Bonsai Bougainvillea Tree - Care and Instructions

The Bougainvillea Bonsai gives immense pleasure and inspiration due to its artistic colourful displays.

Care instructions and tips for bonsai bougainvillea are given including re-potting, pot size and fertilizer.

The bougainvillea bonsai loves warmer climates but can grow easily in places with lots of sunlight. It blooms all year round even during the winter if proper care is taken. Though it can tolerate low temperatures and light frost, it will drop leaves and go dormant.

Related Articles:
Growing Bougainvillea | How to make Bonsai Bougainvillea | Training a Bonsai Bougainvillea | Bonsai Bougainvillea Pruning| Forcing Bouigainvillea to bloom



Bougainvillea glabra is the most common species used for making a Bonsai.
 Bonsai Bougainvillea
Bonsai Bougainvillea

It offers brilliant and beautiful single or double paper blooms of many colors including bright white, red, orange, pinks, yellow and purple.

The bougainvillea bonsai requires more care and attention than any other bonsai, but looking to its brilliant features, it is worth the efforts.

Bougainvillea Bonsai Care Instructions and Tips

The bonsai bougainvillea care includes frequent trimming, pruning, training, fertilizing and watering.

Container or Pot Selection

  1. The selection of container is an important step for growing a bougainvillea bonsai. The pot can be a rectangular or round one, but with the following rules of thumb:
  2. The container should have drainage holes at the bottom.
  3. The length of the rectangular pot should roughly be equal to the two third of the  the bonsai plant's height. This means that if the hight of the bougainvillea bonsai plant is 10 inch, then the length of the rectangular container can be 6-7 inch.
  4. The diameter of the round pot should roughly be equal to one third of the bonsai plant's height. 
  5. The depth of the pot should be equal to the diameter of the trunk of the bonsai plant. 
  6. Since the bougainvillea bonsai adds to the beauty of the place it is placed, choose a proper design, shape and color of the container.
Artistic Bonsai Bougainvillea
Artistic Bonsai Bougainvillea by Bernd-Schmidt

Soil

The bougainvillea tree requires well drained fertile soil. To make a soil suitable for bonsai bougainvillea, mix equal amounts of soil, perlite or river sand, small lava rock, fresh peat moss and pine bark.

Position and Lighting

Always keep your bougainvillea bonsai in an area that receives direct sunlight for at least 5 hours if not 8 hours per day. The bougainvillea loves lots of sunlight. It will drop leaves if light is low in winter.
Sometimes, if too much sunlight and high temperature cause the leaves to burn, shift your bougainvillea bonsai tree into partial shade.

Water

  1. You should water your bonsai regularly in initial period to grow dense root system.
  2. The bougainvillea hates too much water. Water the bonsai only when the top soil gets dry to the touch.
  3. Increase watering in summer and decrease as temerature begins to drop.

Fertilizer

  1. Apply a 12-10-10 NPK fertilizer every 10 days during the growing season and a low nitrogen and higher phosphorus fertilizer during the winter months.
  2. Use the fertilizer at 1/4 the normal strength to avoid the risk of burning the roots.
  3. A water week soluble fertilizer feed every 10 days will keep growing and blooming the plant.

Bonsai Bougainvillea Pruning

A bonsai bougainvillea needs to be pruned regularly to give it a desired shape and maintained this shape. See details on how to prune a Bonsai Bougainvillea.

Bonsai Bougainvillea Training

The bougainvillea bonsai tree can be trained to acquire many artistic shapes and styles. See details at how to train a Bonsai Bougainvillea.

Pests and other Problems

The bonsai bougainvillea tree can attract aphids, caterpillar, scale and cabbage looper on new growth. Spray a solution of an insecticide soap to get rid of them.
Too much humidity may encourage fungus, spray a fungicide to deal with it.

Re-potting of Bonsai Bougainvillea

  1. As Bougainvillea loves to be root-bounded, you should repot your bonsai bougainvillea in summer or spring every 2-3 years.
  2. When taking out the plant from its pot do not pull from trunk; take special care not to disturb the root system. Handle the roots with care while re-potting.
  3. Before re-potting, prune the excessive growth of roots, not more than one third, otherwise your plant can die.
  4. Note that the bougainvillea produces a dense fibrous toot ball when the plant is quite old, so do not prune heavily.
  5. While pruning, keep the fibrous roots as much as possible and cut only the extra long woody roots and circling roots.
  6. After putting the plant in a new pot, fill it with the bonsai bougainvillea soil mixture.
  7. Water well after re-potting.

Bonsai Bougainvillea Display

When your bougainvillea is in full bloom, remove some of the remaining green leaves for a beautiful display. Everybody will love your flowering bougainvillea bonsai.

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