Blooming Beauty: A Guide to the 6 Types of Bougainvillea Frequently Planted in the United States

Eastman Dang
8 Min Read


Bougainvillea, with its stunning display of colorful bracts, has captivated gardeners and landscaping enthusiasts across the United States. This versatile and hardy plant thrives in various climates, making it a popular choice for gardens, landscapes, and containers throughout the country.

This article explores the various kinds of bougainvillea frequently planted in the United States, highlighting their unique characteristics and how they contribute to the nation’s diverse horticultural beauty.

Bougainvillea spectabilis

Bougainvillea Frequently Planted in the US
Bougainvillea spectabilis

Bougainvillea spectabilis, also known as “Spectacular Bougainvillea,” is one of the most widely planted varieties across the United States. With its striking bracts in vibrant hues of magenta, purple, orange, pink, and white, it adds a burst of color to landscapes and gardens. Its vigorous climbing habit makes it perfect for covering walls, trellises, and fences, creating visually stunning backdrops in gardens throughout the country.

Bougainvillea glabra

Bougainvillea glabra, commonly referred to as “Paperflower Bougainvillea,” is another popular variety found in many parts of the United States. This variety features smaller leaves and more compact clusters of bracts compared to other types. The colors of Bougainvillea glabra range from bright pink to lilac and white, offering a wide selection for creative landscaping projects. Its ability to grow well in pots, hanging baskets, and window boxes makes it an excellent choice for balconies and patios.

Bougainvillea x buttiana

Bougainvillea Frequently Planted in the US
Bougainvillea x buttiana

Bougainvillea x buttiana is a hybrid variety resulting from a cross between Bougainvillea glabra and Bougainvillea peruviana. This hybrid offers a combination of the compact growth of Bougainvillea glabra with the larger and more vividly colored bracts of Bougainvillea peruviana. The hybrid boasts a spectrum of colors, including rich reds, deep purples, and warm oranges, making it a versatile and sought-after choice for landscapes across the country.

Bougainvillea peruviana

Bougainvillea Frequently Planted in the US
Bougainvillea peruviana

Bougainvillea peruviana, commonly known as “Peruvian Bougainvillea,” is admired for its striking and intense bract colors. The bracts range from vivid fuchsia to deep violet, creating a captivating contrast against its lush green foliage. This variety can grow to substantial heights, making it an excellent choice for covering pergolas, arbors, and fences in sunny areas throughout the United States.

Bougainvillea ‘Barbara Karst’

Bougainvillea Frequently Planted in the US
Bougainvillea ‘Barbara Karst’

Bougainvillea ‘Barbara Karst’ is a highly favored and extensively cultivated variety in the United States. Its intense magenta-red bracts create a stunning visual impact, making it a popular choice for focal points and garden accents. This vigorous and fast-growing cultivar is often used to cover walls, fences, and unsightly structures, adding a splash of vibrant color to the landscape.

Bougainvillea ‘Rosenka’

Bougainvillea Frequently Planted in the US
Bougainvillea ‘Rosenka’

Bougainvillea ‘Rosenka’ is cherished for its unique and rare apricot-orange bracts, setting it apart from other bougainvillea varieties. With a more compact growth habit, it is well-suited for smaller gardens, patio planters, and balconies. Its warm pastel tones add an elegant touch to landscapes across the United States.


The diverse array of bougainvillea varieties commonly planted in the United States adds a kaleidoscope of colors to the nation’s gardens and landscapes. From the robust Bougainvillea spectabilis to the delicate hues of Bougainvillea ‘Rosenka,’ each variety brings its unique charm and allure to outdoor spaces. Bougainvillea’s adaptability to various climates and its ability to thrive in different conditions make it a cherished and admired plant across the country. With its magnificent display of bracts, bougainvillea has rightfully earned its place as a symbol of beauty and elegance in the United States’ diverse horticultural tapestry. Whether adorning fences, climbing walls, or blooming in containers, bougainvillea continues to be an enchanting addition to gardens and landscapes from coast to coast.

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5 FAQs about how to plant and care of Bougainvillea Frequently Planted in the United States

FAQ 1: When is the best time to plant Bougainvillea?

Answer: The best time to plant Bougainvillea is during the warm months of spring or early summer when the weather is consistently above 60°F (15°C). Planting during this time allows the Bougainvillea to establish its roots before colder weather arrives.

FAQ 2: How do I plant Bougainvillea?

Answer: Follow these steps to plant Bougainvillea:

  1. Choose a sunny location with well-draining soil.
  2. Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball and slightly deeper.
  3. Gently remove the plant from its container, and place it in the hole.
  4. Fill the hole with soil and pat it down firmly.
  5. Water the newly planted Bougainvillea thoroughly.

FAQ 3: How often should I water Bougainvillea?

Answer: Bougainvillea prefers well-draining soil and does not like to be consistently wet. Water your Bougainvillea deeply but infrequently. During the growing season, water it every 7 to 10 days, and reduce watering during cooler months.

FAQ 4: How can I promote blooming in my Bougainvillea?

Answer: Bougainvillea blooms best when it experiences periods of dryness followed by watering. To promote blooming, avoid overwatering and let the soil dry out slightly between waterings. Additionally, provide ample sunlight, as Bougainvillea requires at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily for prolific flowering.

FAQ 5: How do I care for Bougainvillea during winter?

Answer: Bougainvillea is sensitive to frost and freezing temperatures. During winter, protect your Bougainvillea by:

  1. Bringing potted Bougainvillea indoors or to a sheltered area.
  2. Covering outdoor plants with a frost cloth or burlap during freezing nights.
  3. Reducing watering to avoid root rot during dormant months.
  4. Pruning lightly after the last frost to remove dead or damaged growth.


Planting and caring for Bougainvillea can be a rewarding experience, as these beautiful plants are known for their stunning blooms and vibrant colors. To ensure successful growth, plant Bougainvillea during the warm months, provide well-draining soil, and water it deeply but infrequently. Promote blooming by allowing the soil to dry between waterings and providing ample sunlight. During winter, protect your Bougainvillea from freezing temperatures by bringing potted plants indoors and providing cover for outdoor plants. With proper care and attention, your Bougainvillea will thrive and add a delightful touch of beauty to your garden or landscape.

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