I’ve Been Inspired by … Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea is rather exotic for this part of the country.  So before now, I have not tried growing it in Kansas. Through her gorgeous photographs of these plants, Sofi from Arabica really got me thinking about how much I miss tropical bougainvilleas. When I lived in California, I loved seeing these colorful plants climbing in all kinds of places. So last week I purchased a petite specimen called Bengal Orange at one of our local garden centers. Bengal Orange supposedly only gets to be 18 inches tall but  can grow up to 8 feet wide. I planted it in a terra cotta pot and am going to try to train it to grow along our “back porch” – a tiny space off my office where I do container gardening. The bougainvillea is a bright and cheerful addition. Thank you Sofi for the inspiration! I’ve since come across several other posts about bougainvilleas that I have “liked”: Smell the Flowers, Ramblings by Robin ScanlonGardening in the Lines, and The Make Shoppe. Here are a few photos of Bengal Orange. Oh, and since pretty Penny was keeping me company while I planted it, I had to include a picture of her too.

23 responses to “I’ve Been Inspired by … Bougainvillea

    • Unfortunately, it will be an annual here. I don’t think that I will be able to overwinter the bougainvillea inside; but we have long summers, so I should be able to enjoy it for a while.

      • We have a bay tree in a pot that I bring in every winter. I keep it in the room with the wood stove near the glass door for warmth and light. Of course, the tree is only 2 feet high, but gives delicious leaves for stews. I doubt that I could move a bougainvillea back and forth as easily.

  1. I haven’t been able to grow Bougainvillea here in Texas, but I remember how beautiful and happy they were in Pasadena.

  2. so pretty!!
    I have no doubt yours will do very well there!

    I think many plants atypical of certain zones can thrive when the grower understands what the plant needs and keeps an eye out for subtle changes. As a pet owner, I’m sure you speak “dog” quite well, 😉 and speaking “plant” isn’t much different!

    Enjoy it! you really picked a beauty!!!

    • Thank you! By the way, I was thinking about making a pepper vodka with some of my hot peppers. I wasn’t sure that I would use it, though. Have you ever made it?


      • I made a sweet/spicy vodka with some other flavors, and it turned out really good. I think the trick is to make sure it doesn’t get too hot, and peppers infuse very fast.

        I think it would be good in a bloody mary, and I was at a bar the other day where someone ordered a martini made with habanero vodka (very hot!) I think the trick is to watch it close and don’t over-infuse. When I made mine’ I infused a syrup and added it to vodka. … Maybe I should post that one… I’ve been holding out

        • Thanks, Alicia.

          I found one recipe that said to put half a habaero pepper in 2 c. vodka for 4 days. I like your idea of putting it in a syrup first better, though.

    • I just adored them when I lived in California. They have a very short growing season in Kansas, so one does not see them much here. I am sure that they will do better for you in Texas. Good luck!


  3. This takes me back to my childhood. Growing up un Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), bougainvillea were everywhere. Thanks for sharing and bringing back some lovely memories.

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