Euphorbia punicea (Jamaican Poinsettia) is an ornamental, evergreen, succulent bush or a tree that can grow up to 3 to 5 meters (10–16 ft) tall, and sometimes much taller. The stems are rubbery, semi-succulent, greenish to very pale brown or cream-colored with prominent traces of the fallen leaves lining the woody lower branches and trunk. The leaves are dark green, normally evergreen, but seasonal drought and cool temperatures can cause foliage to temporarily drop away. The small, insignificant, golden-yellow flowers are surrounded by a very showy crown of flashy-red petal-like bracts, looking like larger flowers from a distance.
Scientific Name: Euphorbia punicea
Synonyms: Adenorima punicea, Euphorbia troyana, Euphorbiodendron puniceum, Euphorbiodendron troyanum, Poinsettia punicea, Tithymalus puniceus.
Common Names: Jamaican Poinsettia, Flame of Jamaica, Vegetable Leather, Scarlet-flowered Spurge, Crimson Euphorbia, West Indian
How to grow and maintain Euphorbia punicea (Jamaican Poinsettia):
It prefers full to partial sunlight. Provides good sunlight at least 3-5 hours of the day, and turn it regularly so that your plant doesn’t begin to grow lopsided.
It grows well in well-draining, gritty soil or cactus potting mix. They are not particular about soil pH, but they cannot tolerate wet soil.
You can allow the soil to dry out between each watering. Before watering the plant check underneath the pot through the drainage holes to see if the roots are dry. If so then add some water. Do not water too often to prevent overwatering, that can potentially kill it off.
It prefers an optimal temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit – 85 degrees Fahrenheit / 16 degrees Celsius to 29 degrees Celsius.
Fertilize every two weeks with a diluted balanced liquid fertilizer during its growing season in the spring and summer. Avoid fertilizing your plant during the fall and winter months.
It can be easily propagated by cuttings. Take cutting in spring, which needs to be dried out for a couple of weeks in shade before potting. This can be tricky, because of the exuding sap. Rooting hormone is recommended with Euphorbias. Also can be propagated from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate.
Pests and Diseases:
Euphorbia may be susceptible to mealybugs, scale insects, occasionally spider mites.