In The Garden: Jatropha is a little red beauty
Jatropha integerrima is a welcome addition for a sunny spot in any size South Florida landscape.
Jatropha is a genus of flowering plants in the Euphorbiaceae family. Butterflies love the plant, which can be both a flowering shrub or grown as a standard or tree form. Jatropha has dark green leaves and regular splashes of a pinkish-red to deep red clusters of blooms all through the foliage.
One of the best examples of where to place this beauty is by using a standard jatropha as the focal point in a butterfly garden or small flower garden. You might also see these as a small tree form in the roadway medians as they can be especially drought tolerant once established. They also make a good anchor plant on the corner of the house, patio or deck. The jatropha will grow full and lush and with regular trimming of the branches you can maintain a nice rounded shape.
There are variations of the plant, including one that blooms pink in sun or partial shade. However the red variety seems to do the best for a nice flowering shrub or small tree. The plants like well-drained soil and are moderately fast growers. Adding organic compost or good soil to the local sandy variety will help the plant get off to an even better start. To keep it blooming and healthy, fertilize three times a year at regular intervals with a good basic fertilizer.
They like the warmth and will bloom all year round and you can easily keep this plant at 5 feet to 6 feet tall even in a tree form, making it an easy choice for a small area. If you like an easy to care for plant that brightens up your home with its little red blossoms, the jatropha is just the plant for you.
In The Garden is a joint effort by all at the local garden center, at 3889 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel. For more information, contact 239-395-5859 or visit “http://www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden”>www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden.