Don’s Tips: Bougainvilleas


Bright pink bougainvilleas

Bougainvilleas are arguably the most spectacular flowering plants for the temperate to warmer areas of Australia.

In general, their true flowers are always white, but the floral bracts around the true flowers can be red, purple, orange, yellow, white or many other colours.

The spectacular shimmering colours of the bracts are due to the fact that all individual bougainvillea flower bracts turn pink as they age. So Scarlett O’Hara, which is deep blood red, ages to pink. The pure yellow varieties gradually get a pinkish shimmer as each flower fades to pink.

To get bougainvilleas to flower well, just leave them alone. Don’t water them much and don’t fertilise them and try not to prune them too much.

Fertilising, watering or pruning sends them into rampant thorny growth with few or no flowers at all.

Neglected bougainvilleas rarely if ever produce thorns – they just flower!

Hooroo, Don.