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How To Care For Your Bougainvillea Bonsai Tree

How To Care For Your Bougainvillea Bonsai Tree

Bougainvillea Bonsai Care

About The Bougainvillea Bonsai Tree

Bougainvillea is a thorny, topical, flowering bonsai that you can see all over the Southern US.  It has a very unique bark, and beautiful flowers (normally pink or white).

It may lose some leaves and flowers in the cold months, which is perfectly normal.


A Bougainvillea makes a wonderful indoor bonsai.  It can live outside, but will die in temperatures below 45 degrees - so inside for a large portion of the year is best.

Make sure it gets plenty of sun (6 hours or so) with a quality grow light, or a windowsill (south facing preferred.)

In the summer, it should be placed outside if possible - just be gentle with the temperature change.  Bring it outside for the season when the midday temperature is the same as indoors, and bring it inside for the season when temperatures are back in that range.  Generally, around 70 degrees in the mid-day.


The Bougainvillea is native to the topics, so it enjoys plenty of water in well draining soil. Never let it dry out completely.


When your Bougainvillea bonsai tree is indoors, using a humidity tray is recommended.  It’s from the tropics, so it loves humidity.


Since your Bougainvillea bonsai is in a small pot, and not the ground, it needs nutrients.  A slow release (pellet based) fertilizer is perfect for this, and can be added sparingly every 1-2 months during the growing season.

Pruning & Trimming

Trim back the new growth to the farthest safe point that looks good to you — but never remove all of the new growth.

A regular trim will help keep your Bougainvillea bonsai tree short, while helping the trunk grow thicker.


Repotting must be performed periodically on your bonsai, Bougainvillea included, when its root system has filled the pot.  If you can clearly see the roots coming out of the bottom of the pot, it’s time to repot your bonsai.

Generally, this means every 2-3 years for a deciduous tree and every 4-5 years for an evergreen.  A tropical tree, such as the Bougainvillea, will be somewhere in this range depending on its environment.

Repotting should be done in mid-summer, when the tree is at it’s least fragile state.

The Bougainvillea bonsai, along with all of its soil, should be removed from the pot.  From there, you can trim away no more than 1/3rd of the root mass (1/4th is preferred.) 

Then you can repot the tree in the same pot, or give it a newer / bigger pot to thrive in.

After repotting, your bonsai Bougainvillea should be thoroughly watered.

Diseases, Insects & Other Pests

Your Bougainvillea bonsai can be treated for pests like a normal Bougainvillea tree.  Just remember, your tree is miniature and will need a much smaller and more gentile dose of treatment.

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