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Buddha Belly Jatropha podagrica

Other Common Name(s):

Description

Buddha Belly Plant is an unusual tropical succulent shrub from tropical Americas. It is grown as a houseplant in NC and generally reaches 2-3 feet but grows 8 feet tall in its native habitat. The caudex is bottle-shaped, knobby and gray-skinned, growing erect and narrowing near the top. Leaves sprout from the upper portion of the plant. The flower clusters are held above the leaves, have both male and female flowers and are orangish-red in color. It will bloom off and on most of the year, even into winter after the leaves have dropped. The oval green seed capsules mature to brown and open when ripe throwing the seeds outwards for some distance. If you want to collect seeds for new plants you will need to cover the capsules. Small net baggies work well for this. The sap from the plant can cause skin irritation.

Grow this plant in sun to partial shade in well-drained soils in a pot with several drainage holes. Allow the soil to dry between waterings. In fall the leaves will begin to drop off and the plant should be brought inside. Reduce watering in the winter. 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#succulent#red flowers#orange flowers#unusual#tropical shrub#partial shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#succulent#red flowers#orange flowers#unusual#tropical shrub#partial shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Jatropha
    Species:
    podagrica
    Family:
    Euphorbiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The plant has been used in herbal medicine
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico to Nicaragua
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Succulent
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Oval green capsule matures to brown with 2-4 seeds
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Clusters or orangish-red flowers have both male and female blooms. Blooms off and on most of the year.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Gray-green leaves are 4-8 inches wide with 3 lobes and entire margins. They radiate outward from the stem in all directions.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Thick succulent knobby gray-green stem
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis