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Bougainvillea Pruning

Bougainvillea Pruning Tips to See Them Enliven Your Garden

Is the thought of pruning that unruly bougainvillea bush driving you nuts? Read this article for some simple but effective tips that will calm you down.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
Bougainvillea Pruning Tips
There's nothing like a bougainvillea plant to spruce up your drab backyard. Though gorgeous to look at, pruning it can become quite a tiresome ordeal, especially for those who are not accustomed to it. Don't worry. Read this article and it will be a piece of cake for you.

An Introduction to the Bougainvillea

Not everyone knows about the history of the bougainvillea plant. It is originally from Brazil and is named after Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, the admiral of a ship called La Boudeuse. This admiral was a close friend of the French naturalist, Dr. Phillibert Cammerson, who discovered this flowering plant. This plant is quite hardy and requires full sunlight to grow. It is a great trellis plant and can also be planted in pots around your house or along the walkway to your house. It has flowers in different colors like red, pink, orange, yellow, lilac, white, and violet. The flowering period is generally in the warmer months as this plant requires sunlight to grow. It absorbs water and nutrients in the remainder of the year and hence needs to be fed constantly with water and fertilizers.

Pruning It

Maintaining a bougainvillea plant is not as easy as it looks. Careful and timely pruning is an important activity that ensures a beautiful display of bougainvillea bracts free from dried branches and infections.

When to Prune It
Bougainvillea can be pruned at any time during the year. When they flower in summer, the dried branches and bracts become obvious. This is a perfect time for pruning. Otherwise, you can prune the plant whenever you think it needs a little tidying up. The plant responds well to pruning and can easily be trimmed into any desired shape.

How to Prune It
Bougainvillea pruning can be done in two ways. They are given below.

Soft Pinching: In this method you have to hold the tip of a new shoot growing at the tip of a branch between your fingers and slowly 'pinch' it off. You may find it unnecessary to break such a tiny and supple tip, but soft pinching helps the plant to remain healthy. It also helps to maintain the plant's neatness. The most important purpose that soft pinching serves is to enhance the blooming and color of the bracts. Regular soft pinching will accelerate the growth and flourishing of the plant on the whole.

Hard Pruning: This method is slightly more complicated than soft pinching. Follow these simple instructions.
  • Get yourself a pair of sharp gardening shears.
  • First, cut out all the dead and dried branches that you can see clearly.
  • Then, prune the top of the plant into whatever shape you wish.
  • Then, proceed towards the interior of the bush. The plant has thorns, so mind them as you prune deeper.
  • Cut any branches which have no flowers on them.
  • Cut away any branches which have too many leaves on them. This will help the plant get fresh air.
  • If you're using the bougainvillea as a hedge plant, use hedging shears to prune the plant into a neatly trimmed hedge.
Bougainvillea pruning can greatly accentuate the growth and color of the blossoms. This in turn will keep your trellis and garden looking neat, tidy, and spectacular. I'll leave you with an excerpt from a beautiful poem by Vijay Sai.

Beautiful Bougainvilleas
Blooming all over,
Throughout my garden
In vivid white
And pleasing pink,
You appeal me so much
Though not at all fragrant
You appear
Magnificent in morning
Effervescent in evening
Needless to say
Devilish at night...
Child With Bunch Of Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea Bunch
Pink Bougainvillea Blooms In The Garden
Flowering Bougainvillea Trees
Bougainvillea
Beautiful Bougainvillea Flowers
Bougainvillea Background
Bougainvillea Bush Vine
Orange Bougainvillea
Orange Bougainvillea Flower
Pink Bougainvillea
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Bougainvillea And Blue Sky