Sunday 30 November 2014

Bougainvillea Spectabilis And Its Uses

Bougainvillea or Paper Flower (Bunga Kertas in Malay) is a thorny, woody, high climbing vine. It is suitable as a landscape plant or a decorative plant to climb over an arch or trellis or along the wall for its bright, colourful flowers.
It grows well in warm climate with full sunlight, at least a few hours of full sun. It needs well-drained soil. Too much water will only cause the plant to produce more leaves than flowers.
The flowers are in clusters and they can be red, orange, yellow, purple, pink, white, etc. It is an evergreen plant and blooms all the year round.
This particular bougainvillea plant is grown from a cutting I took from my sister's garden. I just stuck the single cutting into moist soil in a small pot, placed in a shady place and it grew. It has been growing beautifully till this day.
From this one plant, I have propagated many baby plants to bless others as I have been blessed.
Bougainvillea is a hardy plant and once established in its growth, it can withstand dry season.
Bougainvillea is easy to maintain, only needs occasional trimmings to shape the plant and to bring about blooming.
Many have claimed bougainvillea has medicinal values to regulate menstruation, vaginal (white) discharge, treatment of hepatitis and cough. The flowers and stem are dried, boil in water and drink as tea.
This is the white colour bougainvillea and it is potted. This is a faithful bloomer, blooming all the year round.

It can be potted, pruned and kept as bonsai plant. Sad to say, this one has been sort of neglected and has grown out of shape. The leaves are almost gone from the top layer, looks like it is very under nourished, whereas the lower layer is doing well. I tried trimming the top layer but still it does not show good result.
I have decided to give it a final trim to boost its growth. When I have almost finished the trimming job, I noticed that there is a half hidden wire tighten around the main stem of the plant with the bark almost covering the wire. So this was the cause of the top layer not doing well. It is like strangling the plant slowing to death.

I took a cutter to cut off the wire and pull it off from the plant. Some of the bark came off together with the wire and I hope it will grow back and bring some life back to the top layer. I am now waiting for the new leaves and shoots to restore this plant to its former beauty of many colours.
This photo of the colourful bougainvillea was taken in a plant nursery.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment,
such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
Instead, it should be that of your inner self,
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is of great worth in God's sight.
(1 Peter 3:3-4, New International Version-NIV)


  1. I love it, it is gorgeous!!! And it looks sturdy with the think branches. The wire is too bad. I wonder it it was put on at the garden center to train it when it was starting out...

    1. Thank you Ginny, I too suppose the wire must have been place there to hold the branches in place.

  2. I love bougainvillea and it can survive well in the frosty part of Australia too :D

  3. Replies
    1. I have not mastered the art of making the plant a bonsai yet.

  4. My grandma used to plant lots of bougainvillea with so many assortment of colours. I think it is a very practical plant to have in the garden, easy to care for and yet so pretty.

  5. My hub used to plant a lot but now he has cut them down. I like this flower but scared of the thorns. Yours is beautfully trimmed.

    1. I used to have many pots of different colours but as you have said, because of the long big thorns, I now only keep the ones with smaller thorns.

  6. Your light purple bunga kertas is so lovely! The way it climbs up your wall and along the top of the wall.

    1. Thank you, Mun. Bunga kertas is very beautiful because of its bright colour.


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