Big, bold and blooming beautiful, bougainvilleas – or ‘bougs’ – have it all. Their flamboyant flowers in shades of red, pink, purple, orange, gold and white burst onto the scene in summer and last well into autumn, providing your garden with glorious seasonal displays of colour and drama. These exuberant climbing plants are ideal for covering large areas, but due to their scrambling nature they need to be pruned regularly. If you don’t have the time to tame them, there are compact forms like Sundevillea and Bambino bougs that grow between 1-1.5m tall, making them perfect for growing in tubs, hanging baskets, or as small specimen plants in garden beds.
You won’t be disappointed with the range of colour Bambino bougs have to offer. There are more than 20 striking colours and a few even have variegated leaves – what a bonus! Ensure you plant in full sun and don’t overwater – this will help encourage heavy flowering. Below are a Bilas and Siggi variety.
The beautiful vase-shape habit of Sundevillea makes them ideal for growing in pots and hanging baskets. Unlike regular bougs, they don’t need a trellis or support – just trim lightly after flowering to help maintain their compact shape.
• Sundevillea Available in three vibrant colours – rose, cream and pink – Sundevillea bougainvilleas flower early in the season and continually bloom throughout summer. They can reach 1m high and wide, which means they are ideal for growing in pots or small garden beds.
• Bambino bougs Bred and developed in Australia, Bambino bougs are available in an extensive range of bright and beautiful colours including shades of purple, pink, orange, red and white. They grow to 1.5m high and wide, so they’re great for hedges or trimming into standards. You can also find a few ‘mini’ Bambino bougs that only grow 30-40cm, meaning they’re perfect for growing as groundcovers or in hanging baskets.
How do I grow them?
• Climate Like bougainvilleas, these dwarf bougs grow best in tropical, subtropical and warm-temperate frost-free zones. They can also grow in cooler climates and tolerate light frost – the foliage tends to drop during the cooler months, but will produce new leaves come spring.
• Aspect Plant in full sun and protect from strong winds when young. You can also grow them in part shade, but there will be less flowers and larger leaves.
• Soil These bougs are adaptable to most soils, provided it is well-draining and has been enriched with organic matter prior to planting. If planting in pots, use a good-quality potting mix.
• Water Keep watering regularly until established, when bougainvilleas will be quite drought tolerant. However, they will benefit from a deep watering in hotter months. Reduce during cooler months, but ensure soil does not dry out.
• Fertiliser Feed plants with a controlled- release fertiliser that is low in nitrogen and high in potassium, such as Osmocote Plus Trace Elements – Pots, Planters & Indoors, or Yates Thrive Flower and Fruit. This will help promote flowering instead of leaf growth.
• Apply fertiliser in spring and autumn.
• Maintenance A light prune after flowering is all that is required to maintain shape.