Removing bracts from bougainvilleas

I have been trying to remove the bracts from my bougey several times now and the little darling insists on growing them back. More prolifically each time! It’s my understanding that one should prune the bracts to focus the energy on growth. The photo’s show what I’m up against. Just keep pruning or give up? As always, thanks for your input.
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I have found mine to do the same. Now, I instead let them produce their bracts and when the first ones become spent, prune them all off (and if part of its development phase, fertilize). This usually leads to a new flush immediately or soon after. Otherwise I think the tree gets in flowering mode and will continue to push to fulfill this need…so I let it get it out of its system. I have never lost so much energy as to damage a tree or prevent ramification or further bud pushes with letting it flower in this way.

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I remember in the Juan Andrade stream he talks about how technically flowering / bracting(?) does take energy that the tree could have used vegetatively, but that bougies are so strong that for all practical purposes it doesn’t really slow them down. I’ve had similar experiences. I’ll cut all flowering stems off at some points in the year, but it would be pretty tough to stay on top of every bract as they come out with as many blooms as they produce. I’ve never had negative consequences from allowing them to flower sometimes, and they are still growing plenty of vegetative shoots.


Thanks guys. Love Mirai’s forum. Everyone’s attitudes are like you can’t feel dumb asking. But, yeah, watched Andrade’s stream again last night. Not much help, though, with answering this specific question. Just bracts take a lot of energy. But I think you guys have pretty much nailed it. When it wants to bloom, it’s going to, come hell or high water, so let it bloom. No actual harm after all. Thanks again.

I’d like to resurrect this thread to ask if waiting until the actual flower part (small white flower, not the bracts) have opened vs. just constantly pruning the bracts. From some reading I’ve done, it seems that part of the reason they continue to flower is that although the bract appears full and bright, the inner part which is the actual “flower” may not have opened. So, if it can’t bloom it just keeps trying, by pushing out more. If this is in fact correct that then begs the question of whether or not you should wait for all 3 flowers (per bract) to bloom before pruning.

I know this thread kind of ended previously with the understanding that Bougs are very vigorous growers and that the energy spent on the blooms is inconsequential. However, I have a couple of Bougs that were in poor health and I’m trying to nurse them back to life so I’m trying to hold on to every bit on energy I can.