How Do You Care For Bougainvillea Spectabilis?

What Is The Difference Between Bougainvillea Spectabilis And Bougainvillea Glabra?

Bougainvillea glabra features pentagonal flower tubes and short floral bracts, distinguishing it from Great Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea Spectabilis), which has spherical floral tubes and longer floral bracts, but is otherwise quite similar.

Bougainvillea Spectabilis, with its rounded bronze-orange blooms, is one of the most popular flowering plants in the world, used in flower arrangements and cut flowers.  The difference is that Bougainvillea Spectabilis has many more petals as well as flowers on each stem.

Bougainvillea Spectabilis blooms spectacularly in late spring and early summer. Light-green, very fragrant foliage and tubular flowers of bright orange or red make bougainvillea an attractive flowering plant choice. Plant this shade loving beauty in full sun to part shade and in moist, neutral soil. Bougainvillea Spectabilis is a vigorous grower that needs support to keep it upright. Prop up with a stake or trellis when not in bloom.

What Is The Common Name Of Bougainvillea Spectabilis?

The common name for Bougainvillea splendiferous is the great bougainvillea is a flowering plant species. It is endemic to Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, and the Chubut Province of Argentina.

Bougainvillea Spectabilis grows as a woody vine or shrub with heart-shaped leaves and thorny, pubescent stems, reaching heights of 15 to 40 feet (4.6 to 12.2 m).

The blooms are typically tiny, white, and inconspicuous, with numerous brilliantly colored modified leaves known as bracts serving as a highlight. The bracts can be white, crimson, mauve, purple-red, or orange, among other colors. Its fruit is a tiny, dry, elongated, inconspicuous achene.

Bougainvillea Spectabilis is indigenous to Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina’s Chubut Province, but it has been brought to many other regions.

Bougainvillea Spectabilis may be cultivated in hardiness zones 10 to 11, preferring full sun, dry conditions, and good soil. Stem and root cuttings can be used for propagation.

Diabetes was formerly treated using Bougainvillea Spectabilis leaves by the Yandi tribe of Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, India. The plant is often cultivated as an ornamental.

How Do You Care For Bougainvillea Spectabilis?

Bougainvillea Spectabilis requires full sun, somewhat acidic and well-drained soil, and a climate that is hot and dry.

Continue to water your bougainvillea plant sparingly, fertilize it every few months, prune it at the end of the season, and teach it to climb a neighboring wall or trellis. The following are factors to consider when caring Bougainvillea Spectabilis;


Bougainvillea Spectabilis thrives in a warm, sunny location. It needs at least six hours of sun per day. However, plant it where there are no direct hot rays of the sun. To avoid scorching your leaves, try to keep them out of direct sun for at least half the day.


Bougainvillea Spectabilis requires well-drained soil. Even if you water your bougainvillea regularly, it should still drain well. Plan to water it during the summer if you live in a hilly area, or in winter when the weather is often dry. To avoid overwatering, check the root’s health regularly and water only when necessary.


Bougainvillea Spectabilis prefers a good, deep soaking every three or four weeks versus frequent shallow watering. Give a bougainvillea too much water and it can suffer fungal infections and root rot. Bougainvillea flowers best when kept on the dry side. Too much water will give you lots of green growth and fewer blossoms


Bougainvillea Spectabilis doesn’t require extremely low temperatures; however, it does not appreciate excessively high temperatures either. With a daily temperature range of 59 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 27 degrees Celsius), it is most likely possible to grow Bougainvillea Spectabilis outdoors in any zone from 10 to 11.


Bougainvillea Spectabilis is a moderately high-humidity plant that should never be allowed to dry out. The humidity should be 50-60%. When the air is cool and the water is plentiful, Bougainvillea Spectabilis can tolerate slightly droughty conditions. However, you don’t want to go overboard and let your bougainvillea become overly saturated. When the plant does become too wet, it will drop its leaves and develop fungal infections that can kill it.


Bougainvillea Spectabilis may be propagated by taking cuttings 6 inches long in April. First dip the cut ends into hormone rooting powder, if you have it (not straight into the container of course), and then place them in a moistened mix of equal parts soil and perlite (most potting mixes contain perlite) (most potting mixes contain perlite).


Bougainvillea Spectabilis is prone to weak, sickly growth. It can be easily kept balanced by pruning the lower leaves in early spring and removing the older growth toward the end of summer. If your bougainvillea is in a large container, you can prune up to 30 percent of the top growth. Pruning allows light to penetrate into the interior of the plant and encourages new growth from inside.


Bougainvillea Spectabilis is an easily damaged plant, so repot only when necessary and make sure to keep the container full. Generally, it should be repotted every 2-3 years. Bougainvillea Spectabilis is a popular houseplant and can be grown outdoors in some regions. The plant grows well in containers or hanging baskets. It can grow up to 18 inches tall and 8 inches wide with thick green foliage and frilly white or creamy colored bracts that bloom in mid- to late autumn.


Bougainvillea Spectabilis should be fertilized monthly or bi-monthly using a balanced, high-nitrogen liquid fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer according to the instructions on the label. For best results, use a complete formula that contains minor elements such as nitrogen and potassium, as well as micronutrients.

Pests and Diseases

Bougainvillea Spectabilis is susceptible to many common pests and diseases including aphids, mealybugs and scale insects (especially Coleoptera). To protect your plant from pests, they should be removed as soon as you notice them and reapplied after they have been washed off.

Mistletoe can sometimes be a problem with Bougainvillea Spectabilis. If you feel the need to remove it, pull up the entire vine and dispose of the portions in the trash. To prevent injury, the bougainvillea should not be pruned in winter. Bougainvillea Spectabilis may also experience problems that are related to humidity and temperature.

Are Bougainvillea Spectabilis Roots Invasive?

Bougainvillea Spectabilis is neither invasive nor aggressive, so homeowners who wish to confine it to a reasonably small area may do so as long as they keep up with trimming.

Bougainvillea Spectabilis will climb along a fence, arbor or other structure, but it can be kept under control with a little maintenance.

It’s also possible to grow Bougainvillea as a topiary, training the vine to grow into interesting forms like balls, hearts or pyramids. While all pruning should be done in winter to prevent harm and while it is dormant, cutting the vine back by one-third each year will keep it in check.

Bougainvillea Spectabilis should be kept in a location with bright light. It prefers full sun, but can tolerate part-shade locations. Bougainvillea Spectabilis is drought tolerant and prefers consistent moisture, so mist the foliage gently throughout the day to prevent cracking.

Are Bougainvillea Spectabilis Flowers Leaves?

Bougainvillea Spectabilis is a tropical vining shrub that is available in a broad range of vivid and whimsical hues. The “flowers” are actually modified leaves known as bracts that are colorful and long-lasting.

Similar to a poinsettia, the bright bracts overshadow the plant’s real (but tiny) bloom. Bougainvillea Spectabilis requires very little maintenance, making it a go-to plant for beginning gardeners. Bougainvillea Spectabilis bloom can last as long as three months, so homeowners with a sunny patio or balcony can enjoy their colorful foliage during the winter.

Bougainvillea Spectabilis is a popular choice for florists and event planners, who use the vine to brighten up bouquets and centerpieces. Bougainvillea Spectabilis is also ideal for container gardening because it is not only colorful but also grows very quickly, lending variety to outdoor displays and décor.

Are Bougainvillea Spectabilis Toxic?

Bougainvillea Spectabilis toxicity is an oral toxin affecting the gastrointestinal tract after ingestion. On rare occasions, skin contact with Bougainville Spectabilis may also cause mild skin irritation. The toxic substance in Bougainvillea Spectabilis is unknown, but dogs and cats are especially sensitive.

If you suspect your pet has been exposed to Bougainvillea Spectabilis, contact your vet immediately as there is no antidote.

Bougainvillea Spectabilis plant is toxic to cats and dogs causing gastrointestinal upset, but the most common symptoms of exposure include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Bougainvillea Spectabilis toxicity is not a common problem, but it is possible to be at risk if you handle the plant or cut it.

The toxic portions include the leaves, stems and roots but also any part of the plant that contains sap. That means any part used for food preparation should be washed thoroughly to remove all traces of contamination.

While it is not common, some people have been known to experience skin irritation from handling the Bougainvillea Spectabilis.

Are Bougainvillea Spectabilis Flowers Poisonous To Humans?

Bougainvillea Spectabilis is often fully safe to humans. Some individuals run a small risk of developing an allergic response or dermatitis when exposed to the sap, although this risk can be decreased by wearing gloves when handling the plant.

The toxic substance in Bougainvillea is difficult to identify, but it is believed to be hydrotropic and non-protein. It has been found in Bougainvillea Spectabilis and “Bougainvillea frutescens”, a species that has toxic alkaloids.

The toxin may be found as both free aldehydes (as in Bryonia Alba) and protein-bound forms (as in Lycopersicum esculentum). It causes irritation and inflammation of the mucous membranes, lungs and GI tract.

Frequently, a single exposure to Bougainvillea Spectabilis is not lethal to humans but repeated exposures to the compound can cause severe illness. The same appears true for animals as well as there is a lack of clinical symptoms with an acute exposure.

Animals that have ingested Bougainvillea Spectabilis may show loss of appetite, lethargy or vomiting as symptoms. Some animals may also be more sensitive than others based on their body size or health status.

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