caocholta(7)April 23, 2009

I don't post here ever (this might be my first time actually!)

I recently went to this mom and pop nursery right by my house and they had all sorts of different Jatropha on sale, like 50-75% off because no one was buying them. Of course I took them home, but now I am not to sure as to what to do with them. I know they are succulents and they need very little water, but what other care information should I know about. I ask because I have been looking on the web for some information on the different species of jatropha, but everything seems so vague.

Any help would be most appreciated,


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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

If you can determine which species you have (podagrica, integerima, etc), you can do an internet search for cultural recommendations. Or post a photo here to identify. Not all are considered succulents. You may have J. podagrica if it has a swollen caudex (base). sorry about typos.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 10:11AM
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Sorry about not mentioning the species. It was late. I have a J. Podagrica, J. Berlandieri, a couple of J. Peregrina, J. Integerrima, J. Gossypiifolia, and almost a dozen seedlings of J. Multifida. What can I say, I can't resist a sale.

I raise adenium obesum from seeds and I was assuming that these guys would be treated the same. I was trying to do research last night on the different species, but the information I was finding was so vague it was hard to get a good idea of the proper care. I didn't know if there was a website and/or book that is the go to reference for Jatrophas.

Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 5:49PM
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Logan..Treat Jatrophas like you would other succulents. They're sun lovers. Come spring/warmer temps, 55F+ if you have space outdoors, start by placing in medium light then gradually work up to brighter light/full sun. If kept indoors year round, a dirct south or west window will do.

My Jatrophas are kept underpotted, in well-draining soil.
They need to be watered more when active. Fertilize lightly, once a month with half-strength fertilizer from May-Aug/Sept.
From late August or Sept, they begin dormancy. Water only when totally dry. Dry to the point soil cracks. Leaves will start yellowing which indicates it's time for their rest.

It's important Jatropha's are not overwatered in winter; they will rot.

To view photos, in the Google Search Window, type in, Jatropha pictures. Click on the first or second link.

Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 3:12PM
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I have Podagrica, Integerrima and Multifida. They are all drought tolerant but they don't have a problem if they get a lot of water during the growing season as long as they are in well draining soil. I keep mine outside during the warm months. Most of mine drop their foliage and go dormant during the winter. Like Toni said make sure they get very little water and no food during that time. I rarely feed mine anyway and they still bloom well. It's not that I intentionally don't feed them, I just forget. lol

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 2:06PM
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Karen, how tall are you J's? How old? My two oldest never flowered..why is that?
Although the two are at the minium 8 yrs old, they're young as far as J's go..I'd assume?? What do you do to get them to bloom? Thanks, Toni

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 9:51AM
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I think the Podagricas were about 3-4 years old when I got them and I've had them for 4 or 5 years. They began blooming 2 or 3 years ago. My seedlings are nowhere near blooming size. I bought the Integerrima from Glasshouse Works last year and it was blooming when I got it. It's beginning to set buds again now. My old (?) Multifida blooms but I have seedlings that are a few years old that have yet to flower. I don't do anything special with them and honestly kind of ignore them. They go ouside in the summer are fed when I think about it which isn't often and put them in a cool greenhouse or the basement over the winter. They usually go dormant but I have Podagricas that hold onto their leaves some winters.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 5:41PM
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Karen, I don't understand..Why aren't my oldest J's blooming? lol
I don't think it's a humidity problem, do you? Are yours growing in a gh?
I've considered wintering my guys in the gh, but fear the heater dying like it did that one winter, finding frozen plants..I've had 3 J's too long to lose, even though they're still deemed 'babies' in a J experts' eyes. lol.
Are flowers big, small, medium? Fragrant?
All my J's were once labeled. During summer when outdoors, the rain washed off ink..lol.
These guys are deciduous, slow-growing. Once their leaves grow in, I'll snap pics..perhaps someone can Id.
Can't wait until plants go outside..The time is nearing, but I want to be 100% sure temps don't decide to drop again..A couple wks back, it was 82F..the following day, it dropped 30 degrees. I have taken a few plants outside, but they're right out the door..if temps happened to drop below 40, all I have to do is drag them in..Toni
PS. How ya doing?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 12:38PM
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I have no idea why they aren't blooming. Maybe you are feeding them too much? I keep some in the GH over the winter and others inside. The GH is heated. I honestly pretty much ignore them. The blooms are small and not fragrant. They are all very similar looking with the Podagricas having the smallest blooms. They also have very cool seed pods that explode when the seeds are ripe. There's an audible pop and the seeds can shoot 20 feet away! My Integerrima and one of the Podagricas are blooming now. I don't know what triggers flowering. You don't need foliage to ID the Podagrica. I'm doing ok. I'll email you later.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 12:10PM
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Hey thanks for the follow ups. I know I am a little late lol. I kept checking and checking but after about 4 days I gave up on anyone replying. I just stumbled onto my old post here!

They are all doing marvelously well except for the J. Integerrima which has dropped all of it's leaves. I'm waiting with abetted breath to see if it will come back.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 12:31AM
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Just stop watering the J. integerrima. Mine go dormant in the winter. Yours might just be in shock. Allow the soil to dry completely. If the stem is still firm it will likely put out new growth. Once you see some green start watering sparingly.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 7:51AM
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That's what I am doing. My J. Podagrica is growing voraciously right now. It's leaves literally doubled in size since yesterday. Thanks, Logan

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 11:02PM
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