Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea 'Barbara Karst'

Family: Nyctaginaceae (nyk-taj-i-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Bougainvillea (boo-gan-VIL-lee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Barbara Karst

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Vines and Climbers

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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to view:

By Thaumaturgist
Thumbnail #1 of Bougainvillea  by Thaumaturgist

By IslandJim
Thumbnail #2 of Bougainvillea  by IslandJim

By htop
Thumbnail #3 of Bougainvillea  by htop

By Thaumaturgist
Thumbnail #4 of Bougainvillea  by Thaumaturgist

By Kelli
Thumbnail #5 of Bougainvillea  by Kelli

By htop
Thumbnail #6 of Bougainvillea  by htop

By Thaumaturgist
Thumbnail #7 of Bougainvillea  by Thaumaturgist

There are a total of 30 photos.
Click here to view them all!


11 positives
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Southernbell421 On Feb 26, 2011, Southernbell421 from Ocala, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I bought this plant at a local WalMart 2009. It dies back during the winter but comes back to a beautiful plant in the Spring. I still have it in it's original hanging basket and would like to plant it somewhere in the yard. I am not sure though how to go about planting it in the ground and keep it growing from that point on.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks..

Positive goofybulb On Jun 15, 2008, goofybulb from El Paso, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I didn't actually grow this plant myself. But it was planted in the gardens of the houses that I lived for 3 years, along with a couple other cultivars that I don't know the name of. In addition, Miami's landscape is consistently and increasingly presenting Bougainvillea in all the colors known so far.
My opinion: a wonderful and quick way to add color and resuscitate a "boring" lawn. It has a very speedy growth rate, so if you want to keep it tamed, you have to use your pruning scissors. It flowers on new growth, and it resists even hard pruning, and flowers massively afterwards. Actually, the flowers are inconspicuous, it is the bracts that allure us.
Another good thing: it thrives on neglect. It lives with whatever mother nature gives. We did nothing but the occasional pruning, so the postman could use the sidewalk...
It is a very robust "climbing shrub", and it uses its thorns/spines to climb its support. One can either provide it a very sturdy support or can keep it as a bush/mound, beautiful nonetheless.

Positive wreinha On Nov 27, 2006, wreinha from Macomb, IL wrote:

When growing this plant, I would suggest putting the plant downstairs in indirect light at cool temperatures. When I was growing my plant I would put it downstairs in my basement under good light and watering it carefully, it started to break bud and new leaves grew out of the buds. So that is why I highly recommend this plant to any one interested in bougainvilles. The place I got my plant from is a Kmart store.

Positive GuardanGirl On Oct 27, 2006, GuardanGirl from Palm Bay, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant seems to grow very well in my area. I've seen these plants grow to masive heights. I'm curious on the growth rate of this plant. Can anyone tell me?

Positive MaryAnnRose On May 3, 2006, MaryAnnRose from Glen Mills, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have two of these in my garden, they are in huge hanging baskets and in full sun all day. They are so beautiful! I've only had them for 2 months and I am wondering if they can be propagated. Has anyone tried "rooting" bougainvellia and had success? I would love to have more of these beauties in and around my garden. Thank You

Neutral Leeerma On Jul 13, 2005, Leeerma from Lanett, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant has grown up to my roof top and HAS NOT BLOOMED YET. It has been in this same place for 2 years, and has not bloomed. It gets sun from noon till dark.Someone please tell me why it doesn't bloom?

Positive Tomatoholic On Apr 12, 2005, Tomatoholic from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a beautiful plant. Grows well in the full sun we have here in Austin, TX. But does anyone know how to get rid of the aphids that it suddenly has? I have been going thru all the bracts and leaves and pinching off the vermin which is a bit time-consuming. I did find a ladybug on it yesterday and was hoping she was eating all the aphids. Thanks.

Neutral BumblingBee On Jan 10, 2005, BumblingBee from Red Oak, TX wrote:

The colorful blooms on this plant are not flowers, they are bracts of bright color and have a miniscule white flower in each bract.

The tiny white flowers are not much bigger than a pinhead.

To encouage "bloomimg" (appearance of the bracts), the soil should be on the dry side. Watering will encourage leaf growth; dryness will promote the colorful display of bracts.

Under ideal conditions (in its own opinion), this beautiful plant can be covered in the brascts/blooms with no leaves.

Positive WalterT On May 31, 2004, WalterT from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Here in S. Calif. this plant flourishes. It can cover a house in a few years if not pruned. Blooms in many colors: white, yellow, orange, pink, red and purple. Needs little water. Likes warm weather all the time. Beware of the spines - long and sharp. WalterT.

Neutral foodiesleuth On May 30, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

They do better on the west side (dryer) of the island than on our side, though I have seen some reach heights towering and cascading in full bloom like a purple mantle over a huge mango tree just down the road from us.

Another neighbor has let three different varieties in white, lilac and purple, grow up one of her trees, When in bloom, it is a sight to see!

We keep one, sort of bonzai in a concrete pot by our rock steps. Its in bloom at the moment.

Positive mlayala On May 29, 2004, mlayala from Oceanside, CA wrote:

at first I was watering too much on the drip system and they lost all their flowers and leaves, I turned off the drip on these plants and allow it to get water from surrounding plants, and they've come back beautifully. They will bloom more with more sunlight, but do fine in partial shade also. They do well in zone 10

Neutral maisoui11 On Jan 24, 2004, maisoui11 from Modesto, CA wrote:

i always had these, wtih great success, in coastal southern california. however, in orlando, florida, i have a potted one on my patio that has never achieved the same brilliance. i know one problem may be that it is not in full sun all day long. does anyone have a suggestion about jump-starting a potted bouganvillea that is in partial shade? and--how often should i water it in the heat and humidity of a florida summer (i was always under the impression that they did well in california because it's so dry.) thank you :)

Positive smashedcricket On Dec 27, 2003, smashedcricket from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Bougainvillea loves heat and humidity..and a sandy,loam soil. Make sure drainage is excellent..keep in full sun all day long for best bloom. Vine perfers temperature from 60-90.humidity from 50 to 95%.

Neutral eje On Oct 6, 2003, eje from San Francisco, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Once established, this Bougainvillea does very well in my neighborhood in San Francisco, CA. I've seen it well over 20 feet tall in some backyards with (apparently) very little care. Unfortunately, for me, this means sweeping up Bougainvillea flowers practically every day all summer. Plus, I find the colors kind of garish in large doses.

Positive broozersnooze On Aug 29, 2003, broozersnooze from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

The picture above (by Kelli) is awesome. I didn't realize this plant could get so massive.

I LOVE this plant & have collected it in every color I've come across. I have some growing on a trellis, some in very large hanging baskets, deck planters hung on the deck railings & fence & also in planters on my upper deck growing on the lattice surrounding the deck. It does BEAUTIFULLY whether full sun or part shade. It dies back in a hard freeze (area 9B) but is resilient & bounces right back.

Positive ORLFL On Jun 18, 2002, ORLFL wrote:

'Barbara Karst' is a most popular cultivar. It's easy to grow and propagate, and a specimen of this plant can easily reach a height of 25 feet. It's truly spectacular in bloom.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Foley, Alabama (2 reports)
Irvington, Alabama
Jones, Alabama
Chandler, Arizona
Goodyear, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (3 reports)
Tucson, Arizona
Antioch, California
Bakersfield, California
Canoga Park, California
Citrus Heights, California
Elk Grove, California
Fresno, California
Hayward, California
Laguna Niguel, California
Los Angeles, California
Martinez, California (2 reports)
Moreno Valley, California
Oak View, California
Palm Springs, California
Rancho Mirage, California (2 reports)
San Clemente, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Cruz, California
Spring Valley, California
Temecula, California
Upland, California
Valley Center, California
Venice, California
Apopka, Florida
Bradley, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Deltona, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2 reports)
Hollywood, Florida
Homosassa, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Keystone Heights, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Miami, Florida
North Fort Myers, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Ormond Beach, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Saint Augustine, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Venice, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Pesotum, Illinois
Alexandria, Indiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Metairie, Louisiana
Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Camden, Tennessee
Lafayette, Tennessee
Alvin, Texas
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Bay City, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Clarendon, Texas
Edinburg, Texas (3 reports)
Friendswood, Texas
Groves, Texas
Houston, Texas
Katy, Texas
Manvel, Texas
Mcallen, Texas
Mission, Texas
Salineno, Texas
San Angelo, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Spring Branch, Texas

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