Can you grow bougainvilleas in pots?
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.
Why you should consider bambino bougs
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.
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.
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.
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 bouganvilleas
Bougainvilleas grow like weeds up north but in colder areas it’s not always been so easy. Pick the right variety and bougs now grow just about anywhere.
Like bougainvilleas, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The trick to beautiful bougs is to keep them warm, protect from winter frosts, fertilise several times a year, and cut back after flowering.
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