pink jatropha serves as the thriller plant in this
colorful mixed container with lantana, scaevola,
verbena and celosia.
Jatropha Offers Blooms Birds and Butterflies
birds, and butterflies are the attributes everyone
experiences when growing the award-winning spicy
jatropha. Spicy jatropha also commonly known as
peregrina and firecracker jatropha is really a must have
plant for the long hot season ahead. No amount of heat
will deter it from producing non-stop blooms all summer
until freezing weather arrives.
spicy japtropha is known botanically as Jatropha
integerrima and is native to the West Indies. Even
though it is a tropical it has been showing up at garden
centers much like tropical hibiscus or mandevilla. It is
such a great plant it was declared a Texas Superstar
Winner even though it is only cold hardy in zones 9 -11.
They will over winter in South Texas, but everyone else
will either protect them or grow them as an annual like
most of the country.
me the foliage has always been an additional selling
point. The leaves for the most-part are deep glossy
green and fiddle-shaped. You can get a variance in leaf
shapes, but regardless they serve as the perfect
backdrop to the red or pink flowers depending on your
choice in variety.
the tropics it is not uncommon to see them as small
trees reaching 10 to 12 feet but for most of us we will
enjoy them in the 3 to 5 foot range. They are not
finicky about soil pH but do need very well drained
conditions. At the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens in
Savannah ours gave us a spring return from the ground
after a low of 22. We have also elected to grow some as
thriller plants in mixed containers.
you grow them in the landscape or in containers on the
porch, patio, or poolside you will notice that all
summer that butterflies and hummingbirds make regular
visits. The flowers are about 1-inch across and are
borne in clusters that amazingly are always around.
Should yours get fruit, know that these are poisonous if
ingested. In all of the years Iíve grown them I have
never seen fruit formed.
are tough-as-nails and slow to wilt and make a quick
recovery once water is applied. Iíve never seen any
diseases or insect pressures which is pretty shocking
since they perform for such a long season. In the
landscape you will want to feed with light monthly
applications of a slow-released balanced fertilizer
containing micro-nutrients. Feed those in containers
with a balanced controlled-released granular fertilizer
as per formula recommendation or every other week with a
dilute water-soluble 20-20-20.
jatrophas are still fairly new to garden centers in
zones north of the tropics, the prices generally make
them one of the best buys for your garden dollar since
they bloom non-stop for 5 to 7 months depending where
the landscape I love them with bananas, philodendrons
and elephant ears, where their coarse textured foliage
combines with the red flowers for a real taste of the
tropics. In our mixed containers we are using them with
rich pastel yellow lantanas, blue verbenas, white
scaevolas and carmine colored celosia. As they have
grown together the look is simply dazzling with the
you live in our warmest regions you most likely will be
purchasing your jatropha generically, which is
absolutely fine. On the other hand, you might be
fortunate and find Ingramís Red and Petite Pink.
Regardless, if you see the spicy jatropha for sale you
will know you are getting an outstanding plant.