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Bougainvillea is the bold luminous flower that celebrates life even during those hideous steel grey cloudy days. Its a rampant knock out plant. It requires pruning to keep it under control. Young plants may require tip-pinching instead of pruning to help them fill out and grow bushy.
If you get pricked with a bougainvillea it hurts. And you can't just mow over the bastard - thorns are everywhere. They put out random spurs up to 2 inches long. What do you do? Live with it - the flower is a show stopper. Young bougainvillea branches have smaller thorns, and fewer of them. Wear gardening gloves, and avoid reaching your arm into the plant.
Bougainvilleas are flexible. They can be trained in many different ways including as prostrate bougainvilleas.
Bougainvilleas are straightforward plants to grow.
THINGS TO KNOW
1. Frost-free climate but will recover from a light frost.
2. Likes most soil types provided they've got good drainage.
3. Loves full sun - half a day's sun they'll still thrive.
4. Never add too much nitrogen (that will reduce the flower). The key ingredient is potassium or potash. Hibiscus fertiliser is perfect