Bougainvillea. Showy climber, originating from South America with colourful papery bracts in exciting tints of red, orange, purple, pink and white. It blooms over a long period from June to September.
This climber is not self-cling, so it needs the support of a trellis. Tie in new growth regularly. Performs best in a bright, sunny position.
If you grow Bougainvillea in containers, feed regularly during the growing season to stimulate new flowers. It will benefit from a well-balanced liquid fertiliser every two weeks or so.
Small tubular flowers of bougainvillea surrounded by bracts
Pruning Bougainvillea. Pruning is best done after flowering, at the end of the growing season. Cut long sideshoots back by half, or if necessary, cut all sideshoots back to 3 or 4 leaf buds.
Or do this job in spring, just before new growth starts. Bougainvillea flowers on the current season’s growth.
How should you protect Bougainvillea over the winter. It is not hardy. This climber tolerates temperatures of just above freezing.
Move the plant indoors once the temperatures have dropped to around 5 degrees Celsius. Overwinter at temperatures of 10-14 degrees Celsius.
Water sparingly during the winter months. In spring, when the plant starts to put on new growth, it needs more water. Bougainvilleae can be placed outdoors at the end of April or May when the danger of frost has passed.