Knowing the Different Bougainvillea Varieties

Most people have seen bougainvillea only as a vine, spread on a trellis in a glorious burst of color. They also grow as a shrub and in dwarf varieties suitable for containers. Learn more about the varieties of bougainvillea below.

Vine Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea buttiana is the best-known variety of this plant. These can grow as vines, shrubs or draping downward from a hanging container. The tiny white trumpets inside the vividly colored bract leaves are the true flowers. Choose from varieties with red, yellow, mauve, peach or rich pink bracts. In a large garden, these bougainvillea make a stunning ground cover.

Shrub Bougainvillea

Many types of bougainvillea can, with rigorous pruning, be grown as shrubs or hedges. The Zeppa variety makes a solid hedge when pruned with hedge shears twice a year. Keep them well clear of pathways as their thorns are tough and sharp.

Dwarf Bougainvillea

Varieties such as Solar Flare and Little Guy grow to only about 16 inches high, and will bloom for 9 months of the year. They are ideal for growing in large tub containers.

Where to Grow Bougainvillea

A tropical plant, bougainvillea do best in frost-free zones, planted with other tropicals such as hibiscus. Use hibiscus fertilizer on your bougainvillea to promote blooming.