How to Harvest Jatropha


The Jatropha plant is a beautiful plant that is sure to bring a sense of the tropics into your lawn or garden. This perennial shrub can grow to a staggering height of 15 feet and is capable of growing branches that can reach out 12 to 15 feet creating a lovely canopy. The Jatropha plant blooms in shades of green with the blooms ranging in size from 1- to 3-inch clusters. These plants usually can only be grown in super warm conditions such as USDA zones 10b and 11. Harvesting the Jatropha plant's seeds is easy and can be done by anyone.

Step 1

Harvest the seeds of the Jatropha plant when the plant's seed capsules turn brown and begin to split open. Do not harvest before this time, because the seeds will not be ready and breaking away the green growth from the plant can be detrimental to the plant's health.

Step 2

Break open the seeds pods, once harvested, and remove all the seeds, placing them on a paper towel or countertop. Allow them to air dry for 24 to 48 hours if possible. The seeds may already appear dry, but for safe measure, allowing them to dry for 24 hours will remove all doubt.

Step 3

Place the dried seeds into seed storage bottles and write the name of the seeds and the date they were harvested on the outside of the bottle for future reference. You can purchase seed storage bottles from your garden specialty store, or you can recycle old medication bottles for this purpose. Keep the seeds in a cool, dark area until time to replant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Jatropha seeds are poisonous and can be fatal to children and pets if swallowed.

Things You'll Need

  • Seeding storage bottles
  • Permanent marker


  • Jatropha World: Jatropha Plant Profile
Keywords: harvesting Jatropha seeds, storing Jatropha seeds, saving Jatropha seeds

About this Author

Jason M. Bruner is a freelance writer who has been in the field for more than five years. His content has been previously published on sites such as eHow.