainvillaea, you will be shocked to see how much larger the plant has become at the conclusion of the growing season. Some people claim to have experienced growth of many feet in only a few months.

Where to Plant Bougainvillea

There are some cultural practises that you should engage in to assist the growth of your bougainvillaea if you want it to expand as rapidly as possible. Choosing a good planting place is the first step in this process.

In a position where there is abundant of direct sunlight, Bougainvillea will thrive and develop to its full potential the fastest. The professionals at the Clemson Cooperative Extension recommend that you locate your shrub in an area that receives at least five hours of direct sunlight every day. The less direct exposure to sunlight a plant has, the more slowly it will mature and the fewer blooms it will produce on its branches. Bougainvilleas need a lot of sun, but the soil they are planted in is also very vital to their growth.

These bushes need a soil that drains well and is, preferably, on the more acidic side. Will the growth rate be affected by conditions such as heavy or damp soil? It is much worse. The plant will quickly perish as a result of root rot that it will acquire. In addition to this, you will want to make sure that you do not water the plant an excessive amount. Between waterings, let the soil become completely dry since bougainvillaea can tolerate dryness and actually produces more blossoms when it is under stress from a lack of water.

How to Use Bougainvillea

According to the University of Hawaii at Manoa Cooperative Extension Service, if you reside in an area that has a climate that is suitable for bougainvillaea, you will be able to discover a dozen different methods to include it into your landscaping design. Planting bougainvillaea next to a support and letting it climb up it is the traditional method of cultivating the plant. Keeping in mind that this shrub may grow to a height of thirty feet, the support might be a fence, wall, trellis, or tree; in fact, it could be anything that is sturdy enough to hold the weight of a woody vine. The branches will extend outwards, get covered with bracts, and provide a vibrant and eye-catching wall of colour.

That is not the end of it. Bougainvillea may also be grown as a ground cover, making it a useful plant for situations in which vertical vines would be inappropriate. When the tree is planted properly, the arching branches will grow outward rather than upward. A slope or an entire field might be covered by the thick vegetation, which would prevent weeds from growing and provide a sea of colour.

The trimming and shape of a Bougainvillea plant is not difficult in any way. The shrub may be trained to develop into an upright bush, a tiny flowering tree with one trunk, a privacy screen, or it can be used to construct a hedge.

Can Bougainvilleas Grow in Pots?

If you provide bougainvillaeas with a sunny position and soil that drains properly, they will thrive when grown in pots. Do not make the common error of using a medium that is based on peat since this has a propensity to retain water. Instead, plant the shrub in standard potting soil, which may include some sand, and reduce the amount of water it receives so that the soil remains on the dry side.

If you live in a warm environment, growing bougainvillaeas in containers is a terrific alternative for your patio or porch. However, if you live in a colder zone and love gardening with bougainvillaeas, growing them in pots is still an excellent choice. The display may be enjoyed outside in the garden during the whole summer, and then the container can be brought inside for the winter months. Some gardeners consider bougainvillaea to be an annual plant and begin fresh plantings of it each spring in new pots.

People who live in areas with harsh winters have still another option available to them in the form of growing bougainvillaea in a greenhouse. The plant will be healthy and happy throughout the year if it is grown in a greenhouse that is heated.

What Are the Species and Cultivars?

It is challenging to keep track of all of the various species of bougainvillaea since there are so many of them. The three varieties of bougainvillaea that are grown in this nation the most consistently retain their leaves throughout the year. These particular species of Bougainvillea are known as Bourgainvillea spectabilis, Bougainvillea glabra, and Bougainvillea peruviana. The first two of these are indigenous to Brazil, while the third is found in Peru. There are also several hybrid species that have resulted from these three species crossing with one another; all of these hybrid species are evergreen as well. However, if the plant goes through a very hot and dry summer and does not get enough irrigation, the bougainvillaea may shed its leaves in the winter.

From these three species of bougainvillaea, breeders have generated a large number of cultivars, or varieties. You will discover that they provide a variety of plant types, a selection of sizes, and most importantly, an extensive and eye-catching palette of bract colours to choose from. For instance, the University of Florida IFAS Extension characterises the ‘Dwarf Lavender’ cultivar (Bougainvillea glabra ‘Dwarf Lavender’) as a shrub that does not exceed 36 inches in height and has purple branches. It is more resistant to the cold than many other bougainvillaea plants and its thorns are not as prominent.

Sunset magazine compiled a list of additional cultivars that are worthy of one’s attention. Take into consideration the ‘Gold Rush’ Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea glabra ‘Gold Rush’), which may transform the look of your trellis into a bright sunbeam. Check out the ‘White Stripe’ Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea ‘White Stripe’), which has spectacular bracts that are a pure white colour and complement the white and green variegated foliage very nicely.

Can Bougainvillea Grow From Cuttings?

Is it possible for you to take a clipping of the bougainvillaea that grows in your neighbor’s yard in the hopes that it may eventually get established there? Absolutely. Bougainvilleas may be simply cultivated from cuttings, according to the North Carolina State Extension Service, provided that the propagation process is carried out in accordance with a number of straightforward recommendations.

The best time to take the cutting is in the early spring, before the bush starts to bloom. Cut a portion of a stem so that it is about 6 inches long, snipping it right below a leaf node. Remove the leaves from the lower half of the cutting using scissors rather than your fingers, and then make a long diagonal cut across the bottom of the cutting.

Plant the bougainvillaea cutting in a container that has been filled with potting soil or compost that has grit mixed into it. The soil should drain properly. Before you plant the cutting, you should first coat its cut end with powdered rooting hormone. The soil should be sprayed with a very fine mist on a regular basis, and the plant should be kept in an environment that is warm and humid. When you see that the cutting has begun to produce new growth, take it outside and plant it in a location that gets enough of sunlight.