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