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Bougainvillea is a vibrant, blooming vine that climbs on trellises at seaside resorts and desert retreats from San Diego to Miami. If you need a tough, tropical with oceans of color that can stand up to heat and drought, bougainvillea's your plant.


Bougainvillea 'Barbara Karst' features magenta blooms and climbs to 40 feet.

Bougainvillea is tough as nails, fast-growing, and puts on a spectacular show of color year-round. These vines are flowering machines that look great climbing a wall, sprawling as a groundcover on hillsides, or pruned and grown in containers. Here's what you need to know about growing bougainvillea.


Bougainvillea is native to Central and South America and commonly cultivated in South Florida, Arizona, South Texas and Southern California. Established vines can withstand a light frost, but you'll need to bring them indoors for the winter in places where the temperatures drop below 25 degrees.


Vines such as bougainvillea can add privacy to your porch or romance to an arbor. The right vine makes any garden special.

Bougainvillea vines are fast growers and have stiff stems with thorns covered in heart-shaped leaves. Their vines can grow up to 40 feet tall with support. Low-growing, shrubby varieties only get a few feet tall and can be grown in containers.


Bougainvillea blooms come in purple, red, orange, white, pink and yellow. But those blooms actually aren't blooms at all. The paper-like structures are a modified leaf called a bract that hides bougainvillea's true flowers: small, trumpet-shaped blooms of white and yellow.

Bloom Time: Year-round
Hardiness Zones: Perennial in Zones 9 to 11 and can be grown as an annual in colder areas


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