Bougainvillea Not Blooming : Force Your Bougainvillea To Bloom

The most common complaint on potted bougainvillea is that they stop flowering shortly after the plant they buy it from the nursery. It is so frustrating to see that the plant which was full of bright and attractive blossoms in the nursery has become dull.

No Flowers on bougainvillea? Why does bougainvillea not bloom? Why your  bougainvillea not blooming? What has gone wrong?

The reasons for a bougainvillea not blooming are the following:
Not enough Ligh
Heavy Pruning or no pruning
Learn how to how to keep bougainvillea blooming or how to force your potted bougainvilleas to bloom by taking proper care of light, watering, fertilizing, pruning and re-potting.

How to Get Bougainvillea to Flower

Picture of Bougainvillea Growing in a pot
Picture of Red Bougainvillea Growing in a pot
There are ways to force potted bougainvilleas or grown in ground to bloom by taking proper care of light, watering, fertilizing, pruning and re-potting.

Related Articles:
Bougainvillea care | Bonsai Bougainvillea Care | How to make Bougainvillea Bonsai | Training a Bonsai Bougainvillea | Bougainvillea Bonsai Pruning


  1. The flowering of bougainvilleas depend on the amount of light the plants receive. If growing in shade, they will produce plenty of good dark green leaves, but they will not bloom.
  2. Put the bougainvillea plant in direct sun for at least eight hours daily for them to bloom their best.

Watering Trick

  1. To force bougainvillea into bloom, nurseries often withhold water for a few months. Then they water the plant heavily. The plant which was thinking that it was dying due to drought, will now think it has one last chance to propagate itself, so it blooms heavily to produce seeds. This is the best trick to bloom your bougainvilleas.
  2. Bougainvillea are very drought-tolerant and thrive on neglect. So do not over-water the plant. Only water them when the leaves are withering.
  3. If growing in ground, you do not need to water them frequently once they are established.
  4. A little wilting can be used to encourage a reluctant bloomer to flower. When little colorful flower buds start to appear, water more frequently.
  5. Never allow a bougainvillea plant in bloom to wilt severely, as this will greatly shorten the blooming time.


  1. Too much frequent nitrogen fertilizer encourages a bougainvillea plant to grow lots of vegetative parts like leaves and stems at the expense of buds. Only a new plant needs a higher nitrogen fertilizer to help encourage good growth.
  2. Use a high-potash fertilizer, such as a hibiscus or tomato fertilizer during spring and summer.
  3. I feed my plants with a liquid feed high in potassium every 3-4 weeks. If the plant starts growing vigorously with big green leaves, then cut back on fertilizer.
  4. A tablespoon of Epsom salt can help.
  5. If nothing works, giving a dose of bone meals or super phosphate would produce new flowers in about 3 weeks.

Re-potting of Bougainvillea Plant

  1. Bougainvilleas bloom much better when the roots have become pot-bound. Repot into a bigger pot ONLY when the health of the plant begins to suffer, otherwise shifting them into larger pots will encourage a large plant without blooms.
  2. I leave bougainvilleas in the same pots for many years.
  3. If you want to grow bougainvillea in ground, plant it in a pot and bury in the ground for root binding.

Bougainvillea Pruning

  1. Bougainvillea pruning encourages new growth and blooms., pruning overgrown bougainvillea is actually a bloom booster.
  2. Prune plants in early spring to encourage more flowers.
  3. When blooms finish for the season, cut it back by a few inches to force blooming. Heavy pruning will reduce the amount of blooms.
  4. Prune any suckers grown at the base of the plant.

Age of the Plant

As the plant matures, flowering will increase both in amount and duration. An older bougainvillea in a pot or ground will bloom more on and off for several months.


Very helpful information.if I want flowers on bougainvillea after a month then shall I give fertilizer and full watering and then stop watering till buds, is it ok ? Pl help.

Please read the article carefully. Give a high potassium fertilizer and water normally for one week. Then stop watering until the leaves start to withering. Note that if the plant is in a pot, then you should be careful because too much fertilizer and water restriction can burn the plant.

I have a potted bougainvillea fir about 2 years-i think i may gave planted into too large a pot but regardless it rarely has many leaves, flowers spasmodically but never profusely. I gave used PowerFeed occasionally
Can anyone offer some advice please?

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