Plant Care Bougainvillea


4.9 out of 5 (9 experiences)

Bougainvillea has a Survivor plant personality Survivor
Bougainvillea has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower

About Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea is a tropical perennial shrubby vine grown as an annual or container plant. It's best suited to a hot, dry climate and should be watered deeply but allowed to dry out between waterings. It supports itself on other plants by means of curved thorns carried in the leaf axils and by quasi-twining stems.


Bougainvillea spectabilis

Also known as

Great bougainvillea

How to care for Bougainvillea

💦 Water

How often to water your Bougainvillea

Water needs for Bougainvillea
0.5 cups
every 9

Bougainvillea needs 0.5 cups of water every 9 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Bougainvillea

Water 0.5 cups every

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

☀️ Light

Finding light for Bougainvillea in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Bougainvillea: 1ft from a window
1ft or less from
a window

Bougainvillea love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.

Place it less than 1ft from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Bougainvillea does not tolerate low-light 🚫.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Bougainvillea in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Bougainvillea

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Bougainvillea: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Bougainvillea after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Browse #Bougainvillea
💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Bougainvillea is generally considered an easy-to-care-for plant and makes a great choice for beginners!

Benefits of Growing Bougainvillea →

💦 Water Needs

Bougainvillea prefers for the soil to dry out between waterings and should be watered regularly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Bougainvillea Water Frequency →

Bougainvillea Root Rot →

☀️ Sunlight Needs

Bougainvillea requires abundant, bright and direct light. Place it less than one foot from a window to ensure it receives enough light to survive 💪. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

Bougainvillea Direct Sunlight Needs & Tolerance →

🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Greg does not have confirmed data on this plant’s toxicity. If you, a family member, or a pet consumes plant material of unknown toxicity, it’s always best to consult a medical professional.

If you or someone else ingested this plant, call Poison Control at US (800) 222-1222. If a pet consumed this plant, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA at US (888) 426-4435.

Bougainvillea Toxicity to Cats →

🪴 Soil

Bougainvillea does best in well-draining soil. A good soil will contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir as well as perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage. Adding a handful of perlite to regular store-bought potting soil should do the trick!

Best Soil Mix for Bougainvillea →

When and How to Successfully Repot Bougainvillea →

💩 Fertilizer

Bougainvillea is a fast growing plant and may deplete the nutrients in its soil over time. Replenish them with a gentle organic fertilizer or compost every 1-2 months depending on your location and season. Fertilize more often during the growing season and in warmer and brighter climates.

How Much and When to Fertilize Bougainvillea →

⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Bougainvillea can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 9a-11b. Find your local hardiness zone here.

Bougainvillea Temperature Tolerance →

🌱 Propagation
🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.

Care Summary for Bougainvillea



Greg recommends:


0.5 cups every 9 days


< 1ft from a window


Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Bougainvillea has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 6
Bougainvillea has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 6
Bougainvillea has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 6
Bougainvillea has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 4
Bougainvillea has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 3
Tommy avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 76 XP

Beautiful and easy to grow

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Blooms easily Blooms easily
Survivor Survivor
@juropel avatar
leaf-1 11 Plants
xp 92 XP
globe Denver, CO

Beautiful drought tolerant plant that produces lots of magenta flowers! Its flexible branches can also be trained to grow up a lattice.

Fast grower Fast grower
Blooms easily Blooms easily

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