Jatropha Curcas grows in tropical and sub tropical regions, with cultivation limits at 30ºN and 35ºS. It also grows in lower altitudes of 0-500 metres above sea level. Jatropha is not sensitive to day length (flowering is independent of latitude) and may flower at any time of the year. The jatropha can survive with as little as 250 to 300 mm of annual rainfall, at least 600 mm are needed to flower and set fruit. The optimum rainfall for seed production is considered between 1 000 and 1500 mm.
The best soils for Jatropha Curcas are aerated sands and loams of at least 45 cm depth. Heavy clay soils are less suitable and should be avoided, particularly where drainage is impaired, as jatropha is intolerant of waterlogged conditions. Ability to grow in alkaline soils has been widely reported, but the soil pH should be within 6.0 to 8.0/8.5. There is evidence from northwest India that jatropha is tolerant of saline irrigation water, although yield under these conditions is not documented. Jatropha is known for its ability to survive in very poor dry soils in conditions considered marginal for agriculture, and can even root into rock crevices. However, survival ability does not mean that high productivity can be obtained from jatropha under marginal agricultural environments.
Being a perennial plant in seasonally dry climates, soil health management under Jatropha Curcas production would benefit from conservation agriculture practices. This would result in minimum soil disturbance, an organic mulch cover on the soil surface and legume cover crops as intercrops.