Are you looking to add a little tropical flare or color to your garden this summer? Bougainvillea is a brightly colored beauty that will remind you of the tropics. However, it is a tropical plant so it is best to plant in a container that can be easily moved inside during the colder months in Raleigh. Just make sure that your container has proper drainage. This brilliant showstopper can be trained to grow on a trellis or wall, shaped into tree form or grown in a smaller pot. A planter, or two, by the pool or patio would provide that tropical feel while relaxing al fresco.
Typically, bougainvillea is grown in zones 9 – 11 (We are zone 7b). Although the bougainvillea plant does not require a lot of watering, be sure to keep check on the moisture if you decide to grow yours in a hanging basket as it can dry out pretty quickly. It is best to give the plant a good soaking and then let it dry out slightly before watering again as it does not like wet feet. It just may dry out a little quicker in a hanging basket. Bougainvillea thrives in full sun and at least 5 hours of sun is required to achieve blooming. The more sun the better! You will also want to select a planting media that drains well to prevent root rot. Thus, you will want to avoid potting soil that is high in peat content as this type will retain too much water.
The bougainvillea plant comes in many colors from vibrant tropical hues to pastels that are reminiscent of the Islands. It’s like taking a trip to the Caribbean in your own backyard!