How to Kill Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea plants are plentiful in warm environments, where they can be seen blanketing trees, trellises, walls, buildings and their roofs. They have become popular in home landscaping because of their brilliant flowers, bright green leaves and hardy nature. That hardy nature can also make these plants a nuisance. Once established, bougainvillea plants have a habit of getting out of control, and are often seen over running a property with rioting vines. Get rid of bougainvillea plants with a couple of easy steps.

Step 1

Prune away as many branches, leaves and vines as possible to thin out the bougainvillea. This will make the final job of cutting the plant out of the ground easier. Always wear protective gloves and long sleeves, as bougainvillea can come armed with thorns. Put the foliage you cut off in the trash; do not leave it lying in your garden.

Step 2

Saw the bougainvillea's main stem off at soil level. Throw the stem away.

Step 3

Dig out the roots. This may be a long task. Depending on how the bougainvillea plant is, the root system may be extensive. Start your dig approximately 1 foot from the bougainvillea's stem and work outward to find the ends of the roots. When you've found the outer reaches, dig down to underneath the bougainvillea's root ball. End with a trench that encircles the plant.

Step 4

Push your shovel into the soil of the trench at an angle so that it reaches under the roots. Lever it up to lift the bougainvillea roots out of the soil. Move around the circle and repeat until you can lift the root system from the ground.

Step 5

Spray the area with a weed killer like Round-up to kill any remaining roots or seeds from the bougainvillea.

Carrie Terry

Carrie Terry has worked in publishing for more than 15 years. In 2008, she opened a publishing house, acquiring and editing manuscripts, bringing books to market, running marketing campaigns and supervising cover/art direction. Terry holds a Bachelor of Science in English from UCLA.