Too much water or fertilizer produces foliage at the expense of color. Also, bougainvilleas need 6 to 8 hours of full sun and freeze below 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Look for "microclimates" within the yard that are sunny and warm. Microclimates are pockets of climate variations. Hardscape (walls, driveways), terrain (slopes, desert washes), natural features (tree canopies, boulders), and sun and wind exposure create microclimates. Locate bougainvilleas where they have room to grow without pruning and they will reward you with massive displays of year-round color.
- Allow space for long thorny branches to grow without interference.
- Southern or western walls in full sun retain heat.
- Slight mounds retain litter.
- Plant downwind and away from pools to reduce litter in the water.