My parents have green thumbs. Right now, their bougainvillea runneth over in a sea of magenta and salmon.
It’s Indian summer in Texas and bougainvilleas are getting their second wind. These beautiful plants love warm weather and if they’re heavily watered in summer and fed (bougainvillea food) then they can bloom several times year-round. It seems that they bloom the best in fall.
When my husband and I honeymooned in Positano, Italy we were told that bougainvillea originated there. They certainly do incredibly well in Italian soil…they cascade across archways, balconies and cover the walkways down to the waterfront.
Bougainvillea actually originated in South America. The plant is named for French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville who discovered the plant in 1768 in Brazil. It took a few decades before the bougainvillea made it to Europe. The first plant was brought to France in 1800. Numerous hybrids have come from these species.
Different kinds of beauty can be inspiring in a variety of ways. The brightness and effervescent sparkle of trailing bougainvillea that blooms under a cloudless sky can translate color into your imagination and fill you with satisfaction.
Tips from my favorite gardeners (my parents):
- Always prune in Spring.
- Bougainvilleas have sensitive roots and don’t respond well to transplanting.
- They thrive in full sun and in containers.