How to grow bougainvillea in pots

Written by rena rossner
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How to grow bougainvillea in pots
Bougainvillea blossoms in red, orange, yellow, purple and white. (purple bougainvillea image by Martin Garnham from

Named after a famous explorer from Canada, the Bougainvillea plant is more often associated with South American and Mediterranean countries. The Bougainvillea plant can add bright blooms to your garden and generally thrives outdoors and in tropical climates. Though the Bougainvillea plant is hardy and tends to spread, if kept trimmed and under control it can also be grown in pots.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bougainvillea plants
  • Pots, 1-liter to 4-liter
  • Well draining soil
  • Water
  • String
  • Wooden stakes

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  1. 1

    Choose a location for your potted Bougainvillea plant, which needs plenty of direct sunshine.

  2. 2

    Fill your pot with about half to three-quarters of the way with potting soil. Use a well-draining soil. Bougainvillea is a plant that does not do well sitting in a lot of water, though it must to be watered often.

  3. 3

    Place your Bougainvillea plant in the centre of the pot and pour the rest of the soil around the plant. Distribute the soil evenly around the plant, filling the pot to within 3 inches of the top.

  4. 4

    Drive a stake into the pot, pushing it down into the soil until it reaches the bottom of the pot.

  5. 5

    Secure the central stem of the Bougainvillea plant to the stake with string.

  6. 6

    Water well each day and wait for spectacular blooms.

Tips and warnings

  • If your Bougainvillea is not blossoming as it should, feed with a fertiliser that promotes blossoms.
  • Top the soil in the pot every few months as it settles.
  • As the Bougainvillea grows, continue to secure it to the wooden stake, and trim well to prevent out-of-control growth.

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