Bougainvillea beauty

Bougainvillea Thai Gold

Over the last few days weeks I have received a number of inquiries as which Bougainvillea’s I would recommend for growing in dry areas, provide a dense screen or which Bougainvilleas would make the best front yard display?

So this week I would like to highlight some of the spectacular Bougainvilleas that could be grown in Central Queensland.

All of these Bougainvilleas I have used with great success over the last twenty years.

Remember the colourful displays produced by Bougainvilleas are not by the flowers, but by the bracts that surround the flowers, which are small or non-existent in most flowers. These colourful bracts, developed over thousands of years, attract bees and butterflies to the tiny flowers, after which pollination results.

Bougainvillea Double Flowering Hybrids are one of the most popular and desirable of the Bougainvilleas cultivators.

They produce large heads of double bracts in recurring flushes and can be kept small.

These include Limberlost Beauty, Klong Fire, Pagoda Pink and Thai Gold.

Bougainvillea Alba is a vigorous, woody, evergreen climber with short thorns and deeper green leaves.

Bougainvillea Alba produces papery clusters of white bracts over the stems from Summer to Autumn, however it can flush flowers across the year.

It is best planted in full sun position with well-drained soil.

Bougainvillea Alba will make a colourful accent on walls or pergolas.

Bougainvillea Easter Parade is a hardy creeper with silvery pink medium-size bracts.

It is a strong grower and flowers most of the year.

It is best in the full sun, can be pruned to shape and is suitable for pergolas, banks and tubs.

Bougainvillea Mrs Butt is an evergreen, climber that produces masses of medium sized, crimson bracts.

It is the ideal climbing plant for pergolas, fences, garages or any unsightly objects in your yard.

Or it can be used a very colourful tub specimen.

Bougainvillea Mrs Butt prefers a warm, sunny position with well-drained soil.

Bougainvillea Mrs Louis Waltham is a hardy creeper with a long flowering period in winter and summer.

The bracts are rounded bright orange in colour fading to rose pink.

It likes full sun and can be pruned or trimmed as desired.

During summer it is best to water frequently.

Bougainvillea Raspberry Ice has a profusion of magenta-red blooms that contrast strikingly with variegated green and white foliage.

The flowers remain colourful for weeks and bloom almost all year long.

Though not a great climber, the Raspberry Ice is perfect for as a garden feature, pot or in a hanging basket.

Bougainvillea Snowcap is a fast growing semi-evergreen climber with large green elliptic foliage.

It produces profusion of large single bi-coloured white and pink papery bracts containing three small cream flowers.

The flowers are displayed over multiple times a year.

Bougainvillea Tango is a vigorous, cascading and dense plant that produces young bracts that are orange, opening to clear orange and fading to light pink, giving a multi-coloured look.

It has a recurring flowering habit and has medium to strong thorns.

Bougainvillea was named after the French navigator, Louis de Bougainvillea, who discovered the vine that now bears his name, it was a botanical highlight of the voyage to Brazil in 1768.

An important note in growing Bougainvillea’s is the root system is extremely fragile.

The plant doesn’t like to be moved.

Take extra caution when removing the plant from the pot before placing it in the ground.

Also one of the most common problems with Bougainvillea’s is many gardeners kill Bougainvillea’s with the kindness.

Unfortunately Bougainvilleas grown in rich soil that is over-watered and over-fertilised don’t preform well.

Sadly these Bougainvilleas grown in these positions tend to produce many leaves but very few colourful bracts.

I remember once being told by one of the early champion gardeners that his secret to prize-winning gardens, of which Bougainvilleas were a feature, was not to water his Bougainvilleas until their leaves had drooped for at least a day.

He was well known for wanting to know the exact day the judges would visit his garden, so that he could time his watering to extract the best flowering display.

Bougainvilleas are virtually pest and disease free, and I would suggest removing the long water shoots to keep the shrub or climber to the densest possible shape.