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Southern California BougainvilleaBougainvillea are not only colorful and beautiful, but they are also drought tolerant. That’s perfect for the Southern Californian/San Diego climate and one reason they are so popular here!

However, don’t take their drought tolerance as indestructibility. Bougainvillea are finicky, and have a list of specifics they need to produce their breathtaking bracts*.

Here are some basic tips for growing a flourishing Bougainvillea:

  • Bougainvillea are very fussy about their roots. Be delicate when planting them so as not to damage the root system.
  • In addition, they like their roots to be crowded, so large pots are an ideal planting area and encourage very robust blooms.
  • Their roots also need to be well drained (so picky!), so be sure you plant them in an area with proper drainage.
  • They need at least 5 hours of full sun a day. Bougainvillea enjoy the heat and drying out…give them some water, but they will flourish with proper sun and dry climate.
  • There are more than one variety of Bougainvillea, be sure you choose the one that suits your needs! Some of these varieties include vining, cascading and bush.

*What’s a bract? Those gorgeous, colorful “flowers” growing on your Bougainvillea are not actually flowers, they are bracts. Bracts are often referred to as “false flowers” because the plant’s true flowers are so tiny and hard to see.