Hello, welcome to this humble DIY and Design blog, nestled in a quiet corner of Mumbai. Say woohoo with me because a long pending post on how to grow bougainvillea finally finds completion today. o! What a happy day!

Considering a lot of you asked me on FB as to how to grow bougainvilleas in apartment and in containers; here’s a little post I put together for you; how I did it in the sweltering summer heat {yeah, that’s actually pretty good for them} and grew bougainvilleas in my tiny apartment’s equally tiny garden!

But before going in there, how have you been? You want to know how I have been? Well! My life seems like not my life anymore. Gone are the days when I used to laugh on jobbers and commuters, and it seems like I’ve been in some weird whirlpool where 1 day is 1 second real time. Thanks to the previously mentioned situation┬áthat I hardly get to blog. Do you even know where I am blogging from? From the pantry of my office, on a 15 minute coffee break. I’ve worked all day now- it’s almost done- have a few things to proofread and I should be able to call it day. But before that, I’m going to tell you how I gew Bougainvilleas in my tiny apartment in a deep container for sure. Yes, yes, that’s how much I love y’all!

Bougainvillea 3So anyway, {oh, and an entire day has passed since I started penning this. It’s morning of the next day now} coming back to the growing bougainvillea in container bit, let me tell you it took me a couple of plants to get it right. I have a semi-green thumb and I take time to get used to the nitty-gritty of plant behaviour: while English roses would take a lot, poor bougainvilleas are possibly the least demanding in all flowering plants- or atleast among the ones I have ever grown. So that’s good news for brown-thumbers! Can we make this a word? Please let’s make this a word. Brown thumbers. Hehe.

Honestly, when I started looking for “how to grow bougainvilleas” on the internet, I was overwhelmed with information. This internet I tell you confuses you more than helping you with info. So I started on my own, buying a couple of plants and experimenting with them. What you will find below is what you’d exactly need to grow bougainvilleas in containers without ‘crumple the soil from the root ball’ and check the plant’s temperature. Normally, we do not all that jazz do we? It’s a plant. All you need is water and love ­čśë


Bougainvillea is a tropical plant that flowers almost all year round in hot and humid climate, and is perfect for a place like Mumbai. Many call it a shrub but it is actually a vine that climbs and makes fantastic topiary if tended to well. Some also like to snip and trim them and make them into a proper shrub for decorative purposes but I were them I would let bougainvilleas take over my house. Many argues that bougainvillea grow best outdoors and doesn’t do very well in containers indoors but I’d like to disagree. They do equally well in containers if you know the whats and the hows. Here’s how my plant is rigging it in its deep container


In fact I’d go as far as to say that Bougainvilleas do exceptionally well in containers owing to the fact that they prefer cramped roots. If you have a sunny spot in your home- one which receives at least 5-6 ┬áhours of direct sunlight- you can grow bougainvillea and enjoy them all year round.

So yeah, Here’s how I did it and here is the Bible for growing Bougainvilleas indoors and in a container.


How To Grow Bougainvillea in Container Bible

To begin with, and as already mentioned, Bougainvillea is a tropical plant and thrives in Hot and humid climate. The night temp should not drop below 16 degree Celcius. If you are growing it in Mumbai, you don’t need to worry about this!

Bougainvillea thrives best in acidic soil– the red soil in Mumbai is just about perfect for growing them

To grow bougainvillea, choose a deep container, the height should be atleast 30 cm and above. Dig a hole as deep as the plant’s root ball. Add high-phosphate fertilizer to promote root growth and carefully plant the bougainvillea that you’ll get from your nursery. Add a little water this time. Check if the container has enough drainage holes because bougainvillea hates getting wet feet.

If you want it to grow into a trellis, plant it around a bamboo structure or even the railing of your balcony.

Keep undisturbed for the next 7 days and keep it in a sunny spot.

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Bougainvillea care

#Tip1– Bougainvillea loves to wilt! Yes, it might sounds like blasphemy in the plant world but believe me you, bougainvillea likes to go through some stress patch. When the plant wilts a bit, the plant gears up for propagation and survival which leads them to flower. If you water your bougainvillea too much you will only have a huge tree, full of green leaves but no flowers. So water them scanty. Say, once in 3 days is perfect if you are watering.

#Tip2– Water them only when you see the leaves wilting. If not, there is no need for water

#Tip3-  Prune. Yes, much as you would hate to do this, pruning will ensure new growth and bougainvillea flowers only on new shoots. So where will you prune? Snip the branch just above a thorn, in an angle and keeping some stem to regrow.


#Tip4– use plastic containers as opposed to clay containers. Why? Because clay containers tend to hold water and are cooler than plastic. Plastic on the other hand heats up well in the sun drying the soil. This is my own observation and might be wrong ­čÖé Trial and error homies, trial and error.


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