Does Bougainvillea Damage Walls? Whether the Flower’s Pros Can Compensate for Its Cons?

by Snezhana Besarabova

People who live in tropical or subtropical regions, can’t help but be fascinated by one lovely plant with bright, vibrant blooms, called bougainvillea. It’s appreciated not only for it’s beauty, but this flowering bush is also hardy, requires water rarely, and is so easy to be grown in front of your home. Moreover, the plant makes an ideal shadow, and creates a pop of color in front of the door or in your garden. But does, like most wonderful things, bougainvillea has its “dark” side? As, when it grows climbing on fences and walls, some people are afraid that it can destroy these structures. We’ll focus on the issue today, examining does bougainvillea damage walls, and exploring the potential pros and cons of this showy plant.

Do Bougainvilleas Have Invasive Roots?

bougainvillea red flowers plant what are the pros and cons of bougainvillea

As we mentioned above, one concern that people have about bougainvillea is that it may develop invasive roots, which can ruin fences and other structures. But what do the specialists think: does bougainvillea damage walls, railings, or other places where it climbs? While it is true that some plants have roots that can be destructive, bougainvillea is in most cases not considered to be one of them. This plant’s roots are generally shallow and do not extend deeply into the soil. They also tend to grow close to the surface, which makes them easier to control. Moreover, bougainvillea is not a fast-growing plant, subsequently its roots do not expand rapidly.

Does Bougainvillea Damage Walls or not?

does bougainvillea damage walls making holes


Another issue for the people, which prevents them from growing this plant, is that bougainvillea’s roots may make holes and cracks on walls. But do bougainvillea roots damage walls, really? While it is possible for the roots of particular plants to cause cracks on facades, it’s hard to say that about this plant. If bougainvillea is growing near a wall, its roots may penetrate through its surface and make small cracks or openings there. However, they are not strong enough to cause significant damage to the wall. Therefore, in most cases, any scratches, caused by the roots, can be repaired easily. Though, if the wall is already weakened with some destruction on it, bougainvillea roots may exacerbate the issue. In these cases, it is best to address the underlying problem before planting any vegetation near the wall.

Does Bougainvillea Damage Walls Built With Stucco?

does bougainvillea damage stucco making scratches (1)

Stucco is a popular material for walls and other structures in warm and dry climate zones. And when wanting to grow bougainvillea, some people worry that they may cause appearing cracks and holes to stucco walls surfaces. What think for this issue: “does bougainvillea damage stucco walls” the plant specialists? While it is possible for the plant to cause some injury to stucco, this is not a common occurrence. If the bougainvillea is growing against this kind of wall, its roots may penetrate through the surface, making small cracks or tiny holes in it. But this changes on the surface are very little.

Though, there is another issue with the bougainvillea growing on walls. The plant can produce a sticky sap, which may adhere to stucco surfaces and stay there. And this can be difficult to remove. However, with proper care and maintenance, it is possible to minimize its impact of the problem.

What are the Pros and Cons of Bougainvillea?

does bougainvillea damage walls when climbing there

From the above said, it’s evident that the plant can cause some little problems. But whether the advantages of bougainvillea can compensate for its disadvantages? For this purpose, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this popular plant.

What are the Cons?

wall covered with purple bougainvillea do bougainvillea roots damage walls

Its thorns: Bougainvillea has sharp thorns that can make the pruning a little bit difficult. Additionally, this can be somewhat dangerous when you have little children playing outside.

It can create a mess: The plant produces debris from the fallen leaves, spent blooms and twigs.

A little bit invasive: Bougainvillea can spread quickly and require regular pruning to keep it under control.

Possible damage: This plant won’t cause significant damage to walls or other structures, but it is possible to exacerbate existing issues.

What are the Pros?

what are the pros and cons of bougainvillea

Pretty blooms: Bougainvillea is appreciated for its colorful and showy blooms, which can add a splash of color to the landscape.

Hardiness: Bougainvillea is a hardy plant that can tolerate a range of growing conditions. The plant thrives well in heat, bears drought climate, and can grow on poor soil.

Low maintenance: Bougainvillea requires relatively little maintenance once established, making it a good choice for those who want a low-effort plant.

Versatility: Bougainvillea can be grown in a variety of settings, including as a ground cover, a hedge, or a climbing vine.

does bougainvillea damage walls and make cracks on them

While there are some potential concerns about its impact on walls and other structures, these are generally minor and can be mitigated with proper care and maintenance.

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