Katuk(Sauropus androgynus ) is a heat loving shrub. They can be grown as perennials in warm weather region. In cold winters they can be brought indoors or in greenhouse, they cannot tolerate frost. They will go dormant during winter, but will come back in spring. Once the plant has established well no further effort is needed– very easy plant to grow.
Seeds will take a long time to germinate. So the best way is to propagate from cuttings. This plant loves shade and moisture. Plant them where it gets partial sun. They will produce deep red colored flowers which hang underneath the leaves during summer. The fruits are whitish pink and are beautiful. If you open the fruit you will see black seeds. This plant is generally pest tolerant -pests don’t bother them.
Small quantities of Katuk leaves are used along with food in many parts of the world (see the disclaimer below). Generally the leaves are well cooked and consumed in limited quantities.
Warning: I have eaten Katuk leaves as a stir fry throughout my childhood. The key is to eat it in moderation. There have been reported cases of people getting chronic lung diseases due to over-eating katuk leaves. Consult with a dietitian or a medical practitioner if you plan on eating the leaves. Here is a very informative article from Eat the Weeds by Green Deane on the plant itself and possible adverse health effects of eating the leaves. http://www.eattheweeds.com/edible-katuk-sauropus-androgynus-2/
Here is a picture of a Katuk plant from our garden.