Great Bougainvillea 'Mixed Hybrids'

Bougainvillea spectabilis

Family: Nyctaginaceae (nyk-taj-i-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Bougainvillea (boo-gan-VIL-lee-uh) (Info)
Species: spectabilis (speck-TAB-ih-liss) (Info)
Cultivar: Mixed Hybrids
Synonym:Bougainvillea bracteata
Synonym:Bougainvillea brasiliensis
Synonym:Bougainvillea speciosa
Synonym:Bougainvillea virescens
View this plant in a garden



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Good Fall Color

This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:





12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers


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

Bloom Color:

Magenta (pink-purple)

Fuchsia (red-purple)




Medium Purple

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Jones, Alabama

Goodyear, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona (2 reports)

Arden-arcade, California

Arroyo Grande, California

Belvedere Tiburon, California

Castro Valley, California

Desert Hot Springs, California

Elk Grove, California

Highgrove, California

Martinez, California

Moreno Valley, California

Perris, California

San Lorenzo, California

Santa Barbara, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Walnut Creek, California

Bartow, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Dade City, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Maitland, Florida

North Fort Myers, Florida

Ocoee, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Honomu, Hawaii

Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Lexington, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

Broaddus, Texas

Bryan, Texas

Deer Park, Texas

Harker Heights, Texas

Rye, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Zapata, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 15, 2018, Rests from Bryan, TX wrote:

This plant is as tough as it gets. Accidentally left it outside during a light freeze. Just knew that it was probably dead from the way it looked. Put it in the garage, and it started leafing out again. It is a continual bloomer with enough sun and water. This variety comes in a lot of unusual colors. Just a great plant. One secret to a lot of blooms. It pretty much likes to be root bound.


On Nov 10, 2015, Bigroot from Fayetteville, GA wrote:

I bought four b. spect trees that were quite expensive and none of my Atlanta neighbors knew what they were. The most common remark was "I thought it was something artificial". Expecting to be away for late fall and winter, I brought them in the house. Since these plants let you know real quickly just how much they love direct sun, biggest challenge for me is to figure out just how much water they require. Placing a hole in the flower pot half way up its root system in height gives me room for error from over watering, but then the next trick is to figure when should I add let's say a quart of water without causing leaking water on the floor.

You would think those plants with more sun drank more water, but strangely, it was the blooming plants (no pon intended) that dr... read more


On Sep 30, 2006, 1cros3nails4gvn from Bluffton, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

in hilton head island, sc this will grow outside and do very well , but in the winter it dies back a little. despite what the map says, hilton head is actually zone 9a. it never gets below 20 F. it is also lik that in columbia. there it hardly ever even gets to 15F. i know this because i grew up there


On Feb 10, 2006, firelili from San Diego, CA wrote:

i have one but my apt doesnt get sunlight on my porch. so it never blooms in the shade. i also dont know how to prune it so its not looking to good. but i seen how nice they grow around were theres sun and they are lovely. i recomend it only if you have exposure to the sun.


On May 4, 2005, patp from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Our Bougainvillea is potted and kept indoors in a south-facing location during cool weather. It's trimmed when indoors to keep it manageable, it blooms year-round, and is a joy to behold. The pink flowers seem to change to a slightly different color when the plant is moved outside.


On May 3, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

These plants are "iffy" here in NE Florida (on the borderline of Zone 8b/9a). They are often frozen back to the ground and sometimes don't recover when we happen to have an occasional hard freeze in winter. If offered some protection (such as a heavy mulch of hay and covering in visqueen plastic) for a few winters, the root systems can get better established and are then better able to survive the cold nights.

I have used this winter protection method to keep alive a bronze colored variety for about 3 years and it now climbs about 8' high and spreads across a 4 ' wide trellis. Other colors I have planted are limping along, still trying to get established. One Bougainvillea that I planted last season didn't receive much winter protection and died back completely to the r... read more


On Nov 18, 2004, marshtackie from Orlando, FL wrote:

Under Bougainvillea glabra, I noted that the plants I had in the open ground didn't bloom very spectacularly because they'd been stupidly planted (not by me!) too close to a lawn and under the eaves of the house, with the result that they got too much nitrogen and too little sun, (I should have mentioned at the time that the plants in the open ground were B. spectabilis, not B. glabra, though I don't think it would have made a difference.)

Well, we've had a couple of hurricanes lately, a number of trees down, and all of a sudden I have a major flush of bloom on those bougainvilleas! They're getting more sun, of course, and the lawn hasn't been fertilized in god-knows-when.

Bougainvilleas, whatever the species, seem to be nearly immune to bugs. They grow so fas... read more


On Apr 20, 2004, raserrab from Keller, TX wrote:

For our Spanish speaking friends: Esta planta florece todo el año en climas cálidos, aguanta el invierno y no necesita mucha agua. Tiene varios nombres en español "buganvilla", "buganvilia", "veranera", "santa Rita" "san Joaquín". Es originaria de Sur América, pero se ha aclimatado en todo el mundo. Yo vivo en Texas y tengo una que florece muy bien y no necesita mucho cuidado.


On Apr 20, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

I love the clusters of color on this plant. On the western areas of this island (drier side) they can grow to spectacular heights and have a profussion of blooms. There is one area in Kailua-Kona where it looks like the walls are completely draped in color. It will grow in our wetter area, but the bloom clusters are not as big. We have a small one in our yard that is basically white with a tinge of pink. Very ethereal looking.


On Apr 19, 2004, angelam from melbourne,
Australia wrote:

This is a spectacular plant. For some reason in Melbourne it is the purple variety that seems to cope best with our conditions, whereas further North in Sydney all varieties grow profusely.

It does stop blooming here for a few weeks in Winter. I never water it, rarely throw it any food, hack into it mercilessly to keep the path by its fence open and it just blooms and blooms. My plant is over 20 years old, with a trunk to match but still very vigorous.

The spines are vicious, so plan how you are getting rid of any prunings before you cut.


On Dec 4, 2003, Maudie from Harvest, AL wrote:

When container grown these plants are sensitive to being moved from one location to another. Place them in a sunny location and water when soil becomes dry; leave them there until time to bring inside. This usually causes the leaves to drop but do not despair. Keep moderately damp until the plant adjusts to its new location and puts on new foliage. Keep pruned back.


On Dec 3, 2003, smashedcricket from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Plant does well in sandy acidic soils. Loves temperatures between 65 and 95f. Does not like cold wet conditions. Use on a fence or hot southwest facing wall. Does well in southern parts of arizona,california,texas, and florida. The plant is native of the coastal regions of Brazil. Will tolerate salt sprays. Loves sandy soil. Needs regular fertilizer, especially one high in phosphorus. Needs fun sun, will not bloom well if in shady areas. If planted in a shaded location let dry enough for the plant to wilt to force bloom. Blooms best in fall and spring, but in tropical climates is everblooming.


On Nov 4, 2003, amorning1 from Islamorada, FL wrote:

This plant grown outside, in front of a window will get a reflection from the window and quickly show phenominal growth. I've seen this on 2 different windows so I know its true. Native Indians used to use the thorny long branches as a primitive barbwire.


On Oct 31, 2003, macmex from Tahlequah, OK wrote:

Our family lived in Mexico for almost 14 years. This shrub was VERY popular everywhere we went in that country. Many people told us that a tea brewed from the flowers of the red varieties was an excellent home remedy for colds and coughs,being a natural decongestant. We had opportunity to try it, on numerous occasions. It's true! Wish we could grow it now, living in the northern US! Incidentally, what is commonly referred to as flowers on the Bougainvillea are not. The real flowers are very tiny and inconspicuous.


On Oct 30, 2003, dho1655 from Belvedere Tiburon, CA wrote:

This plant is deer-resistant.


On Aug 28, 2003, stmarie wrote:

We've grown this shrub in Tucson, AZ and it's very popular here. Its beautiful flowers are like a tissue paper rose and the plant usually gets loaded with flowers most of the year. It comes in a variety of colors but the deep rose color does the best. We also have an orange-flowering Bougainvillea and the flowers are not very many. The flowers last a very long time.

They are easy to care for but do not over water. It does not like a lot of water, but on the other hand, don't let it dry out either.

Some people do not enjoy this plant because on windy days it seems to fly into others yards. We enjoy them, but I need to learn more about them and the type of soil, fertilizer to use and how to prune them properly.

The root system is very sensit... read more


On Jun 2, 2003, glover from Conroe, TX wrote:

This plant is absolutely gorgeous and easy to care for. The leaves are nothing special and the overall shape of the plant is rather free-form, but the blooms are stunning. Bougainvilleas look good particularly around a pool because they lend a tropical touch.


On Jan 21, 2003, Lavanda from Mcallen, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

When grown in tropical and subtropical climates, this plant can become huge, and developes long, sharp thorns. Care should be taken to site it where it will not be a danger to children or pets.


On Jan 9, 2003, Chamma from Tennille, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Bougainvillea do very well in the hot, dry, sandy soils. They add color year round to gardens and can be trained as a hedge, a climber, or as a groundcover.


On Mar 10, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A rambling, drought resistant, thorny vine. Blooms on new growth. Do not overwater, as it will produce more vegetation and fewer flowers. Blooms are bright pink, coral, red, orange, or purple. Some varieties have variegated foliage, adding to the plant's interest.