Ronald A.Holdaway Image
07/15/2009 - 05:12

I am conemplating taking Bouganvillea plants to Tuscany.  Do you think that they will survive the winter?  I know that it can be cold but i have grown them in the mountains of southern Spain successfully.  Have doubts - perhaps someone has grown them!!Help required!!! 



We tried growing it and it grew very, very well during the summer. Sadly, at the first hard frost, the plants all died. It will depend on the height you are above sea level as that is what controls the minimum temperatures during the winter. Here, it can (and did) get down to minus 12°C - too cold.  You could always try to wrap them in fleece for the winter though - tessuto non tessuto, that is.

 Frost and altitude may be a problem, but the Purple Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea magnifica traillii or B. glabra) is quite hardy. And you are right, I've seen them growing in Granada (Spain) at 800 m altitude, so I think that it could survive. I have also seen a few growing around Bagni di Lucca (LU) and they looked great. I would give it a go. Just let us know how it works.

I was living in Pisa until 10 days ago and had one, which we brought with us from Greece, growing and flowering very happily for 3 years in a pot. It was up against the wall of the house and was glorious. We now have it back 'home' in Salisbury ready to take with us on our next adventure - hopefully in the not too distant future. Have bougainvillea, will travel .

Very many thanks to you all.  I will give it a go. It can only do one of two things!!Jacie - good luck on your travels, We have had places in Spain, France and now Italy. Thjey all have their charm but also their problems!Ron

Yes, Ron, we have done the same thing, also with homes in Spain, France and Italy. All very interesting experiences and all different. Good luck with the bougainvillea, I am sure that it will thrive in Northern Tuscany providing you plant it in the right spot. 

What's the right spot for planting bougainvillea?  Can it go into a pot (and what size)?  I know it is very colourful and spills over walls and fences, but can you train it up a trellis or is it too bushy?I have a small garden in North Tuscany that is mainly paved over at the moment, so maybe I need to remove some of the paving stones and put the plant directly into the earth?  I will only be around to water every 6 weeks or so, so I will be dependant on the weather.  I gather where we are the nights are cool, so maybe some moisture generates then.  I am sure you can guess that I have not developed my green fingers yet.What else can I grow that will enhance a patio and yet will not die from thirst whilst I am in UK?  

An Italy loving friend grew bourgainvillae (sp?) very successfully in the channel islands in a conservatory.I would think it is shelter from cold winds and where as much sun as poss will shine on it.I always feel happy when I see it, I know I am in the right sort of place if it is growing!

I have been in Tuscany in winter and it was very cold.I think your chances of survival in the open are not good, even with fleece protectionThere is a balcony garden nearby (Lazio) and they do very well with bougainvillea but in winter the plants benefit from the protection afforded by the balcony above and the pots are set well back.

I'm 450m up a hill, south west facing and the back of the house is very well sheltered on 3 sides. Will I have a chance of keeping bougainvilliea? And to grow it in a large pot? And no, the locals are not growing it, but I think largely because they are too busy farming rather than thinking it won't do well. Any thoughts?