How to prune a potted bougainvillea

prune a potted bougainvillea

There is no doubt that bougainvillea is a plant that when you see it, you fall in love with it. Its climbing pot size, the flowers it produces and its hardiness are just some of its characteristics. The problem is, if you leave it as it is, it can overgrow and make it look ugly. For it, Pruning potted bougainvillea is one of the most important care you should provide.

And how is it done? Don’t worry, we’ll talk a lot about potted bougainvillea pruning below.


Why prune a potted bougainvillea

bougainvillea growing on the walls

It is possible that at this time you are wondering why you should prune it since, being in a pot, it should not grow much. But in reality you are wrong, and you do it because during the spring and summer months it tends to grow quite high, to the point that if you don’t control it, it could invade the space of other plants, or worse, your house.

Yes, when bougainvillea grows and is left to its own devices, if it rests on your house, it is possible that it will reach the roof, gutters or other surfaces on which it clings and can cause damage.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended, because in addition uncontrolled growth will affect the health of the plant.

When to prune bougainvillea

bougainvillea flowers

The first thing to know about pruning potted bougainvillea is knowing when to do it. Although, like any other plant, it has several types of pruning, the real one, that is, the one that is really pruning, which must be done Always at the end of winter. But not like in other plants where you have to wait until February to do it. Bougainvillea is a bit special.

And it is that, if you do it like this, you run the risk of running out of this plant, because it suffers a lot and it may not be the time yet.

In fact, the best date for pruning bougainvillea will be in when the nights are not so cold. Of course, it must be pruned when it has not yet started its activity, that is to say when it is in lethargy.

If this happens to you and suddenly when you want to prune it, it turns out that it is already active, it is better not to touch it and do small sizes throughout the spring and summer to wait until next winter and be able to do it. However, you should be aware that if this happens, your bougainvillea will not grow as much as you would like, while being more spacious in stems, leaves and flowers.

So, in summary, you have:

  • Pruning should be done at the end of winter, when the nights are not very cold and the plant has not started its development.
  • You can give it a light pruning in spring and summer. By cutting the stems, you will make it stronger and the flowering will also be longer.

Since the bougainvillea is potted, in the face of winter it is practical that you protect it from the coldone of the great enemies of this plant, to prevent it from being damaged.

How to prune a potted bougainvillea

prune the bougainvillea to keep it in shape

Now yes, we are going to give you all the keys you need to take into account when pruning potted bougainvillea. To do this, it is best to follow these steps:

Prepare all the tools

If you have a bougainvillea, whether large or small, you will know that it develops a series of woody stems and, on these, thorns. So if you don’t protect yourself well, you will end up getting blood on your hands and other parts of your body.

So one of the first things you need are some gardening gloves If possible, be as thick as possible so the thorns don’t go through them and you end up hurting yourself.

It is also advisable to Protective glasses, but only if your bougainvillea is very tall. Otherwise, you shouldn’t have to use them if you don’t want to.

When it comes to pruning tools, we recommend getting gardening scissors. Of course, before using them, you must ensure, firstly, that they are sharp and, secondly, that they are disinfected.

Disinfection is very easy because it is enough to wipe them with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. Another option that is made, in addition to this, is to put some fungicide on them because, as it is going to be cut, for the plants it is an injury and so that they do not get sick from it, it is a way to protect it from infections.

Pruning Types of Potted Bougainvillea

You already have everything, and now what you need is to get to work. But how to do it? Always assume that Bougainvillea is a very resistant plant to pruning. So if you overdo it, generally speaking the plant will come back to life as long as it is healthy and well stimulated (size has something to do with it).

But, to prune it, it may happen that you find yourself with several situations such as:

training size

This pruning is done during first years of life to ensure that the plant has the shape we want.

In this case, you must first observe the plant from all possible angles to know how you will proceed with pruning. If you already have a fixed idea or have started forming it, chances are you just have to delete what lies outside the lines you drew when forming it.

It might be a minimum size, but don’t worry because it will still work, except throughout the spring and summer you’ll have to touch it up so it doesn’t lose its shape.

floral waist

This size is one of the most common. When you have already trained the bougainvillea, the next step in pot pruning the bougainvillea is make it bloom as much as possible. And for that, you need to make sure:

  • Remove dry and weakened branches.
  • Eliminate those that disfigure the entire bougainvillea.
  • Remove the lower branches because they are the ones that stay with the energy and you won’t get it to bloom as it should.
  • Cut off the tips of the branches to stimulate plant growth and, with it, flowering.

rejuvenation waist

Finally, we have the rejuvenation pruning which consists of cut it to medium height to get more growth in the lower stems and thus revitalize it. Little by little, you will cut the high branches so that the lower ones continue to grow and you will have a younger plant again.

You now know how to prune a potted bougainvillea. Have you done it already?

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