How to Grow Bougainvillea From Cuttings


Bougainvillea vines are immensely popular in homes and gardens. These long, trailing vines sprout bright green leaves and brilliant, papery, flower-like bracts of orange, pink, red or purple. Bougainvillea grows best in warm weather and plenty of sun. It is well known for climbing trees, trellises, walls and even the sides of buildings. Take cuttings from established bougainvillea vines to root them and propagate new plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Rooting hormone
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • 4-inch pots
  • Water
  • Plastic bag

Take a Bougainvillea Cutting

  • Take a cutting from an established bougainvillea vine in the spring and root your new bougainvillea over the summer for best results. Cut 6 inches of vine growth from a bougainvillea stem.

  • Strip the bottom two-thirds of the bougainvillea cutting of its leaves. You will put this part of the stem into water or growing medium for rooting. Cut the leaves off at their stem, but take care not to damage the main bougainvillea stem, which could affect its ability to grow.

  • Dip the root side of your bougainvillea cutting in a rooting hormone to encourage it to sprout its own roots. Have your pot and rooting medium prepared in advance---the bougainvillea slip will dry out and die if left exposed for too long.

Root a Bougainvillea Stem

  • Fill a pot with a rooting medium consisting of 70 percent peat moss and 30 percent sand. This medium will provide the nutrition, support and drainage the bougainvillea stem requires.

  • Push the bougainvillea stem down into the rooting medium. Submerge a third of the stem in the peat moss so that the stem supports itself unstaked.

  • Water the cutting well and place a plastic bag over the top of it to retain moisture. Once a week, spray water up into the plastic. Do not allow the peat moss foundation to dry out completely.

  • Remove the new bougainvillea plant when you can see roots at the base of the stem. This may take up to three months. Re-pot the bougainvillea in a loose potting soil.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also grow bougainvillea from seed.
  • Use bougainvillea in pots to grow over walls and trellises as a vigorous climbing vine.
  • Bougainvillea does not adapt well to change.
  • Frost and temperatures below 50 degrees can kill bougainvillea.

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