Propagating Jatropha podagrica (Gout Plant) by seeds

Jatropha podagrica (Buddha Belly Plant, Gout Stick, Gouty Stalk, Purging Nut) at Rimba Ilmu Botanic Garden, KLJatropha podagrica (Buddha Belly Plant or Gout Stick), a popular tropical herbaceous perennial belonging to the Euphorbiaceae family and native to Central America, is ever so generous!

Not only does it produces flowers and seeds so readily, it self-sow as easily too without any fuss from seeds that are thrust far and wide when its highly dehiscent seed pods ripen and explode.

Propagating Jatropha by seeds that germinate easily is rather simple actually, but gathering the seeds is a tricky business altogether. Thus, if you’re really keen to get as many seedlings from your garden plant, be sure to bag the seed pods as they start to turn brown with a plastic bag or netted cloth/stocking to capture the seeds.

Jatropha podagrica (Buddha Belly Plant, Gout Stick, Gouty Stalk, Purging Nut)

Otherwise, when the greenish seed pods begin to mature and ripen to blackish brown when you least expect, they will burst open to scatter the seeds several meters away and would be rather difficult to trace then.

Once the smooth and glossy brown seeds are collected, you can sow them about 3 cm apart and 1 cm deep, directly into your garden bed or in a pot filled with well-drained potting medium that is mixed with some coarse sand. Best that they be sited at a sunny spot. With sufficient heat and the soil kept evenly moist, the seeds should germinate easily with 2 weeks.

10-day-old seedlings of Jatropha podagrica (Buddha Belly Plant, Gout Stick, Gouty Stalk, Purging Nut) in our garden

20-day-old seedlings of Jatropha podagrica (Buddha Belly Plant, Gout Stick, Gouty Stalk, Purging Nut) in our garden

Learn more about this lovely medicinal plant, Jatropha podagrica and its culture here.

Enjoy gathering and sowing seeds!

Last edit: June 5, 2016

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10 Responses to “Propagating Jatropha podagrica (Gout Plant) by seeds”


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  2. james Says:

    I got this plant passed to be by my office friends.
    Somehow the plantlet seemed to be a very slow grower – like the desert rose.

    Does your plant grows fast?

  3. Jacqueline Says:

    We had 2 seedlings. I’ve observed that the one in the shade is slow-growing whereas the other that’s receiving sufficient sunlight is flourishing at a healthy pace.

  4. Michael Rodgers Says:

    Hi,—–what time of year should packet seeds be planted?
    Many thanks,

  5. furcas giuseppe Says:

    mi piacerebbe orizzontarmi bene perl’acquisto di semi cn prezzo e spese di spedizione grazie

  6. Jacqueline Says:

    Sorry, we’re just home gardeners and not a retail nursery.

  7. Rob Martinez Says:

    My plant is constantlying putting out pods and the seeds are very easy to sprout after a couple of weeks. I have a jatropha intigerrima that I have had for years, it has produced 1 pod for the first time ever. The pod had 3 seeds and I am soaking them today to plant tomorrow

  8. Sherry Denise Connell Says:

    My plant is about a year old. It had grown very slowly until I repotted it in a bigger pot and sat it outside for sunning. Since then it is constantly putting on new foliage and flowers. It has recently developed a seed pod. About how long before I should expect the explosion of seeds?

  9. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi Sherry,
    I would advise that you bag the seed pod as it starts to turn brown with a netted cloth/stocking to capture the seeds.
    All the best.
    Happy gardening!

  10. Sally O'Neil Says:

    I have had success with the seeds by just soaking them in water for about 5 days. By then, the seeds have already sprouted. I just plant them in dirt with the sprouted seedling above ground.

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