Bougainvilleas are super easy to grow due to the fact that they love direct sunlight, can survive in poor quality soil and, once established, don’t need much water. The many varieties mean you can find one to suit your need whether filling a pot or covering the entire facade of a house. (Get really good care information here.)
All varieties below are zone 10-11. Live in a colder zone? Use as a festive annual.
SHORT (UP TO 10 FT. TALL)
These are bougainvillea that don’t necessarily grow tall, but have branches that grow long (up 10 ft.). Useful as groundcovers on sunny hillsides or where you want color but don’t intend to “tend” the area. Also containers, especially hanging baskets and deep windowboxes.
Liven sunny borders with this low grower’s festive mix of orange-pink bracts.
MEDIUM (UP TO 20 FT. TALL)
When you’re looking for something with festival color and eye-catching leaves to decorate a sturdy pergola or arch or make nearly invisible a tall chain-link fence or not-so-pretty tall retaining wall, a medium-sized bougainvillea does the trick without overwhelming.
Tolerates light shade. Festive seasonal color in pots or long-term groundcover.
TALL (UP TO 30 FT. TALL)
We've seen very tall bougainvilleas cladding every sort of surface from estate gates to garage walls. However, it's especially effective scrambling up, over, and around the Mediterranean and Spanish architecture of the west. All good-just make sure you provide sturdy support.