Growing Plants

How To Grow Bougainvillea On A Trellis? Expert Tips To Know

Bougainvillea usually comes as the first choice for garden decoration thanks to the colorful bracts, lush leaves, and especially high adaptability.

They can get along well in different habitats like brick walls, concrete walls, or trellises.

That’s also why this flower is popularly sought-after by urban gardeners. Well, we will present to our plant lovers some basic steps for how to grow Bougainvillea on a trellis.

About Bougainvillea

how to grow bougainvillea on a trellis

Background Information

The name Bougainvillea Spectabilis belongs to Nyctaginaceae. This family is famous for their flowers’ blooming time: after 16:PM.

Therefore, this tropical wild vine also has another name called 4-o-clock plants.

In nature, this species mostly distributes through the American Latin countries like Brazil, Western Peru, and a southern corner of Argentina.

Bougainvillea is a resistant woody climbing plant. Strong branches and thorns support them to grow and elongate very quickly.

A closer look shows that the ovate-shaped leaves are staggered to each other. Leave’s sizes often fluctuate on average 8 cm in length and at most 5 cm in width.

The soft and papery bougainvillea cluster around the branches’ tips, creating an eye-catching appearance. Do not mistake them as the Bougainvillea blossoms.

These colorful pieces are called the bract, which hides Bougainvillea’s true flowers. The trumpet-shaped and pale yellow tubular flowers shyly inside are the flowers of Bougainvillea mature plants.

The Bract palette varies in warm and brilliant tones like purple, pink, scarlet, orange, yellow, and white. Among them are purple and yellow, the most preferred colors.


Being adopted in the tropical climate, Bougainvillea vine tends to grow more fruitfully.

This plant has several advantages for cultivation. They almost bloom brilliantly year-round, have tough vitality, and grow well even in harsh weather conditions.

You can bend the Bougainvillea tree to your desired posture to create a more beautiful shape.

Popular Variety 

  • Miss Alice: is a delicate and small summer vining shrub. Foliage is usually light green accompanying the immaculate white blooms. Thorns appear quite sparingly and can disappear completely in some types.
  • Barbara Karstand and Margarita Fiesta: are the top seeding varieties thanks to their striking red. Barbara is scarlet, while Margarita has a more vibrant color.
  • Cherry blossoms: attracted by the color and gentle shape of the leaves. The pastel pink bracts are perfect for decorative hanging baskets on your little balcony.

How To Grow Bougainvillea On A Trellis 

What To Prepare For Bougainvillea Planting

best trellis for bougainvillea
Prepare For Bougainvillea Planting

Time Of Planting

We don’t need to be too strict on seasonality for this easy-going plant. However, we recommend proceeding in early spring (especially mixing with other early spring white flowering trees) and summer.

The weather conditions during this period facilitate the development, and June to August will be the golden time of the blooming season.

Sun Exposure

Bougainvillea is well adapted to warmer regions and is particularly fond of direct sunlight. Please erect the trellis or plant flowers in sunny spots, like in the east or west-facing walls.

Thus, new flowers can absorb an average of 6-7 hours of sunlight per day for the most colorful blooms.

Based on this feature, people intend to plant Bougainvillea to get luxuriant shade for areas exposed to too much light.

Soil Characteristic

The plant does not require too much soil, and it can get along well, even on sandy or gravel grounds.

Dedicated gardeners had better still pay attention to the soil type. Humid soil is not ideal as it can rot the roots, but well-drained soil will be a wise choice.

Strong Trellis Wire

The Bougainvillea plant grows quickly and can become heavier due to its many branches. Remember to use highly resistant wire to avoid collapse.

We recommend the iron or stainless steel trellis with high strength, durability, and robustness.

Later, these affordable wires can be easily maintained for the new plant cycle.

You can invest in the luxurious and classic woody trellis with vast and themed gardens, as well.

How To Grow Bougainvillea On A Trellis 

do bougainvillea need a trellis
Bougainvillea On A Trellis

Prepare yourself with protective clothing and gloves before handling this thorny plant.

You start the process by cutting into a deep enough hole. The root tips should be level with the ground.

Don’t forget the average distance of about 2 meters between surrounding objects, so the plant has enough space for strong growth.

Step 1

Stick two stakes on either side with a distance of at least 1 foot. This is the primary step to create the frame shape for the tree.

Step 2

Secure Bougainvillea with strings. You tie the trunk with nylon rope tightly enough, as excessive tightening can prevent them from elongating. Wrap the braided wire directly onto the truss.

Bougainvillea can become a messy shrub if they are not controlled regularly. At this step, please cut off the excess stems or branches.

Step 3

Track the shape on a regular basis. Once attached to the trellis, the plant enters a period of vigorous growth. Choose a sturdy part of the tree for support, and connect it to the young shoot of the branch.

Step 4

Light pruning or tipping should be done more frequently during the main growth stage. Otherwise, Bougainvillea will not follow your desired frame shape.

When pruning the top, pay attention to a length of at most 10 centimeters so that the standard-size tree is still neatly maintained.


How Often Should I Water The Bougainvillea?

You can water them weekly in the early time and lessen to once per fortnight.

The Bougainvillea has good drought tolerance, so you don’t need to provide deep watering to avoid waterlogging.

As plants need more energy to grow in the early stages, you can water them twice every week.

This frequency is enough to keep the soil moist, and support plant photosynthesize. Later, when the plant can sustain itself, watering every 2 weeks is appropriate.

Should I Prune My Bougainvillea?

Yes, of course. Pruning Bougainvillea during its development is significantly essential. This technique is the key for Bougainvillea to elongate to your intended trellis frame.

Tips are to trim excessively small branches and old and diseased branches. That way, you can maintain a neat appearance for your foliage while preventing plant disease expansion.

Please do not trim the branches in sweating weather (like at noon or early afternoon), as the whole shrub can be prone to dehydration.

Can I Grow Bougainvillea In Pots?

Yes, you can feel free to seed Bougainvillea shrubs in pots. Flower lovers who do not have much outdoor space often look for this choice for their balcony or window corners.

You should follow basic standards so that they can blossom greatly in your pots, including a 30-cm height container, at most 5 sunny hours of exposure and moderate surrounding temperature (20-35 Celsius Degree).


Planting natural climbers, gardeners aim to fit them into their preferred frame. Therefore, the whole process can take more time and effort than potted plants.

In return, you will get the well-deserved result: lush and vibrant Bougainvillea foliage. Now, you’ve gained some helpful information on how to grow Bougainvillea on a trellis.

We look forward to your beautiful bougainvillea corner as you wish.

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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