Do Bougainvillea Bonsai Have Thorns?

In this article, we will be exploring the question of whether bougainvillea Bonsais have thorns or not. While the answer, up until now, might seem obvious, yes, it is not that easy. Botanical life endures external and internal threats regularly, as a result, their biological evolution has built out an immune system and external defensive properties. This article will explore the bougainvillea, why they have defensive properties, and answer the question as to if they have thorns or not.

Do Bougainvillea bonsai have thorns

The Bougainvillea

The section will do a better job of summarizing the Bougainvillea. However, originally from Brazil, the evergreen flowering vine has become wildly popular across North and South America. They are very hearty plants that can thrive in temperatures between 65 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below 40 degrees, the plant should be brought in.

They are often seen crawling up the sides of houses or fences. Some people use bougainvilleas on fences to prevent people from climbing over them. They do not require a great deal of water, but they will quickly deplete nutrients from the soil. Regular organic flowering fertilization is needed. 

As a bonsai, the bougainvillea is breathtaking. If you want to impress family and friends, you will do wonders with a regularly pruned bougainvillea bonsai. Seriously, do yourself a favor and Google Bougainvillea bonsai.

Do Bougainvillea bonsai have thorns

Botanical Defenses

In pursuit of answering the primary question of whether or not the bougainvillea has thorns, we should also explore why plants have thorns in the first place. Well, plants over the centuries have developed immune systems and external defensive properties. Even with human intervention, plants are susceptible to fungi, bacteria, caterpillars, aphids, mites, all herbivores, and more. Physical defenses that plants have adapted include, thorns, pines, and needles; when a Mimosa senses danger they will draw water out of the leaves causing them to roll up and seemingly shrink to deter predators.

Every cell within a plant has its immune system and can recognize and fight disease. A plant’s cells will communicate to one another and when a disease is recognized the plant will attempt to isolate the infection by self-destructing areas surrounding the infected region. Tomato plants can communicate with surrounding plants, by releasing hormones when one plant is threatened. This will trigger the surrounding plants to prepare for attacks.

The cotton plant, when attacked by caterpillars, will release a contraction of chemicals into the air. These chemicals attract whaps, who then kill the caterpillars. Plants also release histamines as a means of protection, this is often what people with allergies do not like. There are even plants with enough toxins to be fatal to animals and humans.

Because of the amazing biology of plants, scientists have been able to derive numerous medicines that aid in human existence. Who knows what plants will be doing for mankind ten years from now.

Do Bougainvillea bonsai have thorns

Thorns, yes or no?

Finally, to answer this article’s primary question, yes bougainvillea have thorns. This is how the plant defends itself from herbivores. Therefore, when handling, planting, or pruning, wear gloves that are not worn out, and long sleeves. The thorns tend to stay slow on the vine, and regular pruning will maintain that.

Lucky for those people who might be thorn averse, there is at least one species of bougainvillea that I know of that is thornless, that being the Singapore White. While they look like any other white bougainvillea, they are without any thorns.

Where I am from in Texas, we have at least 16 varieties of Bougainvillea, my favorite being the Lavender Queen. After conducting some research on Bougainvillea bonsai, I called my favorite nursery here, and can not wait to start cultivating my bougainvillea bonsai and witness firsthand its superpowers.

Do Bougainvillea bonsai have thorns

Final Thoughts

I am currently streaming this animated show that follows Harley Quinn as she dumps the joker and establishes herself as a supervillain. I won’t be spoiling anything, however, I would highly recommend the show. The reason I am bringing this up is that in the show the main character and Harley’s close friend is Poison Ivy.

As far as I know, which is not much, I am not going to do Batman villain research for this article; Poison Ivy was an acclaimed botanist and eco-activist, who after some catalyst, gained the power to control plant life with her mind. This led her down the path of becoming an eco-terrorist. The big picture is, she wants to punish people for miss treating the planet, with the use of plants. As someone who was born in 1990 and donates money to protect wildlife and land, my values kind of align with this villain.

Why is this important? Honestly, I’ve had enough of the superhero/villain cinema. But, DC is missing out by not developing a Poison Ivy movie. She is a strong independent woman who is unabashedly pro-environment. Also, her superpowers are pretty impressive. In the show that I am watching she seems very capable of holding her own against Batman. This is all thanks to the biology and evolution of plants. While Batman might have billions at his disposal, he still struggles to prune away Poison Ivy.

This article is not meant to persuade the executives at DC to develop a Poison Ivy movie, even though I expect to see one soon.

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JW is a media scholar and writer from Dallas, Texas, he is currently working towards his Ph.D in Communications. At the end of high school a dear friend taught him how to fly fish; they would end up guiding together for years in Colorado and Oklahoma. It was during these years that JW fell in love with nature, the plants, the land, and the animals.

It took many years of trial and error for him to develop a talented green thumb, but much like fly fishing, patience is everything. JW enjoys maintaining his bonsai plants, along with his house plants and herbs, and the occasional pepper plant. Out of all of his plants young and old, his favorite is his Jacaranda bonsai.




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