How to grow bougainvillea in pots

Updated July 20, 2017

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

Water well each day and wait for spectacular blooms.


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.

Things You'll Need

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

Rena Rossner has written many articles for "The Jerusalem Post" and "The Jerusalem Report," and has been writing professionally since 1996. She has written and managed content for many websites. She has a cookbook coming out later this year with Gefen Publishing. She holds an undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University in writing seminars and a master's degree in history from McGill University.