Jatropha gossypiifolia L.
Bellyache Bush, Black Physicnut, Cotton-leaf Physicnut
Jatropha gossypiifolia var. gossypiifolia, Adenoropium gossypiifolium, Adenoropium jacquinii, Jatropha elegans, Jatropha jacquinii, Jatropha staphysagriifolia, Manihot gossypiifolia
Jatropha gossypiifolia is a much-branched, somewhat succulent deciduous to evergreen shrub that grows up to 10 feet (3 m) tall. It has 3-lobed leaves, purple and sticky when young becoming bright green with age. Flowers are small and red with yellow centers and appear in clusters. They are followed by cherry-sized seed pods.
USDA hardiness zones 8a to 11b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 45 °F (+7.2 °C).
How to Grow and Care
The key to growing successful Jatropha is to achieve the proper balance between moisture and drainage. They typically appreciate a steady water supply, but the most popular species cannot tolerate being submerged or soaked and will quickly succumb to root rot. Many of the popular species make excellent small trees for a conservatory or sunny corner. Keep them well pruned, so they don't outgrow their space too soon. Jatrophas are vulnerable to pests, including aphids, mealy bugs, scale, and whitefly. If possible, identify the infestation as early as possible and treat it with the leave toxic option.
Jatropha can be propagated by seed or by stem cuttings. To take stem cuttings, remove a small piece of stem, dip it in rooting hormone, and then put it into a small pot with seedling starter soil. Place in a warm, bright place and wait for new growth to emerge.
Repot Jatropha annually, at the beginning of the growing season. Many species are naturally small shrubs, ranging up to 15 feet (4.5 m) in height. To keep your indoor container plant manageable, trim it to size and possibly root prune older plants. Much larger plants should be refreshed occasionally by removing the top several inches of potting soil and replacing it with fresh potting soil.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Jatropha.
- Back to genus Jatropha
- Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus