Spec­tac­u­lar plant with a down­side

The Morning Bulletin - - GARDEN - with Angie Thomas Angie Thomas is a hor­ti­cul­tur­ist at Yates.

BOUGAINVIL­LEAS are spec­tac­u­lar flow­er­ing scram­bling climbers and shrubs that cre­ate vi­brant trop­i­cal colour in all but the cold­est gar­dens. A bougainvil­lea smoth­ered in flow­ers is truly stun­ning.

Bougainvil­leas can be ex­tremely vig­or­ous and older va­ri­eties have sig­nif­i­cant and painful thorns along their stems. The temp­ta­tion is to prune bougainvil­leas very hard to keep them un­der con­trol, but this can pro­mote ad­di­tional ram­pant growth, ex­ac­er­bat­ing the prob­lem. To help keep bougainvil­leas un­der con­trol, give them a light prune to re­move the spent flow­ers af­ter the main flow­er­ing flush has fin­ished. It is bet­ter to trim off small amounts of growth reg­u­larly rather than giv­ing them a close shave (un­less ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary). The ex­cep­tion to this is wa­ter shoots, which are long soft stems that should be pruned off at the base when they ap­pear.

Trop­i­cal temp­ta­tion

Man­dev­il­las are climb­ing plants with very pretty, trop­i­cal look­ing flow­ers. They make a beau­ti­ful plant to grow on a per­gola, up a trel­lis on a wall or fence, grown as a small shrub, up a tri­pod or other sup­port in a good-sized pot, or cas­cad­ing out of a large hang­ing bas­ket.

Sun Para­sol is a range of gorgeous man­dev­il­las from Oa­sis Hor­ti­cul­ture. It in­cludes Gi­ant Crim­son and Pretty Pink. Gi­ant Crim­son has large, rich red flow­ers and Pretty Pink has gorgeous candy pink blooms. Sun Para­sols will start flow­er­ing in spring in warmer parts of Aus­tralia and con­tinue flow­er­ing into au­tumn, so they pro­vide many months of bright colour.

PHOTO: FILE

Bougainvil­leas can be ex­tremely vig­or­ous and older va­ri­eties have large thorns along their stems.

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