If you are making a hedge with your castor beans, plant them at least 4 feet apart. 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. Some plants, while they have roles to play in your landscaping, are hardly conversation pieces. Many people are familiar with the fact that castor oil, an old-time laxative and purgative,Â isÂ pressed from castor bean seeds. In tropical regions, it grows as an evergreen shrub or tree that can reach 40 feet (12 m.) in height. Use 1/2 cups for a 100-square-foot area around the plants. It is suited toÂ growing zonesÂ 9 through 11, where it is classified as anÂ herbaceousÂ perennial. 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. Grow castor beans in an area with full sun and good drainage. To prevent castor bean plants from spreading into wild areas, trim off any flower heads as soon as they die back. AÂ poisonous plantÂ in all its parts, castor bean's namesake "beans" (i.e., theÂ seeds) are especially toxic. Growing these plants from castor bean plant seeds is the most popular and easiest way to get started. How to Grow Ricinus communis Plants in your Garden Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Castor Bean and Castor Oil. The seed may fail to set, however, if the temperature stays above 100°F for an extended period. Castor beans grow best when planted in the garden in rich, moist, well-drained soil. This sun loving species generally needs a growing season of 90 to 150 days, according to the variety. The toxicity of this plant is another important aspect of castor bean information. The coarsely-texturedÂ leaves furnish fodder for dramatic textural contrasts with plants that have smaller leaves.Â Even the green-leaved types attract attention because the leaves are star-shaped. It is not designed to evoke such a response; instead, its purpose is to play a supporting role. Provide loamy, moist, but not soaking wet, soil for best results. It is thought to be native to the tropical regions of Africa. Castor bean plants, which are not beans at all, are commonly grown in the garden for their striking foliage as well as shade cover. The Ricinus communis plant is usually referred to as the Caster Bean or the Caster Oil Plant.. It is fairly easy to grow a castor bean plant. Sow the seeds 1-1½ inches deep. The valuable oil from this tropical beauty was used thousands of years ago to light lamp wicks. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Soak your castor bean seeds in water for 24 hours before planting. Plant the beans in rows that are about 30 inches (76 cm) apart. If youÂ doubt the soil's fertility, work someÂ compostÂ into the ground. Gardeners should check with local municipal codes prior to planting castor bean s to ensure it is not unlawful. 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? For example,Â catmintÂ can be an excellentÂ ground cover, but rarely will a visitor walk onto someone's landscape and remark, "Wow, look at that catmint!" Due to its large size, allow enough room for this fast-growing plant to expand. Step 1: Castor Plant From Seeds These are the Castor seeds I collected from my friends. They are the source of the infamous poison,Â ricin.Â 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. Maintain a soil temperature of 70°-75° until germination, which only takes 15-20 days. Castor bean seeds start readily indoors and will grow very rapidly. Once a month, apply a general purpose fertilizer such as a 10-20-10, 5-10-5 or a 10-10-10 formula. Binga district one of the most arid places in the country has already registered 2 300 hectares to grow castor bean. Does the danger posed by castor bean plants frighten you? Growing castor beans is extremely easy. Because of these toxins it is imperative that these plants be removed from your property to protect your children and pets. 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. Castor bean plants (Ricinus communis) contain toxic compounds that can be deadly to wildlife, pets and people. Castor bean brings great distinction to the garden quickly, growing to a large shrub of treelike proportions in a single season. Once you finish fertilizing, water the soil with 1 inch of water. Growing Castor Beans. (Anything too small will restrict their growth.) Watering. What givesÂ Ricinus communisÂ (which is the botanical name) its star power? Ricinus communis or 'Castor Oil plants' are some of the most impressive tropical plants that you can grow from seed for your garden. It can handle part shade, but it needs full sun to achieve the best height and flowering. These fast-growers will typically reach a height of 6 to 10 feet (occasionally becoming as tall as 15 feet when started early in a greenhouse and provided with ideal conditions). In winter, reduce watering and let … (This should replace one the the regular weekly waterings.) Castor bean plants (Ricinus ommunis) are native to the Ethiopian region of Africa but have been naturalized in warm climates all over the world. But in the North, it's pampered like the star that it is and only works summers, asÂ if it were anÂ annual. The alluring seeds are tempting to young children. To harvest the seedpods, simple time your harvest for late evening/early morning (before the heat of the day) and cut into a bucket of clean water. Unfortunately, the literature on the subject can't seem to decide whether the plant was named after the tick or vice versa.Â Regardless of the confusion surrounding the origin of the botanicalÂ name, castor bean plants meritÂ specimenÂ status, possessing some ornamental traits for which other plants would kill. Native to tropical Africa, the Castor Bean plant has bold, palm-shaped leaves with striking red … Use a well-draining potting mix and quart-sized pots. The caster bean plant itself is not poisonous to humans, but the seeds are. As the name implies, this variety of Ricinus communis features maroo… The Castor Bean plant is well known for a couple of reasons. The first step in good plant care is selecting an ideal location for your specimen and improving the soil (if needed) in that spot. Castor beans grow best where temperatures remain fairly high throughout the growing season of 140 to 180 days. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Many varieties of ornamental castor beans are available and make a bold statement in any garden. We were looking for something to do and heard about castor bean farming through a friend,” Yeatman told the Standardbusiness. I have planted them along the waterway from our kitchen to the garden. First soak the Castor oil seeds for a day in warm water, then sow the seeds about 6 mm deep into peat pots about six … Sow the soybeans 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) deep into the soil, and space the beans about 3 inches (7.6 cm) apart. The large, palmately lobed leaves may be over 20 inches (50 cm) across and resemble a tropical aralia. Hailing from Africa,Â Ricinus communisÂ hasÂ naturalizedÂ in many other warm areas of the world. That's just one of many benefits from this plant that most people would find surprising. As you can also see from our photo, the stalk can be a bright red color. How to Grow Castor Beans. Choose a location that gets full sun and has well-drained soil. TheirÂ toxicity might be problematic for young children. You can add compost or a slow release fertilizer to the soil before planting. No hydration needed - just make sure to get them into water. Castor Cultivation. The seeds of the castor bean plant contain ricin, a potent poison with no known antidote. Do not overwater newly planted beans, otherwise they may crack. Some gardeners, at least, are aware that castor beans are used inÂ companion plantingÂ to serve asÂ mole repellents. Castor is drought-tolerant once established. It should be noted, however, that the toxins do not pass into the oil. Let's consider the three T's: tall, toxic, and tropical. 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. 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. Castor plants like full sun and humid conditions. 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. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Castor Oil For Garden Use: Tips On Treating Pests With Castor Oil, Fava Bean Planting - How To Grow Fava Beans In The Garden, Children's Bean Teepee - Instructions For Making A Bean Teepee, Planting A Giving Garden: Food Bank Garden Ideas, Giving To Food Deserts – How To Donate To Food Deserts, December To-Do List – What To Do In December Gardens, Eliminate Rats In Gardens – Control Tips And Deterrents For Rats In Gardens, Adding Worms To A Compost Pile – How To Attract Earthworms, Grape Holly Plant Care – How And Where To Plant Oregon Grape Hollies And Creeping Mahonia, Globe Amaranth Info: Learn How To Grow Globe Amaranth Plants, Recipes From The Garden: Pressure Cooking Root Vegetables, Gratitude For The Garden – Being Grateful For Each Growing Season, 7 Reasons To Do Your Garden Shopping Locally, Thankful Beyond Words – What Represents Gratefulness In My Garden. The soil must be able to warm up early in the spring. Caution and Care. Castor plant prefers the soil to be always slightly moist. Castor bean seeds start readily indoors and will grow very rapidly. 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. “We started growing castor bean last year in August. As ornamentals, castor beans are sometimes planted as an annual hedge or screen. On others, such as theÂ Ricinus communisÂ 'Carmencita' in the image above,Â the young leaves can start reddish if given sufficientÂ sunlight. How to Grow and Care for Castor Bean Plants Characteristics. Q. I have a question about a plant that I find very intriguing: the Castor Bean Plant. Sign up for our newsletter. Castor beans are often grown as ornamental plants They are sometimes planted as a privacy hedge because of their size. Regular fertilizer through the growing season keeps a castor bean plant growing strong and lush. Growing Castor Bean Plants from Seed. 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. Since castor beans are tall, slim plants with large leaves that act like sails in the wind, be sure toÂ stake them unless you've located them in a spot sheltered from high winds. Common Backyard Plants That Are Poisonous to Dogs, Shrubs With Poisonous Berries, Seeds, or Leaves. In warm areas, this striking plant is grown as an annual. When these pods dry, they explode, turning the seeds that had been trapped within into projectiles. Castor bean plants, on the other hand, have star power. The use of castor bean plants in cultivation is discouraged because the seeds are extremely poisonous. Senator." Castor oil has many uses with the seed, stem, leaves and roots of the tree also having many uses,” he said. Castor plants like full sun and humid conditions. Castor Bean Toxicity Seeds Main article: Ricin The toxicity of raw castor beans is due to the presence of ricin. These are large plants that require a lot of nutrients. 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. If you grow several of them, this trait can make them useful asÂ living privacy fencesÂ for the summertime.Â. The seeds yield an oil that is used commercially. For gardeners who want to add a tropical flair to their gardens, castor bean plants (Ricinus communis) are a reliable choice. Nick or scarify the seeds or soak overnight for better germination. As far back as 4,000 B.C., castor beans have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Castor bean thrives in rich, evenly moist, well-drained soil. When harvested properly, castor beans will last up to a week in the vase. Let me Google that for you. But its height is just one attribute that makes castor bean stand out in your landscape. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Amend the soil with compost. Castor beans are not true beans; that's just a nickname.Â The plants belong to theÂ Euphorbiaceae family. Castor bean plants are stunning with their mammoth star-shaped leaves that can reach 3 feet (1 m.) in length. How warm? It is because castor beans possess these three qualities (and more) that they are such interesting plants. 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. 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. Castor Bean Plants are grown during the summer in a Northern landscape. They’ll do well in pots too… big pots! Plant your castor bean seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date in your area. Castor bean plantation businesses still exist today, though mainly in tropical regions. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. Keep the soil adequately watered all summer. How to Grow Castor Bean Plants Ricinus. 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 Castor Bean Plants are grown during the summer in a Northern landscape. Within 10 to 15 days you will find the seeds … Kembo said one advantage of castor beans is that it was a drought resistant and it can be grown in all parts of the country with the exception of Nyanga and surrounding areas because of the low temperatures. Castor Bean Germination Techniques. Deadly Caster Bean. Soak seeds overnight to aid with germination. Easy to grow from seed, castor bean is most widely cultivated in tropical regions. Provide loamy, moist, but not soaking wet, soil for best results. As gardeners, let's focus upon the bold, decorative foliage, that makes this plant so attractive in garden settings. That makes them relatives ofÂ poinsettia plantsÂ andÂ woodÂ spurge. In USDA planting zone 9 and above, castor bean plants grow as perennials that look like small trees. Learn more about this interesting plant as well as castor bean plantation. Shorter varieties are suitable for large containers. 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. 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. 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. In tropical climates, it becomes weedy and spreads aggressively if given the chance. If you're still determined to grow them, then lessen the danger by cuttingÂ off theÂ flowers and disposing of them, thereby preventing seed formation. The castor bean plant, or ricinus communis, is a favorite among many gardeners due to its colorful, tropical foliage and vigorous growth. Soak seeds overnight to aid with germination. I had seen a few in my neighborhood and finally tracked a plant down in nearby Ottsville, PA, thinking I'd hit the jackpot. If that's not enough for you, someÂ cultivarsÂ offerÂ dark foliage. 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. It is perhaps the appearance of these seeds that give the plant its genus name,Â Ricinus, which translates as "tick" in Latin (there is also an unrelated perennial named "tickseed"). While the flowers are insignificant, the redÂ seed capsules covered in spines do possess ornamental value. Uses. Sow seeds indoors in moistened growing medium, 6-8 weeks before your last frost date. Even the seeds, themselves are attractive, sporting an endless number of color patterns. The coats of the seeds contain ricin, a deadly poison.If there is any chance of their being eaten, break off the flowers. 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. Tropical plantsÂ such as castor beans have a certain cachet in the Northern landscape, where they offer an exotic look. Therefore, growing castor beans in the home landscape is not a good idea if you have children or pets. Water the beans once they’ve been planted, but only until the soil is moist.