Sunday, July 1, 2012

Castor bean plants

The castor bean plant (Ricinus communis) is one of the plants I look forward to growing every year. They compliment more gardening styles with their towering beauty and massive sized foliage. This is a plant that should only be grown by a knowledgeable gardener simply due to the fact the seeds it produces towards the end of summer are deadly.

Castor seed is used to produce castor oil. It is also said to be the main producer of ricin, a toxin, which is used in the manufacturing of some biological weapons.

Several years back, Emily's godfather offered me some seeds from his previous years plants to try growing. Since then I have been hooked on the them. For the first few years, I would collect the seed pods after the first frost and store to cultivate the following year. I have since than learned that by naturally letting the seed pods fall, even here in the midwest, I could get them to naturally sprout on their own the following year. In June, I dig up the self started plants and transfer them into their appropriate location, which is away from all small kids and animals. Water heavily, allow enough sun and add some organic matter to the dirt and watch them soar!

Castor Bean Plants

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