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Bougainvillea lilac placement


I bought a bougainvillea lilac plant from an online shop and was expecting more of a bushy plant. The website said it was fine for patios, but I’ve since read it should be kept in a warm conservatory?! I live in North Yorkshire so not the warmest of climates.

Could anyone tell me if it would be okay to keep this in a container in an area with full sun and then bring it in the house at the end of summer?

Also, does anyone have any advice about training the vine? I have no idea where to start with training this on this shape of cane! As you can tell, I’m a beginner gardener (trying my best!) so please be kind!


  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,381
    Bougainvillea is really a plant for warmer climates most often seen in southern European
    Unless the climate changes even more dramatically, not sure that North Yorkshire is what it would be looking for.
    Given a decent summer, you may get away with it but a CH house over the winter won't really be much good.
    In a suitable habitat, it can be a vigorous climber needing plenty of support.
    Hate to say it but you may have chosen a plant which just won't suit your needs.  It seems that Garden Centres will persist in offering unsuitable plants for sale and rarely give honest info and advice to prospective purchasers.
    Sorry for the negative advice :)

  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,316
    I’m really sorry, I’m afraid I agree with Philippa. It would need a much larger pot, a trellis or obelisk over the top to train it up/around and your warmest, sunniest, most sheltered spot in summer. It would not be happy in a heated house over winter, it would dry out too much, but die if left outside in Yorkshire..  I live in Spain and can’t grow one, winters are too cold in my location!

    I would check carefully what information was given on the website, if they failed to state the growing conditions it needs, complain and ask for your money back.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Thank you for your replies - I really appreciate your honest, but polite feedback. I suspected that may be the case, but it’s good to hear what others’ think too.

    I checked the website again and I’m going to see if I can get a refund as the information wasn’t sufficient really. I was already quite disappointed in the service before this, so I think I’ve got good grounds for it. It’s a shame really, I don’t want the plant to go to waste.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,381

    I had a beautiful Bougainvillea in my garden in southern Spain - the problem was more keeping it in check rather than trying to encourage it.  Nollie is right - a huge difference between the North of Spain and the south when trying to grow "exotics". Even more extreme when talking about N UK.  Yorkshire is a beautiful area but just not quite warm enough for Bougainvillea.

    I hope you have some luck querying the info provided on the website and manage to obtain a refund.  You only have to look on the numerous Bamboo threads on here to realise how prevalent this problem is  :)
  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 5,099
    My SIL grew a massive one in her conservatory (midlands) although it actually fried one summer in there. I have one which lives in an unheated room by a window for the Winter (6months) and drops all leaves and then goes on my south-facing back porch once frost risk has passed. It hasn’t done brilliantly, is mostly one tall stem with some lower growth but it’s a splash of colour when it does come out. 
    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,316
    I couldn’t grow it successfully in southern Spain either @philippasmith2! I was too inland and at too high an altitude. Same here in the North. The Mediterranean climate is only a thin coastal strip here, it grows with abundance on the Costa Brava which is around 65km away but not a chance here.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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