How To Grow Jatropha integerrima (Peregrina) From Seeds | Guide For Care And Maintenance

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Jatropha integerrima (Peregrina), a shrub-like small tree that looks gorgeous in every garden. It shows velvety green leaves above and purple flecks below. Either a gardener wants to grow this specimen in a container, along with a fence, or directly to the ground; he must follow some basic instructions.

The Jatropha plants are not specifically choosy about either and the environment. However, a light frost might even damage the whole plant. This shrubby plant produces amazing red flowers, which can attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Who wouldn’t like the blooming red appearance of Jatropha all around the year? As you have opened up our page, I believe you want to decorate your garden with nice and spicy Jatropha.

In order to assist gardeners a bit, we have discussed the detailed process of growing the plant along with some basic caring instructions. Either it’s a beginner or a pro, I’m certain that our content will be a helpful one. Gather up the courage and take your first step right away to grow Jatropha from seeds. After getting the hang of the whole procedure, you will be impressed by how the garden has been filled with spicy red Jatrophas.

What Is Jatropha integerrima ?

Jatropha integerrima, a flowering plant of the Euphorbiaceae family, People also know this plant as Peregrina, firecracker, or spicy Jatropha. It basically grows in tropical areas with full or partial sunlight. It can be almost 4.5m tall and comes with blood-red flowers with evergreen leaves.

This shrub may contain high toxicity. Therefore, keeping babies and pets away from this plant is a must as ingestion of Peregrina leaves may even lead to death. Also, it secretes a milky sap which might be irritating to the skin.

General Characteristics Of Jatropha integerrima

Jatropha integerrima, an evergreen shrub that comes with glossy green leaves of multiple shapes. The spicy red color of the flowers will like stars in the garden. These shrubs grow in tropical rainforests with warm climates. In order to ensure proper growth, a gardener must ensure at least 10° C with plenty of sun exposure. Thus, this plant is ideal for warm climates or conservatories.

Let’s check the table below to get a clear concept about this plant!

Scientific NameJatropha Integerrima.
Common namesSpicy Jatropha.
Plant typeEvergreen Shrub
LeavesGlossy green
Flower Color Red
Height1.2m to 3m
Temperature 4° to 10° C (lowest)
Soil typeSandy, clayey, acidic, or alkaline soils.
Soil pH6.8 to 8 of 8.5
LightEntire or Partial sun exposure.
CompanionsBird of Paradise, Ixora, Oleander.
Blooming period Late spring to autumn.
Habitat Tropical rainforest, semi-moist.
Hardiness zonesUSDA 9b to 11b.
Native Cuba, West Indies, Florida.


How to Grow Jatropha integerrima (Peregrina) from Sow seeds?

At the very beginning, the gardener needs to soak the seeds in cold water for several hours (around 24 to 30 hours). Seeds come with a coating that slows down the germination process. Soaking prior to planting speeds up the germination.

Prepare the soil for planting

  • Take a pot (1-gallon) and fill it with sterile soil, manure and sand uniformly. Keep the pot in a warm water container for a while, this makes the soil a bit moist. Once you feel the moisture on the surface, please remove it from warm water.
  • Let the mixture dry for about an hour as well-drained soil is essential for Peregrina. Now, the soil is ready to be used for plantation.

Plant the seeds

  • The best time to plant Jatropha Integerrima seeds is three months prior to the rainy season. However, this estimation is specifically for tropical areas.
  • After preparing the soil, take the seeds and plant them deeper (at least 2 to 3 inches inside the soil).
  • After planting it, keep the pot in a warm environment outside with bright light. The spicy jatropha seeds will germinate slowly that might take around six to 18 days. Once the plant starts growing, it will bloom during its first year if it’s under proper care.

Instructions To water the soil

  • In the first phase, to maintain proper soil moisture, often water it at the level where the seeds are planted. As drought tolerance establishes at a later stage, never let the soil dry out entirely during the first year.
  • Once the seedlings become 10 to 12 inches tall, keep it into the full or partial sun for an hour more. Continue this procedure for at least two weeks.
  • Choose a spot that should have a depth of 12 inches with entire or partial sun exposure and well drainage systems. Now, plant the seedling at 2 to 3 inches inside the soil.
  • To ensure proper moisture, water the plant timely but not wet. Be careful during the first year of watering. Never keep the soil too dry instead, maintain proper drainage.

Fertilize the soil

  • To get awesome growth and bloom, fertilizing needed a must. As we know, spicy Jatropha loves humus-filled soil; using 1 pound of manure would be a great idea. In this case, fertilize the shrub three times during the growing seasons, specifically in May, July, and September.
  • Organic fertilizers make an incredible impact to increase the fertility of the soil, specifically in tropical regions. Organic fertilizers are composed of several ingredients, including minerals, dead plants, manure, bone minerals, etc. Humus with high phosphorus content is great for flower bloom.

How To Prepare The Soil with Organic fertilizers At home?

  • First, segregate the wet waste (food, fruit peels & others) of the home and keep them in a compost container. Then the gardener needs to add up the same quantity of dry leaves and cow dung for decomposition.
  • Turn the waste from time to time while maintaining proper dampness.
  • Leaving the pot open for 45 days will make it semi-composed. Now, move it to the bigger bin.
  • After two months, the waste will become well-composed manure.

Basic Instructions To Take Care Of The Spicy Jatropha

Water the soil:

  • Water the soil properly and maintain the moisture.
  • Maintain well drainage as waterlogging might cause serious damage.
  • Maintain soil pH from 6 to 8.

Soil For Jatropha Integerrima:

  • Shows awesome growth in fertile soil filled with hummus.


  • Begin trimming in late winter.
  • Cutting extra stems will enhance growth and keep the desired appearance.



Grow the shrub in well-drained soil filled with hummus. Proper moisture, fertile soil, and optimum pH ensure fast growth. Pruning them from time to time will maintain the overall look. Also, keeping the plant in a warm climate is a must as Jatropha Integerrima is frost intolerant.

Check The Detailed Instructions For Maintenance & Care Of Jatropha Integerrima (Peregrina)

We have discussed every aspect of proper care and maintenance of the spicy Jatropha. Check below for further details.

What type of soil is best for Jatropha Integerrima (Peregrina)?

A gardener must ensure fully drained soil. Heavy clays are not that much suitable for Peregrina, specifically in the areas where drainage systems are not proper. As we already know, Jatropha has high intolerance for soggy conditions. However, he must keep in mind that Peregrina has high intolerance for salt. Thus, these plants are not suitable for planting at the seaside or beaches. Different soil types such as sandy, clayey, acidic, or alkaline soils can initiate its overall growth.

Required Sunlight

Plenty of sun exposure is awesome for the growth of this shrub. They can grow properly in partial to entire sunlight, the highest growth of Peregrina occurs in lands with full sun.


To grow and maintain Spicy Jatropha in your garden, you must have a warm climate or conservatory. This shrub is kinda Hardy to low temperature. Minimally it can tolerate 4° C to 10° C, where annually the highest bearable temperature is 35°. The lowest limit of mean annual temperature is 15° C. So, by now, you can guess that this plant has a high intolerance for freezing weather.

Optimum pH

The evergreen shrub can grow in a wide range of pH. The shrubs have a superior ability to cope with alkaline soils. Yet, the gardener must ensure soil pH from 6.0 to 8.0 or 8.5.


Choosing the fertilizers and fertilizing time is essential to ensure the remarkable growth of the shrub. It is ideal for fertilizing the plant three times a year, specifically during summer, autumn and spring. As a fertilizer, use good quality ones which have high phosphorus content. Bony metals play amazing roles in enhancing flower bloom.

Natural Enemies And Pest Issues

Generally, Jatropha integerrima has high resistance to pests and diseases. Sometimes scales, mites, and leaf miners try to affect the shrubby spicy Jatropha. Scientists have considered several insects like Caloptilia triadicae and Paracoccus marginatus as the natural enemy of Jatropha.


Propagation Of Jatropha Integerrima

A gardener can Propagate Jatropha integerrima (Peregrina) either by stem or cutting stems.

In order to propagate, he has to sow the seeds during hot weather, specifically during the spring or summer. He needs to ensure a minimum of 24 degrees for proper propagation. He can also Cut the shrubs in spring. However, keeping the cuts in a shady place with high humidity (70% to 90%) is a must so that they can get time to form a callous. After callous formation, insert them into the sandy soil and propagate them with heat, which will uplift roots’ growth.

Instructions For Pruning:

If you are thinking of pruning the Peregrine, it would be nice to begin in late winter, just before the blooming period commences.

Pruning is an essential process to eliminate dead branches. This procedure enhances overall growth and promotes blooming.

Many gardeners prefer regular trimming to maintain formal foundation planting, appearance and edging.

Mostly these shrubs are planted in pots, so the roots remain in confined space. Foliage trimming assists in maintaining a neat and tidy look and enhances the growth of side shoots and blooming. Thus, the demand for larger root systems is reduced, and the plant remains healthy in pots.

Make cuts above the leaf buds by forming a slight angle.

Using sharp & clean tools is a must for proper pruning. Pruners, loppers are quite handy and useful while pruning shrubs. If the shrub is quite mature, you might need tree saws or pole pruners.

How to make Jatropha integerrima (Peregrina) bloom?

Jatropha integerrima, an incredible source of mind-blowing colors in Florida as they bloom all year round. However, the main blooming season for Jatropha is late spring to autumn.

  • Pruning plays an important role in making the flower bloom. Eliminating old flowers and branches will increase seed production, and the plant will have better energy for further blooming.
  • Fertilizers, especially humus with high bone minerals, tend to enhance blooming.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Question : When do Peregrina Flowers?

Answer: Peregrina flowers all around the year and enhance the color of Florida & Cuba. However, if we try to specifically determine their blooming period, then it’s basically from late spring to autumn.

Question : What is the major use of Jatropha integerrima?

Answer: Though Jatropha integerrim is basically an ornamental shrub to enhance the beauty of your garden, it traditionally has some medical usage. People have been using them for the treatment of rheumatism, eczema, warts, pruritus, tumor, toothache, etc.

Question : How often do you water Spicy Jatropha?

Answer: At the very beginning, you need to Water the seedling very often, especially in its first year. Later on, the plant will develop drought tolerance over time. So, watering them 3 times a week will be enough. The water amount will vary depending on the size of the pot. However, you must keep the soil well-drained and moist as well.

Final Thoughts:

In order to grow and maintain Jatropha integerrima (Peregrina), following several instructions is necessary for superior growth. This article has highlighted plant details, basic and detailed instructions, and pruning and fertilizing procedures to look after spicy Jatropha. So, are you ready to grow amazing Jatropha Integerrima seedlings in your garden?

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