How to Prune Bougainvillea

The bougainvillea is a creeping, flowering vine native to Brazil. This perennial tropical plant has earned the nickname, “paper flower,” for its delicate petals in a variety of colors, including purple, red and orange. The thick vines and thorns of bougainvillea need frequent pruning, trimming and weeding to keep it healthy and looking beautiful. These simple steps will keep your tropical plants looking great year after year.

1. Pruning Preparation

1. Prune in early spring:

Prune in early spring

Technically, bougainvillea can be pruned at any time of the year, but the best time to do this to keep the plant intact is in early spring (if you live in a four-season country), before the plant begins to produce new flower buds. If you wait for the buds to form, the plant’s new growth will be stunted and flower production will decrease. On the other hand, if you prune too early in winter, snow can kill any new shoots that emerge after pruning.

1. The bougainvillea develops through cyclical stages, with a massive blooming season followed by a period of rest. Pruning before the start of a new cycle allows the vine to produce a large number of new shoots.
2. The exact month for pruning bougainvillea varies by region. The easiest way to determine when to prune is to observe weather conditions. When the last snow has passed, but before the vines begin to sprout, it’s time to prune.

2. Wear thick gardening gloves:

Wear thick gardening gloves

Many species of bougainvillea have very sharp, thick spines. If you’re planning a major pruning session, be prepared to wear a thick pair of gloves. You may also want to wear thick, long-sleeved shirts to protect your wrists and arms. Some bougainvillea twigs have almost no thorns, but others are completely covered with thorns.

3. Clean your garden shears using a disinfectant: Wiping the blades of any garden shears you will be using with rubbing alcohol or another disinfectant will prevent you from spreading disease. If you’re trimming an area of ​​bougainvillea that has become diseased, you don’t want to spread it to other parts through the same dirty shears. Try to wipe the blade of the scissors every time you cut dead bougainvillea.

2. Trimming, Tidying, and Weeding

Trimming, Tidying, and Weeding

1. Cut off dead or diseased plant parts: This is the first step when pruning. To ensure the long-term health of your plant, you need to cut off anything that looks dead or faded. This way, you can prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the plant. Cut branches parallel to the main vine.

1. Remember to wipe the blades of the shears with a disinfectant after pruning diseased branches before pruning healthy branches to prevent disease from spreading.
2. Remove diseased branches from the area, so that the plant is not contaminated.

2. Remove annoying large branches: Pruning should open up the plant and allow it to grow in a healthy form. If a particular branch appears to be threatening the health of the entire plant, cut it off. Take a step back to take a look at your bougainvillea plant and continue pruning to get the shape you want.

1. Remember that each cut you make will form a new shoot. Pruning helps the plant to grow thicker and bushier. If you see an area that looks stringy, make strategic cuts to help it branch out in that spot.
2. Many bougainvilleas are conditioned to grow on trellises or along fences. When pruning, you can gently wrap the new plant around the frame in which it was cultivated, to encourage growth in that direction.
3. Bougainvillea shrubs can be pruned to obtain a variety of shapes. If you grow bougainvillea in a pot, you can even prune it to form a small tree.

3. Trim the bougainvillea throughout the blooming season: Trimming is different from pruning, in that you don’t remove the entire branch, but instead trim a bit here and there to maintain the shape of the plant. Use garden shears to trim the ends of the twigs just after the last shoots have sprouted. This will push a new branch from where it is.

1. You can remove dead twigs from the plant by trimming them at any time, but wait until early spring to prune the larger twigs so that the plant is not damaged.

4. Weed the ends of the plant when the flowers begin to wilt: Weed the plant between pruning times. Simply weed the top of the flower with your fingers after it wilts, then weed any nearby twigs. This will encourage new growth and shoots.

5. Prune new growth in the middle of the flower growth cycle: You can encourage the growth of a lot of new flowers by cutting the new shoots in half halfway through the flower growth cycle. Make the cut just above the shoot to encourage the growth of new twigs or branches.

1. Be sure not to wait too long because at the end of the cycle, it will be too late to encourage new flower growth.
2. Do not cut old shoots before early spring.

Tips Of Prune Bougainvillea

1. Due to the thick and wired propagation structure of the Bougainvillea, this plant can be used as a bonsai subject. Trim it to the shape you want and keep it short. Arrange the twigs regularly until you get the shape you want, then day your new Bougainvillea buds as they appear to maintain the bonsai look.

2. When learning how to prune bougainvillea, keep in mind that the more often you prune off dead shoots, the more new shoots your plant will produce. Weeding is easy and fast and is a great way to use a pair of scissors during a pruning break. You can weed whenever and as often as you want.

3. Bougainvillea plants are tough and can tolerate any type of pruning you want. Try different shapes when pruning bougainvillea. Cut the low branches to give it an attractive tree-like appearance.

Warning while Prune Bougainvillea

1. Don’t forget to cut off the wilted buds from your bougainvillea plant. Allowing the buds to dry on the plant will prevent new buds from blooming.
2. Do not prune bougainvillea too short or too close to the ground. This can result in less production of new buds.
3. Never attempt to groom a bougainvillea plant without gardening gloves. The thick thorns and twigs can hurt your hands.

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