How to Grow Bougainvillea from Cuttings

Last Updated: 18.10.2023

Paper Flower is a vibrant plant prized for its showy bracts and profuse blooming. Let’s Explore How to Grow Bougainvillea from Cuttings.

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The plant is a genus of flowering plants native to South America but is now widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. These plants are renowned for their brightly colored, papery bracts surrounding small, white, or cream-colored flowers. In this response, we will discuss the features and characteristics of Bougainvillea and tips about How to Grow Bougainvillea from Cuttings.

Bougainvillea Information

The plants are woody vines or shrubs that can grow up to 30 feet tall. They have thorny stems and long, green leaves that are usually ovate or elliptical. The plant’s most distinctive feature is its brightly colored bracts, which can be pink, purple, red, orange, or white, depending on the cultivar.

Bougainvillea is a profuse bloomer that can produce flowers year-round in warm, tropical climates. The flowers are small and insignificant, but they are surrounded by showy, papery bracts that can last weeks or even months. There are over 300 cultivars of bougainvillea, each with its unique characteristics. Some popular varieties include ‘Barbara Karst,’ with bright red bracts; ‘California Gold,’ with yellow bracts; and ‘Royal Purple,’ with deep purple bracts.

It is a versatile plant, often useful in various ways. They can grow as a climbing vine to cover walls, fences, and arbors or trained as a shrub or small tree. Bougainvillea is also a popular plant for hanging baskets and container gardens. In addition to its ornamental value, bougainvillea has some medicinal uses and is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Common Name: Paper Flower

Here are some common names for the Bougainvillea in various Indian languages:

Hindi: बगनविलिया (Baganvilia)
Bengali: বুগেনভিলিয়া (Bugenvilia)
Telugu: బుగాన్‌విలియా (Buganvilya)
Marathi: बुगेनव्हिलिया (Bugenvhilia)
Tamil: பூகான்விலியா (Pūkāṉviliyā)
Odia: ବୁଗାଇନଭିଲିଆ (Būgāinbhiliā)

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How to Grow Bougainvillea from Cuttings

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Bougainvillea can be propagated from cuttings, and it is a relatively easy process. Here are the steps about How to Grow Bougainvillea from Cuttings:

  • Choose a healthy stem that is free from diseases and pests and has no signs of damage. The stem should be at least 6 inches long and have a few leaves.
  • Using a sharp, sterile knife, cut the stem at a 45-degree angle just below a node. Remove any leaves from the lower half of the cutting, leaving only a few leaves at the top.
  • Dip the cut end of the stem in a rooting hormone powder or gel to encourage root growth.
  • Fill a pot with well-draining soil and make a hole in the center. Place the cutting in the hole and gently firm the soil around it. Water the cutting until the soil is moist but not soggy.
  • Place the pot in a warm, bright spot without direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist but not wet, and cover the pot with a clear plastic bag to create a humid environment.
  • Check the cutting regularly for signs of growth. After a few weeks, you should start to see new growth and roots forming. Once the roots grow, you can remove the plastic bag and transplant the cutting into a larger pot or garden.

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Requirements to Grow Bougainvillea

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Bougainvillea plants thrive in full sunlight and require at least six hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal growth and prolific flowering. These sun-loving plants perform best when planted in locations with abundant sunlight.

In areas with insufficient sunlight, bougainvillea may produce fewer vibrant bracts and become leggy.


These plants prefer well-draining, slightly acidic to neutral soil. A sandy-loam or loamy soil type is ideal for these plants, ensuring proper drainage and preventing waterlogged conditions.

While bougainvillea is somewhat adaptable and can tolerate various soil types, maintaining well-drained soil is critical to prevent root rot and promote overall plant health.

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Bougainvillea is drought-tolerant and can survive periods of dry weather, but it needs regular watering during the growing season to produce abundant flowers. Water the plant deeply, allowing the soil to dry out between watering.

Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.


The plant generally thrives in warm to hot climates, ideally in temperatures ranging between 15°C to 27°C. These plants are well-suited for tropical and subtropical regions. In these climatic conditions, they grow outdoors.

Overall, bougainvillea displays optimal growth and vibrant flowering in areas with consistently warm temperatures and plenty of sunlight.

Bougainvillea Care


Bougainvillea is a heavy feeder and benefits from regular fertilization. Use a balanced fertilizer with a higher potassium content to encourage flowering. Fertilize every two to four weeks during the growing season.

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You can prune these plants to control their size and shape and to encourage branching and flowering. Remove dead or damaged branches, and cut back long, leggy stems to encourage bushiness. Prune in early spring before new growth appears.

Pests and Diseases

Bougainvillea is pest-resistant, but aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites can attack it. Use an insecticidal soap or oil to control these pests. They can be susceptible to fungal diseases, including leaf spot and powdery mildew.

To prevent these diseases, avoid overwatering and provide good air circulation around the plant. If your plant does develop a fungal disease, treat it with a fungicide.

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