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Bougainvillea ‘Barbara Karst’

Bougainvillea ‘Barbara Karst’ is one of our most searched bougainvillea on the Internet.  She is a moderate grower with a full, thick growth pattern and extremely reliable flowering habit.  In addition to her many wonderful qualities, her suitability for any application makes her our top-selling variety at BGI.

Barbara Karst is the bougainvillea-industry standard for red, but it’s actually the darkest shade of hot pink; only the new growth is truly red in color.  Leaves are dark blue-green, and broadly ovate.  Bougainvillea ‘Barbara Karst’ can be found beautifying the landscape all throughout Florida, southern California, Arizona, Texas.


A natural climber, she performs best when grown on trellis, but does almost equally well when trained as a bush, standard, or hanging basket.

Mature Size

20-30’ tall X 6-9’ wide. Can be pruned to stay smaller.


Full, direct sun.  A minimum of 5 hours a day.

Water Usage

Low once established.  Water regularly after planting to encourage a deep root system, then reduce to only as needed.  Bougainvillea are drought-tolerant plants and perform beautifully in any xeriscape (Landscaping that doesn’t require a lot of water), or other environmental design minimizing the need for water use.


Use BOUGAIN® Quick Release Bloom Boost every 30 days.

Trimming and Pinching

After each blooming cycle (approximately every 4-6 weeks), trim or pinch the soft tips of young plants stems to encourage new growth. Pinching means removing the growing tip.  This will create multiple offshoots, thicken the plant’s appearance, and yield a more colorful bougainvillea.

Planting or Re-potting

Take care not to disturb the bougainvillea’s delicate root system during planting or re-potting.  Never pull on the stem of the plant as their weak roots can be easily severed.  We highly recommended that you plant bougainvillea in their nursery pots with the bottom of the pot cut out.  Use a quick-drain soil suitable for bougainvillea like BGI Select Soil.

Cold Hardiness

Performs best in hardiness zones 9-11, but can be used as annual color in colder climates.

Color Season

In the Southeastern U.S., Bougainvillea ‘Barbara Karst’ flowers most heavily from October through June, but can flower sporadically year-round if dry conditions exist.  Evergreen.

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Bougainvillea ‘Barbara Karst’, 5.1 out of 10 based on 109 ratings

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