In warmer areas, or once the soil can be worked and the threat of frost has passed, castor bean seeds can be sown directly into the garden. It can handle part shade, but it needs full sun to achieve the best height and flowering. Native to tropical Africa, the Castor Bean plant has bold, palm-shaped leaves with striking red … Prior to planting, the seeds should be soaked in slightly warm water for at least a day and the seeds should be planted in good quality soil which is well-drained. How to Grow Ricinus communis Plants in your Garden Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Castor Bean and Castor Oil. The castor bean plant, or ricinus communis, is a favorite among many gardeners due to its colorful, tropical foliage and vigorous growth. They are the source of the infamous poison, ricin. If you've followed the news much at all in this crazy 21st century in which we live, you probably remember encountering at some point a report that went something like this: "Ricin-Laced Letter Sent to U.S. In warm areas, this striking plant is grown as an annual. Use 1/2 cups for a 100-square-foot area around the plants. As the name implies, this variety of Ricinus communis features maroo… Provide loamy, moist, but not soaking wet, soil for best results. Common Backyard Plants That Are Poisonous to Dogs, Shrubs With Poisonous Berries, Seeds, or Leaves. Gardeners should check with local municipal codes prior to planting castor bean s to ensure it is not unlawful. Castor plants like full sun and humid conditions. Growing these plants from castor bean plant seeds is the most popular and easiest way to get started. Growing Castor Bean Plants from Seed. (Anything too small will restrict their growth.) Once a month, apply a general purpose fertilizer such as a 10-20-10, 5-10-5 or a 10-10-10 formula. While the flowers are insignificant, the red seed capsules covered in spines do possess ornamental value. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. Let me Google that for you. Regular fertilizer through the growing season keeps a castor bean plant growing strong and lush. Learn more about this interesting plant as well as castor bean plantation. How to Grow Castor Beans. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. The seeds of the castor bean plant contain ricin, a potent poison with no known antidote. Many varieties of ornamental castor beans are available and make a bold statement in any garden. Soak your castor bean seeds in water for 24 hours before planting. A poisonous plant in all its parts, castor bean's namesake "beans" (i.e., the seeds) are especially toxic. Sow the soybeans 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) deep into the soil, and space the beans about 3 inches (7.6 cm) apart. A: Castor bean, or castor oil plant, is indeed a stately, striking and beautiful plant in the garden, with a bold texture and a tall, upright form unlike most other plants. Nick or scarify the seeds or soak overnight for better germination. It is thought to be native to the tropical regions of Africa. No hydration needed - just make sure to get them into water. Castor beans grow best when planted in the garden in rich, moist, well-drained soil. Castor bean plants (Ricinus ommunis) are native to the Ethiopian region of Africa but have been naturalized in warm climates all over the world. As gardeners, let's focus upon the bold, decorative foliage, that makes this plant so attractive in garden settings. Uses. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. As far back as 4,000 B.C., castor beans have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Therefore, growing castor beans in the home landscape is not a good idea if you have children or pets. Castor oil has many uses with the seed, stem, leaves and roots of the tree also having many uses,” he said. Senator." Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Even the seeds, themselves are attractive, sporting an endless number of color patterns. These are large plants that require a lot of nutrients. I had seen a few in my neighborhood and finally tracked a plant down in nearby Ottsville, PA, thinking I'd hit the jackpot. Castor Bean seeds can be sown directly into the garden where they are to grow in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. Use a well-draining potting mix and quart-sized pots. That's just one of many benefits from this plant that most people would find surprising. The first step in good plant care is selecting an ideal location for your specimen and improving the soil (if needed) in that spot. It's not often that a landscape plant makes it so big in the news, but, then again, our tall, toxic, and tropical star has a way of garnering the limelight. (This should replace one the the regular weekly waterings.) How warm? They’ll do well in pots too… big pots! Tropical plants such as castor beans have a certain cachet in the Northern landscape, where they offer an exotic look. Castor bean seeds start readily indoors and will grow very rapidly. Many people are familiar with the fact that castor oil, an old-time laxative and purgative, is pressed from castor bean seeds. But in the North, it's pampered like the star that it is and only works summers, as if it were an annual. Does the danger posed by castor bean plants frighten you? Let's consider the three T's: tall, toxic, and tropical. Sow the seeds 1-1½ inches deep. It is suited to growing zones 9 through 11, where it is classified as an herbaceous perennial. When grown as an ornamental, castor bean can be planted directly in the garden in late spring, or started indoors earlier (6-8 weeks before the average last frost) and transplanted outdoors when the weather warms. Species Growing Guide: Ricinus communis the Castor Bean How to Grow Castor Oil Plant and other Ricinus Plants in the Garden It is best to start off Castor Oil plants indoors. The Castor Bean plant is well known for a couple of reasons. Deadly Caster Bean. Keep the soil adequately watered all summer. As you can also see from our photo, the stalk can be a bright red color. But its height is just one attribute that makes castor bean stand out in your landscape. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. In tropical regions, it grows as an evergreen shrub or tree that can reach 40 feet (12 m.) in height. Watering. Q. I have a question about a plant that I find very intriguing: the Castor Bean Plant. The caster bean plant, Ricinus communis, is a native of tropical Africa and is grown in many gardens in North America for its fabulous large leaves.Here in zone 5 it is an annual that can grow to 5 feet in one season. It is perhaps the appearance of these seeds that give the plant its genus name, Ricinus, which translates as "tick" in Latin (there is also an unrelated perennial named "tickseed"). Shorter varieties are suitable for large containers. Castor Cultivation. Ricinus communis or 'Castor Oil plants' are some of the most impressive tropical plants that you can grow from seed for your garden. Soak seeds overnight to aid with germination. Due to its large size, allow enough room for this fast-growing plant to expand. The coarsely-textured leaves furnish fodder for dramatic textural contrasts with plants that have smaller leaves. Even the green-leaved types attract attention because the leaves are star-shaped. Some plants, while they have roles to play in your landscaping, are hardly conversation pieces. It is not designed to evoke such a response; instead, its purpose is to play a supporting role. Plant the beans in rows that are about 30 inches (76 cm) apart. Castor beans are not true beans; that's just a nickname. The plants belong to the Euphorbiaceae family. Some gardeners, at least, are aware that castor beans are used in companion planting to serve as mole repellents. Plant your castor bean seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date in your area. Castor bean brings great distinction to the garden quickly, growing to a large shrub of treelike proportions in a single season. The spinoffs from the growing of the castor beans for Zimbabwe will create numerous opportunities such as the opening of new industries that will value-add the crop. Amend the soil with compost. Castor bean seeds start readily indoors and will grow very rapidly. 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Water the beans once they’ve been planted, but only until the soil is moist. How to Grow Castor Bean Plants Ricinus. Castor bean plants, on the other hand, have star power. If you are making a hedge with your castor beans, plant them at least 4 feet apart. I have planted them along the waterway from our kitchen to the garden. Maintain a soil temperature of 70°-75° until germination, which only takes 15-20 days. Step 1: Castor Plant From Seeds These are the Castor seeds I collected from my friends. Sign up for our newsletter. Caution and Care. Castor Bean Plants are grown during the summer in a Northern landscape. Choose a location that gets full sun and has well-drained soil. You can add compost or a slow release fertilizer to the soil before planting. Within 10 to 15 days you will find the seeds … Once you finish fertilizing, water the soil with 1 inch of water. The large, palmately lobed leaves may be over 20 inches (50 cm) across and resemble a tropical aralia. Growing castor beans is extremely easy. Provide loamy, moist, but not soaking wet, soil for best results. But did you have any idea that it is an ingredient in Castrol motor oil, a product that owes its very name to castor oil? In tropical climates, it becomes weedy and spreads aggressively if given the chance. Grow castor beans in an area with full sun and good drainage. It is used as a lubricant in high-speed engines and aero planes, in the manufacture of soaps, transparent paper, printing-inks, varnishes, linoleum and plasticizers. For example, catmint can be an excellent ground cover, but rarely will a visitor walk onto someone's landscape and remark, "Wow, look at that catmint!" Sow seeds indoors in moistened growing medium, 6-8 weeks before your last frost date. Castor bean plants are stunning with their mammoth star-shaped leaves that can reach 3 feet (1 m.) in length. To prevent castor bean plants from spreading into wild areas, trim off any flower heads as soon as they die back. The castor plant is a robust annual that may grow 6 to 15 feet (2-5 meters) in one season with full sunlight, heat and adequate moisture.In areas with mild, frost-free winters it may live for many years and become quite woody and tree-like. When these pods dry, they explode, turning the seeds that had been trapped within into projectiles. Castor plant prefers the soil to be always slightly moist. I planted it in a spot I thought it would like judging from the others I'd seen, and it has thrived right outside my back door. Growing Castor Beans. Commonly found in the wild along stream banks, riverbeds on low lying areas, this aggressive vine is the source of one of nature’s best natural oils, castor oil. Castor plants like full sun and humid conditions. This plant can grow from seedling to a 10-foot ( 3 m.) tall plant by the end of the summer but will die back with the first frost. Binga district one of the most arid places in the country has already registered 2 300 hectares to grow castor bean. Introduction of Castor Cultivation:- Basically , Castor (Ricinus communis L.) is grown for its seeds.The oil extracted from Castor seed is being used widely for various purposes. Castor beans are often grown as ornamental plants They are sometimes planted as a privacy hedge because of their size. Hailing from Africa, Ricinus communis has naturalized in many other warm areas of the world. Unfortunately, the literature on the subject can't seem to decide whether the plant was named after the tick or vice versa. Regardless of the confusion surrounding the origin of the botanical name, castor bean plants merit specimen status, possessing some ornamental traits for which other plants would kill. Keep in mind the plant can reach 6 to10 feet in a single growing season, which means it needs support when grown in part shade to avoid flopping or snapping in strong winds. If you doubt the soil's fertility, work some compost into the ground. We were looking for something to do and heard about castor bean farming through a friend,” Yeatman told the Standardbusiness. Castor Bean Germination Techniques. That makes them relatives of poinsettia plants and wood spurge. Castor bean plantation businesses still exist today, though mainly in tropical regions. Their toxicity might be problematic for young children. Castor bean plants (Ricinus communis) contain toxic compounds that can be deadly to wildlife, pets and people. It should be noted, however, that the toxins do not pass into the oil. Castor bean thrives in rich, evenly moist, well-drained soil. If you're still determined to grow them, then lessen the danger by cutting off the flowers and disposing of them, thereby preventing seed formation. For gardeners who want to add a tropical flair to their gardens, castor bean plants (Ricinus communis) are a reliable choice. It is because castor beans possess these three qualities (and more) that they are such interesting plants. Since castor beans are tall, slim plants with large leaves that act like sails in the wind, be sure to stake them unless you've located them in a spot sheltered from high winds. When harvested properly, castor beans will last up to a week in the vase. How to Grow and Care for Castor Bean Plants Characteristics. The soil must be able to warm up early in the spring. The alluring seeds are tempting to young children. This sun loving species generally needs a growing season of 90 to 150 days, according to the variety. Castor beans grow best where temperatures remain fairly high throughout the growing season of 140 to 180 days. How To Plant Castor Bean Seeds Step-By-Step Step 1: Add soil to the seed trays Step 2: Drain the water (optional) Step 3: Plant the seeds – Step 4: Cover the seeds with soil – Step 5: Cover the containers Step 6: Place them in a warm spot – Step 7: Keep the soil evenly moist If you grow several of them, this trait can make them useful as living privacy fences for the summertime.Â.