The Q&A Archives: Gout Plant?

Question: I recently bought a plant which the sales person told me was called Gout plant. I have been unable to find information about it under that name. Could you help me? The plant has broad Oak likfe leaves, a trunk like an elephant's foot, and bright small coral flowers in groups of about 25. Thank you for any info you can give me.

Answer: The plant you've described is Jatropha podagrica, and it is often grown as a houseplant. In your mild winter climate, it may be successful outdoors in your garden. Jatropha is a member of the Euphorbia family and originates in Central America. It's a succulent shrub growing up to 6' high, with densely packed branches along the main stem, and a warty-looking base. The coral flowers are fleshy and set in showy clusters.

This plant needs very bright light indoors and filtered shade outdoors. It prefers temperatures between 50F and 70F. Water moderately during spring and summer, allowing most of the soil to dry out between waterings. In the winter, reduce watering even more. Jatropha is susceptible to root rot if soil is kept too moist.

Hope this information is helpful!

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