Q: Any tips for taking care of bougainvillea?
I have always wanted a house with beautiful bougainvillea climbing the walls. Now that we have one, we are finding the upkeep a little difficult. Our bougainvillea grew around the corner of our house and out past the wall. The weight of these shooter branches have pulled the rest of the plant away from the wally. We have trimmed it, but it still falls away from the wall now. Also, the thorns make the plant difficult to deal with. How do we get this beautiful plant to behave? ...without sticking our fingers!
First, I would suggest you buy some leather gloves, they are usually ideal for most thorny shrubbery. If you have it growing up the wall I would suggest espalier training it or putting it on a trellis. At this point you can use nursery tape to keep it from falling and eventually it will stay where you want it.
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