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.
MEDIUM (UP TO 20 FT. TALL)
When you're looking for something with festival color, a medium-sized bougainvillea does the trick without overwhelming. It's eye-catching leaves can decorate a sturdy pergola or arch. Plus, it can be used to make nearly invisible a tall chain-link fence or not-so-pretty tall retaining wall.
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.