Bougainvilleas: Cascades of Colour

Bougainvilleas: Cascades of Colour

Bougainvilleas Lifestyle Home Garden Nursery and Plant Shop Johannesburg Gauteng

This old favourite – Bougainvilleas – can easily self justify its popularity

Bougainvilleas were introduced to gardens centuries ago from South America, and today remain popular shrubs and climbers in many parts of the world. Their small, tubular, white or cream flowers are surrounded by colourful leaf-like bracts with a papery texture. It’s these bracts that adorn the plants with cascades of colour for months on end, especially after extended dry periods.

The colour range is wide and varied, from white to purple as well as shades of yellow, gold, orange, red, pink and lavender. Growth habits vary from dwarf shrubs with few or no thorns to large climbers sporting sturdy thorns on stout stems that can reach the canopies of large forest trees. Selecting the correct bougainvillea for specific purposes in the garden is of the utmost importance. Planting the wrong type in the wrong place can be a costly and frustrating exercise.

Cultivation of Bougainvilleas

Bougainvilleas grow best in full sun and well-drained soil conditions. They can withstand light to moderate winter cold and frost but grow best in warmer subtropical climates. In dry or colder climates they lose all their leaves in winter, while in the more humid, milder parts they remain evergreen. Regular pruning in spring helps to keep them in shape and prevent rampant growth from getting out of hand. Pinching back new growth tips also assists in keeping bougainvilleas shorter and more compact. They’re largely pest and disease free and easy to grow once plants are established. Drought and heat tolerance are two of their major attributes.

Garden Uses for Bougainvilleas

Bougainvilleas Lifestyle Home Garden Nursery and Plant Shop Johannesburg Gauteng

Thanks to their versatility and durability, bougainvilleas are used for numerous different roles or purposes in gardens:

  • Hedges and screens
  • Climbers on fences and trellis
  • Borders and edging
  • Standards
  • Pots and containers
  • Hanging baskets
  • Bonsai


Supplied by The Gardener Magazine. For more on these plants click |HERE| or on the cover of the March issue of The GardenerBougainvilleas Lifestyle Home Garden Nursery and Plant Shop Johannesburg Gauteng


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