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Bougainvillea Spectabilis Bonsai

How to Care For Bougainvillea Spectabilis Bonsai

Are you also amazed by the climbing feature of Bougainvillea Spectabilis? Adding it as a bonsai can uplift the look of your room and create an appealing aura.

This article will guide you on Bougainvillea Spectabilis care instructions. Though it is a beginner-friendly bonsai, you must follow some simple instructions.

Bougainvillea Spectabilis Bonsai specification

Native RegionSouth America
CategoryClimbers, Creepers & Vines, Shrubs
FamilyNyctaginaceae family
Sun exposureFull Sun 
WaterCan tolerate more, Requires less
Primarily grown forFlowers
Flowering seasonAll year flowering, Flowers in flushes throughout the year
Flower colorLight Pink, White
Foliage colorVariegated, Green, Yellow
Bonsai StylesFormal and informal upright, cascading, semi-cascading, slanting, exposed root
Plant  height8 to 12 meters
Plant formClimbing on support, Irregular, Spreading
Soil typeLoam or soil with high organic content and acidic levels
Potting seasonEarly spring
Shaping and pruning seasonSpring and autumn
PestsAphids, mealybug, red spider mite, cotton whitefly
Growing patternsVigorous evergreen traits all year round

In many ways, Bougainvillea Spectabilis Bonsai can amaze you with its exciting facts.

Interesting Facts About Bougainvillea Spectabilis Bonsai

These facts can compel you to purchase this magnificent bonsai and place it as a masterpiece in your home.

  • Although this species is an evergreen climber that resembles a vine in nature, it may still be grown as a bonsai tree.
  • The bracts are modified leaves that help pollinate the tiny blooms by attracting pollinating insects.
  • Bougainvillea spectabilis extracts have been used for various medical purposes, including fertility difficulties, and as an antioxidant.
  • You may also plant it as a hedge along your fence to create a beautiful floral display.
  • It’s ideal for generating more informal hedges with plenty of blooms.
  • Their climbing qualities make them great for wall decorating, but they can also be used as a covering plant or cover floors. We can use the Bougainvillea spectabilis to cover a less occupied garden area.
  • If its growth is good, bougainvillea Spectabilis can attain a height of up to 12 meters in length.
  • The roots have a rustic appearance and may thrive in practically any environment.
  • The green leaves alternately develop on the branches. They feature an oval shape with a thinner base.
  • Bougainvillea Spectabilis branches are very flexible and can easily bend into any shape.
  • Summer is when they flower, and this is when they are at their most beautiful. It will be able to blossom all year, even in the winter, in the absence of frost and warmer climes. It lasts till autumn.

How to Identify Bougainvillea Spectabilis

Are these questions bothering you?

  • How can I indentify my Bougainvillea Spectabilis?
  • Or is the bonsai bought a Bougainvillea Spectabilis?

Don’t worry; there is a way to identify it using particular tree components, and we will help you in these cases.


Bougainvillea Spectabilis is the largest species in the genus, reaching heights of up to 40 feet in the wild. Even as a bonsai, you can grow it to enormous proportions, but keeping it as a bit of a tree might be challenging. If you are buying it as a bonsai, keep your bonsai’s leaf size down and prune it frequently.

Thorns and Leaves

Can leaves help you identify your bonsai? Yes, they can. The branches are covered in thorns, and the downy leaves are green. The leaves of Bougainvillea spectabilis differ from those of other species in that they have smooth undersides, whereas the glabra, for example, contains fine hairs. Rather than the lance shape of others, your Bougainvillea Spectabilis leaves are shaped like little hearts.


The blooms are similar to those of any other Bougainvillea. They’re tiny and white, with a few yellow splotches. When moths, butterflies, and bees visit, they make a great addition to your garden.


White, mauve, red, orange, and purple-red are some of the most common bonsai color bracts. They usually form three whorls around the flowers. Yellow isn’t as common as it is on some other species.

Now, we will dive into Bougainvillea Spectabilis care instructions. 

Bougainvillea Spectabilis Care

This bonsai is quite hardy and won’t give you much trouble, yet you must follow some care instructions to keep your bonsai happy and healthy. 

1) Soil

This plant thrives in sandy or loamy soil with high macronutrient levels and trace micronutrients. All you need is acidity levels lower than 6.0. The leaves have a lot of nitrogen, while the flowers have a lot of potassium so that the Spectabilis bonsai can absorb food and water without difficulty.

It requires rich soil that is devoid of extra fertilizers. If you witness that our soil is becoming less fertile, you need to add more fertilizer. On the other hand, if you notice that the soil already contains natural fertilizer, it is best not to add any more.

2) Watering

It is drought tolerant, and Bougainvillea Spectabilis care includes watering it when the soil is completely dry. Please soak it in water for 30 minutes to soak the substrate, then leave it dry for a week. The bonsai will blossom more as a result of this technique.

It’s also critical that your bonsai drains well. When watering, we must avoid allowing the soil to become saturated since this may result in root rot. So that the water does not flood, excellent aeration is required.

Although there is no watering schedule you need to follow, you must regularly provide water to your bonsai. Although this is a drought-resistant plant, it does not necessarily guarantee that it would thrive in a more humid environment. 

Bougainvillea Spectabilis care includes maintaining the humidity-sun balance. You can water it moderately during the growing season and less frequently during the resting season. That is when it isn’t covered in flowers. You should keep the soil layer relatively dry.

On the contrary, we will need to increase irrigation a little more during the flowering season because it is the warmest time.

3) Repotting

Early spring is the best time to repot the Bougainvillea spectabilis bonsai because the frost or cold has passed. Use the same sort of soil that you used to grow it in. Don’t over-prune the roots of your bonsai tree, as this can be disastrous.

4) Shaping and Pruning

This climbing plant necessitates the assistance of a tutor. It will be able to develop in the way that best fits us because its branches do not twist themselves, nor do they have tendrils or roots to aid in climbing. You can put some mechanisms in place to assist you in your progress.

The majority of your pruning will take place in the spring and autumn. You can keep the design as much as possible by trimming back as many new growths as possible.

It will foster new branches’ growth, resulting in more flowers throughout the summer. New shoots will grow in the autumn, which is the optimum season for design trimming because it is evergreen.

5) Location and Sunlight

In every season, your Bougainvillea spectabilis bonsai tree will receive full sun. It will, however, thrive in an outdoor setting with some shade during the warmest portion of the day. Bougainvillea spectabilis care includes giving it six to eight hours of sunlight per day. If you grow it inside, put it near a window where it will get light.

It is possible to decorate without flowers, but you have many more options with flowers. If you plan to keep it in a pot, you can use it as an outdoor plant once the blossoms fade.

In our country, it is preferable to place them in the sunlight. You will witness significantly faster growth and more plentiful and long-lasting flowers. Furthermore, the blooms will have a more vibrant color, allowing us to combine them with other plants much more quickly. As a result, we may more easily personalize the garden.

6) Fertilizing

It may grow in practically any type of soil. However, it likes fertile, clay-textured soils. You can provide some organic compost gently combined with soil in winter and autumn. Using a mineral fertilizer in the spring is preferable to ensure that the plant is strong enough to flower. It can be used as granules or dissolved in irrigation water.

Note for Bougainvillea spectabilis care:

  • When the soil runs out of nutrients, your primary concern should be ensuring your bonsai gets enough of them.
  • Although you may have a balanced strategy, you can increase nitrogen in the spring to help with leaf development. 
  • You can also create your compost to boost acidity levels.

7) Propagation

You can propagate Bougainvillea spectabilis in two ways: stem and root cuttings. It is also possible to grow them from seed, although it is more challenging. 

  1. You can take semi-hardwood cuttings from the current year’s growth from late summer to mid-autumn. 
  2. The bottom of the cuttings is hard, while the top is soft. 
  3. Take a 14cm cutting with a sharp knife, remove the lowest leaves, dip the end in rooting hormone, and place it around the edge of a pot filled with suitable compost. 
  4. Water thoroughly, and place under glass but in semi-shade.

Note for Bougainvillea spectabilis care:

  • To aid in developing new roots, you should utilize a rooting hormone. 
  • We do not suggest propagating plants in water.

8) Pests and Diseases

You should keep an eye on your Spectabilis bonsai and avoid fungal diseases such as leaf spots and root rot. Aphids, mealybug, red spider mite, and cotton whitefly are the most dangerous potential pests that could affect your bonsai. Another significant threat is the Looper caterpillar.

Common Issues with Bougainvillea Spectabilis Bonsai

You’ll encounter a few issues when caring for your Bougainvillea spectabilis tree. Here are some of the problems you may encounter:

Leaf spotting

It is a fungus that affects the bottom of the leaves. When spores settle on them and begin the sporulation process, this happens a lot. Bougainvillea Spectabilis care includes taking off the affected leaves or spraying fungicide.

Root rot

Because this species thrives in dry environments, excessive watering can cause fungus to grow on the roots. It would be best if you allowed a few days for the soil to dry. It will prevent it from absorbing nutrients.


We have already discussed some of the most dangerous pests that might infect your bonsai. Spraying organic insecticides once a week can help your bonsai in these cases.


While this bonsai thrives in full sun for several hours at a time, it needs some shade throughout the afternoon. The scorching heat may be scorching the foliage.

Curling or wilting bracts

You don’t need to be concerned if you see the bracts are wilting. It generally happens as seeds are forming, so when the pods arrive, you may be able to propagate a few of them.


The Bougainvillea spectabilis bonsai is a remarkable species that allows you to create a huge bonsai. It can boost your garden or home with a large number of blossoms if you correctly cultivate the foliage. If you take Bougainvillea Spectabilis care seriously, it will put on a spectacular show for you throughout the summer.

It’s a semi-climbing plant with semi-shrubby characteristics. Because of its high ornamental value, it is frequently used to decorate gardens and public spaces. You can use it to decorate and adorn walls, fences, gazebos, and gardens, among other things.

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