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BOUGAINVILLEA 'San Diego Red'

Image of Bougainvillea 'San Diego Red'

Maureen Gilmer

Family

Nyctaginaceae

Botanical Name

BOUGAINVILLEA 'San Diego Red'

Plant Common Name

Bougainvillea, Paperflower, San Diego Red Bougainvillea

General Description

The big, hearty, long-blooming, red-flowered bougie ‘San Diego Red’ is named for the city where it originates. Its specific history is unknown, but this large, evergreen, woody vine persists in southern California like no other. It is the leading red-flowered bougainvillea by which others are judged.

The long arching branches of 'San Diego Red' are bedecked with dark green leaves and colorful blooms that appear year-round. Its flowers are actually comprised of showy petal-like leaves, called bracts, which surround clusters of tiny tubular flowers. The true flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds and long tongued insects, like butterflies.

This bougie blooms far more heavily when conditions are dry. If overwatered, even in the desert, it produces too much foliage and the flowers have insufficient color. All bougainvilleas demand very good drainage. Their sensitive root systems resent disturbance, so it is vital to keep their root balls intact when transplanting them. They can withstand the occasional frost but cannot take prolonged cold weather.

This is the queen of climbers for walls, fences, arbors, shade structures and gazebos. It will even climb onto roofs or into tree tops.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vine/Liana

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    20'-50' / 6.1m - 15.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Hanging Basket, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No