Bougainvilleas – So Bright & Bold
Cheer Up Your Garden With Some Bougainvillea Colour! Expert advice on growing this cheerful climbing shrub called the Boungainvillea.

Bougainvilleas – So Bright & Bold

Did you know that the Bougainvillea shrub is named after the French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville who discovered this bright plant during his voyages in South America in 1768. Excerpt: One of the few plants making a splash at this time of the year are the beautiful Boungainvillea cultivars! From white to pale orange, bright pinks and deep magentas, many vibrant ones are available these days. In this blog, we learn more about growing these cheerful climbing Boungainvilleas, so bright and bold.

Interesting, the brightly coloured ‘petals’ are not petals of the flower at all, but instead are bracts that surround the inconspicuous little white-tipped flower inside! These bracts are what attracted old Louis to bring this plant back to Europe, and there are now more than 300 different coloured varieties available!

At Cape Contours Landscape Design, we often include them in our garden designs, especially useful for screening a wall or making a splash of colour through an inside window. They really are so bright and bold and they are hugely popular as ornamental plants. Great in pots too with a simple V-shaped trellis for support. They can add splashes of colour in areas where there is a lot of paving or not much other garden interest.

Bougainvilleas are in fact a thorny, climbing vine, and so ideally need cables, trellis or a pergola to scramble up. They hook themselves onto their own branches and the support with their long thorns and scramble quite quickly. The top of the vine can get quite heavy if it has outgrown its support trellis. In fact, your Bougainvillea can be heavily pruned back after the colourful bracts have all dropped.

The fallen bracts are beautiful when they dry and turn paler colours. These paler-coloured bracts look absolutely lovely when you add them into potpourri or use them as natural confetti at a wedding.

Boungainvillea ‘Magnifica’ is a pretty pink with dependable, evergreen leaves

Growing Bougainvillea is relatively easy, although they sometimes stubbornly refuse to flower once you get them home from the nursery! Ensure you plant yours in free draining soil and in full sun. Do not overwater them! This is the key to helping them flower. Overwatering causes a lot of bushy green leaf growth and very little flowering of the bracts.

They also like crowded roots, and it’s been suggested that you leave them in the plant pots and simply make a few holes in the sides and bottoms to allow the roots to grow through. This apparently also helps promote flowering.

Stunning variegated leaves of Bougainvillea Dauphine and its bright red flowers

Once your Bougainvillea has stopped producing its cheerfully coloured flowers, it is time for pruning. In fact, pruning them back hard after flowering will encourage new growth and flowering. Remove any suckers that have sprouted from the base of the plant during pruning to eliminate competition for nutrients. Fertilising in summer can be done at the same time as the rest of the garden on a 6-weekly basis.

Bougainvillea ‘Lilac Queen’ makes a great addition to a blue and purple colour scheme.

There are a lot of beautiful cultivars available here in the Cape at our retail and wholesale plant nurseries. Here is a short list of some of the cultivars you can find.

  • ‘Bougainvillea ‘Brilliance’
  • ‘Crimson Jewel’
  • ‘Dauphine’
  • ‘David Lemmer’
  • ‘Golden McLean’
  • ‘Lilac Queen’,
  • ‘Magnifica’
  • ‘Red Glory’
  • ‘Rubyana’
  • ‘Temple Fire’
  • ‘Vera Blakeman’



Architectural Plants

Today’s blog is list of plants, shrubs and trees which can be used as architectural form plants to create an eye catching piece in your garden. By adding a couple of carefully chosen plants, trees and shrubs one can go far to increasing the appeal of your garden and adding interest and dimension. Turn dull uniform areas, into modern, jaw dropping show ‘pieces’.

Butterflies in the garden

Everyone is charmed by butterflies! They represent metamorphosis, hope through change and are symbolic of the life-cycle of all living things. Some are brilliantly patterned and coloured with kaleidoscopic markings.

Let Your Garden Shine

Who wouldn’t want to follow this path into the cool night air? So you’ve spent hours perfecting your garden; considered the most functional layout, the prettiest features, comfortable furniture, interesting plants, and your lawn is your personal victory. It’s such a pleasure to have such a beautiful and calm space to enjoy. Weekends with family and friends, perhaps by the pool, pets and children frolicking in the open air.

Attracting Garden Birds. Feeders & Beyond – Everything You Need To Know

Enjoy the beauty and heart-warming joy that garden birds bring. Learn how to attract various different birds to your garden.

Companion Planting for the Veggie Garden

It’s now a well-known fact that certain plants grow better when planted near to each other as they improve each other’s well-being and protect each other from attack by insect pests. Now this is the kind of gardening I like, letting Nature lead the way and do the work!

Child Safety in The Garden

Every year, many children are rushed to the hospital due to accidents that occur in the home and garden. Checking your garden is safe for the littlest members of your family is important and here are some tips and advice for making yours as safe as possible.

Artificial Greening – Our Growing Range of Artificial Plants

Don’t be fooled! Faux is the new cool! The new possibilities for using synthetic or ‘fake’ plants for greening up your interior and outdoor living spaces are reaching new heights, quite literally!

March is for Garden Maintenance

Essential garden maintenance tips on activities you need to perform during Autumn. A winter-ready garden guarantees a lovely Spring garden.


The climate starts cooling down and in particular night temperatures go down. So this is the time of the year when you still practice summer maintenance but at the same time start planting and preparing for cooler climate gardening.

Garden Woes: Weeds & CutWorms

If you’re a gardener, you know that weeds, cutworms, and other pests can wreak havoc on your plants. But there are ways to fight back! Here are some tips for dealing with these common garden problems.

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