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A picture of a Paper Flower

Paper Flower

Bougainvillea glabra

Also known as

Lesser Bougainvillea

Photo by cloudy_rose (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Light watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








20 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Paper Flower

A close up of a green plant
A photo of Paper Flower
A close up of a flower
A photo of Paper Flower
A pink flower on a bougainvillea

Paper Flower Overview

Bougainvillea is one of the most spectacular and colourful groups of climbing plants, native to South America. It varies in size and colour and can be grown in pots in a bright conservatory or in the garden (but must be brought inside in winter in cooler climates.) Bougainvillea glabra is semi-evergreen, vigorous and thorny species, its flowery bracts being slightly wavy and a variety of colours including white, pink, magenta and purple/lavender. Its small flowers (in the centre of the bracts) are white and its leaves are a moderately glossy mid to dark green. Bouganvillea glabra - sometimes known as the paper plant - needs a trellis or pillar to climb on, plenty of water and monthly feeding, during the growing season. It benefits from some humidity in summer and autumn when the flowers are in bud.

Common problems with Paper Flower

Generally disease free and pests usually only a problem when grown under glass.

Paper Flower Companion Plants

Grown as an indoor houseplant in the UK, it will need support to climb up.

How to propagate Paper Flower


Use hardwood cuttings in Spring and place in river sand till roots appear. Make sure the temperature is a slight bit above the air temperature.


Layering can be used in late winter or early spring and is a very effective way of propagation.

Special features of Paper Flower

Drought resistant

A mistake many people make is to over-water the young Bougainvillae plants. Once the plants have been established very little water is needed.

Attracts useful insects

Bees and butterflies are found in flowering season

Attractive flowers

Pot plant

Ensure the pot is large enough, more than 10 litres in volume.

Other uses of Paper Flower

Wall or trellis, conservatory.


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