How to Increase Bougainvillea Blooms Effectively

Last Updated on November 21, 2022 by Stephanie

To boost the number of bougainvillea flowers and to encourage blooming, plant bougainvillea in full sunlight, but make sure that its exposed to less than 12 hours of sunlight because they are day-length plants. The watering of potted bougainvillea every week helps to maintain the ideal balance of drought stress and moisture to increase the number of flowers.

Bougainvillea originate from Brazil and the shorter hours of sunshine encourage blooming, as shorter days indicate to the bougainvillea that its the best time to show the flowers that coincide with the ideal weather conditions for that particular season.

The shorter days are among the main factors in the growth of bougainvillea flowers. Continue reading to discover the seven ways to increase the quantity of flowers as well as for the flowers to last more time…

1. Bougainvillea Blooms More , but with shorter day lengths

Bougainvillea are different! While they do require sunlight and sun, theyll bloom more when there are shorter lengths of daylight.

This unique characteristic is the result of adaptations to tropical environments in which during the season of dryness, the days are shorter than nights, which tells the bougainvillea that it is the best time of season to bloom.

Therefore, it is important to duplicate the conditions. Bougainvillea require at least 12 hours of continuous darkness before they can bloom.

The best location for your bougainvillea could be a bit difficult for those living in northern latitudes.

For instance in the UK could have as much than 15 hours sunlight per day, or the case of New York, where peak daylight hours can be up to 16.

Make sure there isnt any artificial light that interferes with the desired twelve hours of complete darkness.

If youre a particular fan (like me) you can be made easier by using an Cloche, horticultural fleece, and even an umbrella for shade on your bougainvillea, to mimic the natural conditions to bloom.

It is crucial to remember that bougainvillea requires a lot of direct sunlight in order to bloom, however, the amount of direct sunlight should be limited to less than 12 hours.

It is encouraging to know that bougainvilleas can bloom throughout the year in the event of a moderate winter e.g. for those who live located in the Mediterranean climate, however regardless of where you live theyll bloom more frequently during twelve or more nights of dark.

Fun The fact is that Bougainvillea flowers are actually tiny and delicate. The huge, vibrant petals arent actually flowers, but bracts that are an specialized leaf with the purpose to attract pollinators.

bougainvillea with sky and sunlight in background

2. Water Less Often for More Flowers

Bougainvillea enjoys the dry and hot conditions. They are indigenous to Brazil in the end!

It is therefore crucial to ensure that they do not get frequently watered.

Bougainvillea are drought-tolerant and ought to be treated differently from display of roses and hydrangeas, however, they are more similar to the lavender you have in your Mediterranean herbs.

Typically, you should water your bougainvillea pot every week, with an even watering. However, avoid watering when the soil is moist to the point of a finger. The soil should appear to be dry before you water it again.

If you water too frequently, it triggers an emotional response in your plant , which will eventually result in fewer flowers. A less frequent watering will cause drought stress and encourage the bougainvillea to show more flowers. This is the bougainvilleas amazing resilience, since flowers are the plants method of reproducing.

Personally, I water my bougainvillea in pots every week. I am rewarded with this beautiful display of flowers.

The mature bougainvillea vines that are that are planted in garden boards typically dont require watering unless they are tiny plants that dont have an established root system or are in extreme drought conditions.

(It is vital to remember that you must water bougainvillea in a in different amounts at different times of the year. Check out my article on tips on how to water your bougainvillea pots).

3. Warm Temperatures Increase Flowering

Higher temperatures will mean more bougainvillea blooms. This is especially important for those living in colder climates.

The temperature at night should be ideally, 65°F (18degC). However, bougainvillea can be robust and possess good adaptability and are able to handle cooler (but not freezing!) temperatures at night and still show many flowers.

Put your bougainvillea in a protected area so that the cold wind does not cause stress to the plant.

If the night is extremely cold for the plants, they may be stressed. In colder climates, it is essential to plant your bougainvillea in pots and then bring them inside during winter because they are not able to withstand severe frost.

Put the pot on a sun-lit window so that your plants get warm indoor light and warmth of the sun to ensure optimal blooms.

4. Direct Sunlight Promotes Bougainvillea Blooms

Direct sunlight is essential for bougainvillea. As youll see, they have plenty of it in their home country of Brazil So its essential to replicate the conditions in the best way possible in your backyard regardless of where you live.

For this, you must plant your bougainvillea in a sun-drenched location that can receive at least six hours in direct sun. This will ensure that your bougainvillea gets enough light to produce a beautiful bloom.

It is a good idea to plant your bougainvilleas in pots, this allows you to move them into the full-sun locations during the change of seasons.

Additionally, you could relocate these pots indoors in the winter months if you live in an area that is not Mediterranean. This can help shield the plant from cold and frosts that could occur.

(Bougainvillea typically loses their leaves in winter when they are not in their ideal climate, but they can re-grow in the Spring with proper treatment, check out my article about the loss of bougainvillea leaves for tips on how to keep the bougainvillea you have).

It is crucial to take into consideration the shorter length of day for greater blooms and also the power of the sun.

5. Use Less Fertilizer for More Flowers

Applying too much fertilizer can make your plant grow lush green leaves and will also kill flowers!

When your Bougainvillea are established and planted in borders, they will require minimal or no fertilizer. They will likely thrive in this location because they are well-drained soil, not fertile soil (see the drainage section in point 6).

If the Bougainvillea are in pots then applying a half strength all-purpose fertilizer is a good idea to ensure that they are getting the right nutrients to flower and not overly nitrogen (the chemical that gives you the beautiful green leaves). Apply the fertilizer towards the beginning of spring after any chance of cold weather has gone. Be aware that Bougainvillea arent cold-hardy!

Personally, I have experienced amazing results when I stopped using fertilizer once the days start to decrease because the stress of lower nutrients also triggers the flowering process.

Its similar ways that stress from drought could cause bougainvilleas to focus on reproduction through flowering instead of growth on its roots, leaves and vines.

6. Well Draining Soil Increases Blooms

As mentioned, bougainvillea have developed a tolerance to growing in soils with good drainage. They are not tolerant of the boggy soil that is over-watered as roots may turn brown. To encourage blooms, make sure that your bougainvillea is well-drained. drainage.

Make sure your soil has adequate drainage, by including horticultural grit it will allow you to recreate the drainage-friendly soil conditions that the bougainvillea enjoys in their home country of Brazil.

When making the potting mix for bougainvillea, follow the same recipe that you use for potting Mediterranean plants, using one third of horticultural grit, and 2/3 peat-free compost to ensure the best amount of soil moisture to allow the bougainvillea plant to show flowers.

If youre growing in pots, be sure that the pots have drainage holes at the base that allow water to drain away efficiently after the watering. Pots could be, therefore, the ideal location for bougainvillea since you have the ability to manage drainage better than you could with your borders.

7. Pruning Bougainvillea for More Flowers

Bougainvillea blooms on the new growth of the season instead of old wood, so to enhance the beauty of your bougainvillea flowers, it is essential to trim your shrubs in the latter part of Winter or in early Spring, before the Spring growth begins expanding.

If you dont trim your bougainvillea , they will become sloppy and have fewer flowers, so a little pruning is recommended.

Pruning shouldnt be too excessive as it can cause the energy of the growth of new vines and shoots However, light pruning is the best way to stimulate blooms and will help keep the plant in a ideal form on your trellis or the support the structure.

Check out this YouTube tutorial to learn how to trim your bougainvillea in order to improve the quantity of your flowers:

(For additional tips and the most effective methods of care for bougainvillea, check out my article on on how you can take care of bougainvillea in pots).

Key Takeaways:

  • To boost the quantity of bougainvillea flowering, ensure that the plant is able to endure 12 hours of continuous darkness every night. Bougainvillea are plants that bloom in the morning which require less light and darkness in order to encourage blooms. Bougainvillea are watered less frequently in summer to prevent dryness, which encourages flowers.
  • Bougainvillea is a native of the dry and hot conditions in Brazil in Brazil, where it blooms more frequently in 6 hours of direct sunlight , or more. A lot of shade can stop the bougainvillea flowering. Bougainvillea require direct sunlight to encourage flowering, but also needs longer hours of darkness than daylight hours.
  • Apply an equal strength fertilizer to potted bougainvillea during the spring to ensure that the plant has the nutrients required to show flowers. Reduce the amount of fertilizer when flowers begin to appear as a small nutritional deficit can cause stress that encourages blooming.
  • To increase the quantity of bougainvillea blooms, trim the plant in early spring. Bougainvillea blooms on new growth, so pruning in spring helps encourage new growth, which is how the flowers of the bougainvillea are displayed.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)