shrub or small succulent tree native to Central America, the stem often develops into a large caudex; the specimens grown in the ground can reach 2-3 meters in height, while those cultivated in pots remain below 100-150 cm. It has a single stem, erect, semi-woody, with a thin, slightly rough, light brown bark; in the upper part it develops a good number of branches that expand into a large crown. The leaves develop at the apex of long flexible and slightly arched petioles, they are large, webbed, finely divided, dark green in color; if the climatic conditions are favorable, jatropha blooms all year round, producing long petioles that bear umbrella-like inflorescences, consisting of small bright orange flowers with slightly fleshy petals; the flowers are followed by large leathery fruits, which contain some dark seeds. Generally it is an evergreen plant, but in case of cold weather or low sunlight it loses its foliage until the climatic conditions improve. The jatropha genus has numerous species, all poisonous; some species, such as J. Curcas, are grown to produce biodiesel from oil extracted from seeds.
Jatropha multifida love the sun, and need at least a few hours of sun a day to produce flowers; they can survive even in partially shady places. They fear the cold, and prefer minimum temperatures above 10-15 ° C. In the southern regions they can also be grown outdoors, sheltering them under a porch during the colder seasons.
From March to September, water regularly, always waiting for the soil to dry well between one watering and the next. Avoid excessive watering; these plants can easily withstand drought. During the vegetative period, provide fertilizer for flowering plants, every 10-12 days, dissolved in the water used for irrigation.
They develop without problems in any soil, preferring soft, deep and very well drained soils, rich in sand and stones. Repot the plant every 2-3 years.
The reproduction of the jatrophea multifida occurs by seed, in spring, or by cutting. If we decide to multiply the plant by cuttings, we will have to use a fragment of the branch of the plant, well cut and clean, with one or more leaves attached and then place it in a special soil, ideal for our doritis. In this way it will be possible to reproduce the missing parts and regenerate a new plant. Thanks to the cutting, it is possible to obtain a new species at virtually no cost, starting from a crop that we already own.
Jatropha multifida: Parasites and diseases
In general, Jatropha multifida is not attacked by parasites or diseases. However, it is necessary to pay attention to humidity which could cause the formation of root rot and the development of fungal diseases. To avoid the problem, it will be sufficient to place the plant in a drier place and less subject to humidity in such a way as to allow the plant to grow in the best environmental conditions.