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After you tell me how tall yours is... LOL!! Just kidding. My poor wind dropped castors wouldn't have a chance. I've had to keep propping them up and tying them to stakes. Would love to see pictures of everyone elses though.
Great pictures all of you. I have four planted in this bed. One dwarf green isn't visible, but the tallest is on the far side of the trellis/arbor and a couple of others in the foreground. Guess this is about as good as it will get here.
How about the most purple one..Last year these were whoppers, but have them planted in a different spot. Plus we are very dry here. Maybe I better give them some grow juice.
Hey, Root: That cat has been up there for years, he won't come down. I think Ted nailed him to the roof.LOL..Oopps, now PETA will be after us.
Busybee, that is a camera problem. It is a tibouchina and is more purple than blue. I love the color it came out on the digi, but I don't think it will do that in real life. Sorry to disappoint you. I just don't know how to make the change to get it to come out right when I snap pictures.
OK, Ya'll, where do I get a start of these things, do I start them from seeds or have to get a little plant in the spring from someone? I'm trying to make a jungle down here in La. and I need some of those Castor's.
Poor ME??????????Hold on here Kell!!I just got out of the Brug forum!Seeing pics of your Brugs,one with tendrils a foot across!!!!!!!!More blooms on one Brug then I have had in a year,LOL!!!!I will trade all my castors to just sit in your yard for a night!!!
I just sent my last seeds off,will make sure you get some this fall,Dw monica doesn't really comment on my plants,or sit and enjoy them with me,But I do have a continuos parade of people she brings over!and from her looking at DG at work 2 people have joined,so I guess I'm haveing some effect,I did have a small GT blooming she proudly took to work for a few days,LOL!
Now don't laugh. This is a dwarf green that I believe is to grow to three foot. I don't think it is going to make it. :-) Is this what happens when you don't remove the flower? Actually, the other two are doing fine. I just don't have enough water to keep this bed moist. Have decided to let it go. We are bone dry here.
Thanks Barb. I'm still waiting on my favorites to bloom though. The brugs are very late for me. Some are just now setting tiny buds, so I have to be happy with what I have, even if they are castor bean blooms. LOL!!
Thanks Rootdoc, It's actually 3 castor beans - - one really big one and two medium. But together, they have a nice shape. They are planted in the spot that used to be our area to burn brush and leaves. I suspect all that ash has enriched that old hard clay into something pretty good.
I also have 2 brugs in back of the castors and they are doing great also.
When I took this picture, I laughted out loud - - - as I look like one of those paper people next to my castor beans. But this is really me, promise...LOL
DH said he was going to trim some branches off the maple tree to keep the castors from growing into the tree.
mine is still quite small for this year. The one in the picture was 2 years ago...it had been planted in late July and it was 12 foot tall in September when I decided to chop it down. It had produced over 3000 seeds...I did get the 0's right on that one...lol. That's actually how I started gardening. I traded most of all of those 3000 seeds for other stuff and began to grow flowers :o)
What I want to know is what do the flowers look like or are you all growing them for their size? Not to sound too dumb, but do you have to remove them every year? They would take up my green garbage allotment for 2 weeks!
Kell, the flowers don't look like much and are small compared to the plant. They are annuals here. I don't know how long they would live for you. Sounds like you need to start a compost pile. You could get rid of lots of green garbage and then re-use it.
Kell: This is my purple castor bean just starting to bloom. The blooms are insignificent. We grow them for the tropical look they give our garden. Some people grow them to deter moles, rabbits, etc. Which I do think they do deter. The Purple is by far my favorite.
Kell,I'm a bad influence,will take a couple pics later today.Sammy on one side of me,I have him hopelessly hooked on Palms,he has his first buds on a Brug,and has EEs,across the road Vince is into Dats,castors cannas and EEs,LOL!!!
July 21st posted my castors
Here they are 9 days later ~ 7'8" on the tallest.
That is an average of 3 inches of growth per day. If we continue to have a hot humid August, I figure they should reach 15 feet by August 31st. At that rate, they'll never catch Root but we will sure enjoy them! Amazing how this is one of the only things I planted years ago that would grow from seed so easy. And more amazing at the number of Iowans that come to my yard and inquire, " What is that?!".
Kell, you don't need hay. Some grass clipping, a little soil, kitchen scraps, no bones or milk products, and some granular fertilizer to make it heat up will get it going. Small twigs, leaves from your plants, etc. Just layer it with twigs on the bottom so air can circulate. Put everything in layers, brown and green. Turn it every so often and make sure it doesn't dry out, but don't keep it soaking wet. It should make some compost for you. I'm sure someone can tell you a better way to do it. I'm not making compost this year. Good thing. It has been too dry and I'd never be able to keep up with it.
The grass clippings add the "heat"; I think it has to be something "green"; above said no dairy or meat; but all veggies and I suppose fruit; these things are down deep enough with all layered on top I don't think so. Doesn't bark mulch detract insects?
ok Ill just beg from forum to forum tonight...the purple colored castor beans--who will have pity on my next years garden and send me a few---Ill trade my mom's only cow and with it our only hope of survival?
I threatened it with the weed eater a couple of days ago. I'm going to see what I can do to help it out. I like the color of the leaves. Of course, you saw that pathetic little green one I grew. May be the soil on that side of the house.
Brugie: Could be they don't like the soil. I have two datura's that I planted in the same spot as last year and they don't like where they are, didn't do well there either year. So I will have to remember not to plant any datura in that bed.
Can I post the one with "the most potential" or maybe we can call it a "Bonzai Castor" This one got left behind when I planted the others, which are 4 feet tall or so (I got a very late start). This one is not much larger than a soda can.
Question here - would it be possible to put it in a larger pot and keep it as an indoor plant until next year or should I give the little guy a chance and move him out with the big boys?
In the picture above,where I am pruning blooms.the one one the right was kept in a pot all winter under lights,it looked exactly like yours,only a couple months ago,I thought it would never take off,so I guess it can be done.
Another question - *I never lack for questions* - Could some of my big ones be transplanted inside for the winter or would it not be worth the effort. I do have a HUGE heated basement, temp stays about 60 year round - would I have a chance at keeping any of them alive to get have something next year earlier in the season. Our winter goes SOOO late, that few things can be planted outside before May, so May and early June are not especially exciting around here.
BusyBee, actually those flowers are more deep in color and a little bit more purple looking. It is the Jackmanni clematis. Here is a blue one that I love. The Bluebird Rose of Sharon. I have one at each end of the big bed. As soon as our ground gets a good rain, I can dig some seedlings. I know that first on my list is Azalea and then two others after that. If there are plenty and I think there are, you are welcome to some.
Weeds, I hate to mess up the thread, but I'll add one more picture. I don't think Bob will be too upset.
One more picture. My yard is more like a jungle this year. I wanted a tropical look and I sure have it. Everything grew much bigger than I thought it would and some things got crowded out. This picture is part of a bed that is actually the front. The picture above with the Red Spire is the back side of this bed. It is about 40 ft. long and six foot deep. Was going to mention that I have Dwarf Green, Red Spire, Royal Thai, and a purple castor bean. Royal Thai being my favorite. Huge leaves on it compared to the others.
Okay...great pictures you guys and I'm not even in the running. Now, I have a stupid question. I've never harvested the seeds before and tonight I picked some dried ones. How the heck do you get the seed out of the pod sections. Those things are like armor.
LOL!!!I let some sit in a shoe box over winter,they would pop from time to time and shoot a seed across the floor,good thing I don't have castors growing out of dustbunnies!Let them dry,I put them dry in a shoe box,stood and ran my foot over them in a tennis shoe.it will get them out of the husk!
I actually put them on a sheet one year on the front porch where my dogs couldn't get to them. Covered the sheet with aluminum foil...those things popped all over the place and then I just picked them up. First year I grew them I harvested 3000 seeds. That was when I began to garden...LOL
Thanks Susan. I'm not going to harvest all of them, just enough to share a few and plant a few next year. After I try digging them out of the ground, I may even change my mind about planting them again. A couple of them would make a good bonfire for a couple of hours.
I want to till my bed this fall and put a cover crop on it, so I have to get the roots out. I've had brugs that didn't decay away and these things are much, much, bigger than brugs. Almost scary when I look at the size of the trunks.
but they don't root like the brugs :)
shouldn't bee too hard to get them out of the ground and they don't come back from the roots anyway but I know what you mean. Good luck with your cover crop next year!!!
Thanks! Here you go guys! I use 1 part portland cement to 3 parts sand PLAY sand. I add a concrete fortifier and a concrete stain. The color I used for the above leaf was buff. You add enough water to make the mix wet, but not gooey. You don't want it to slide off your leaf.
Place the wet mix on top of your leaf to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cover with some plastic wrap and let sit for 24 hours. I cheat and turn them over at about 12 hours- but be warned, they will sometimes break.
The above castor bean was the hardest leaf I've done. All the serration and detail in the leaf was a 'B' to cast and get it to come our right. Took a lot of work to get it to look right after I took the leaf off. The best leaves to use are those with lots of veins and detail. I love the serrated leaves, but that is a ton of work to get them to keep their character when they are unmolded. Try using a hosta leaf. That seems to be the easiest. The EE ear leaves turn out good, but don't have as much detail/veining. So it looks kind of smooth to me. Have fun, practice makes perfect. Let me know if you have any more questions.
Garden Gate magazine will be coming out with an article on these in the future. We saw several in different colors when we visited their test gardens last Friday.
Thank you for the info ~ would like to try this; just don't what to do with it after it is finished! Theirs were cupped slightly like for a birdbath. But they had them just laying around . . kinda like garden art.
Here is my Royal Thai castor. It has some huge leaves. Kinda like Doc says...big enough to be a patio. Just took this picture a day or two ago. It sure won't win the tallest castor bean prize, but it is definitely a pretty one and doesn't seem to go to seed as readily.
The early worm gets eaten by the bird, so sleep late. (Unknown Quote)
Hi Rootdoctor and everybody else, I have a castor been plant right now that is between thirteen and one half to fourteen foot tall. I don't have a picture yet but I will be taken one soon. Root Doctor my malanga is also doing well.
Sure Michele. That is if the seeds have time to mature. The seed head has just formed, waaaaaaay up there at the top. I would think that another month or so would be enough time. I picked seed from the Red Spire, Green Spire, and Dwarf Green tonight. Remind me in October, okay?
Ecobioangie- yes, you would use the back. The EE just doesn't have very much detail in the the leaf. It has the large veins, but not the smaller ones. Don't get me wrong, it does work and looks nice. I just like more detail.
I am thinking about pulling the flagpole down and putting some measurement marks on it.it is hard to get a tape to stand that tall,I am trying to figure out how I am going to pull these seed pods off.
It is raining here,YEAH!!!!!I love being out barefoot in the grass,so sorry this picture is so dark.
Hi Root, I just remeasured my castor bean plant. I had to straighten it up because it is leaning to get out from under the tree limbs.I then measure the castor bean when it was straight, its total height is around 15 3/4 feet tall. How I measure it was with a 16 1/2 foot piece of conduit marked every foot with a black mark and a red mark every half foot. I held it up next to it, while my mother looked to see where it reached on the conduit.
Hi Weeds, I haven't feed it at all. All I did was watering it now and then. This was the first year have have ever grown a castor bean and wasn't for sure how to take care of it. Plus I didn't have alot of time for gardening this year because I was helping my mother take care of her husband my step father that passed away with cancer this month.
I'm a newbie to DG, as of yesterday (registered with PlantsDatabase a few months back)!! We've had rain here for 3 days so I have had plenty of time to read 'every' thread on here. I keep coming back to this one and have some questions.
We've been gardening for about 7 years or so and have really gotten interested in anything tropical looking in the past few years. We have many flowers, EE's, Daturas and Brugs (just starting with cuttings), along with a banana and a white BOP. I've been wondering about Castor Beans for awhile now and would like some information about the varieties available. I'm sure there are dwarfs too. I'm really interested in the red or purple ones. We are in OKC in z7, will any of them be hardy here? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Something else...I just recieved some Castor Beans in a couple of seed trades. Is there anyway to tell what 'kind' they are without planting them? Do different varieties have different colored beans? (Is that a stupid question?)
Welcome Brinda!!Hang around us and you will end up with tons of stuff!
Yes castor seeds do look different,not much!I noticed the Thai.were small dark,Zins are large light brown,Comminus are darker brown and smaller in size.it is hard to look at a seed and tell what it is,for me anyway.
Got you confussed?I am,and I typed it,LOL!
Root: So sorry for your loss. I was hoping that you could save them. My harvast will be smaller because of our drought. I have harvasted a few of the tall purples. This has not been a very good growing season. Can always hope next year is bigger and better. That's what keeps us gardeners going.LOL.
We got about 5/8 of an inch of rain. Not nearly enough. But it was great to get that. Today was a lovely sunny day, temps are much milder. Hope you can dry up abit before anymore rain. I am watching my yellow and purple datura seedpods and the castorbean pods to catch every seed I can. Have you noticed the coloring of the Impala seedpods. I just noticed them tonight. Very pretty. Should go take a pic. They did grow taller than what the package said. I have some Impala's 7 ft. tall. I think they were only to be 5 ft. tall at the most. My red spire from Kyle is about 7 ft. tall, too. They must like where they are growing.
Debby posted a pic of "the most purple one"...what kind is that? They are beautiful. How tall do they get? And is there any kind that will be hardy in OKC z7? Or should I plan to put it in a pot and overwinter it? Or just let it die and plant more the next year?
And yes, Root...you did confuse me. LOL I've got alot of learning to do. Plantdatabase only shows 2 different castor beans. Oh well...google, right?
I have been watching this thread with envy since it started. My castor bean is by no means a contender but I had to post a pic. It is probably about 7 feet now. I'll post again once it grows some more.
Studley: Very nice Red Castor you have growing there. They don't get too tall. It looks like it is as tall as they get. They are lovely though.
Root: Georgeous photo as usual. Will have to try nana's with them next year. We get so much wind here on top of this hill, don't know if nana could stand up to it.
Brinda: I don't know the name of the Purple. Last year they got really tall, like 10 ft. I received the seed in a trade and the lady said they were dwarf castor beans that would grow to be about 2 ft. tall. I was very surprised when they reached 10 ft. plus. This year they are about 8 ft. tall because of our drought.
Everyone that wants seeds I will post when they are ready.
Should be within the next month when they mature.
Root, I just love your mandevilla. I think they are such a sweet little vine and the smell is so nice. Very nice pic. OK, tell me what that Castor is? I really like it. And how tall will it normally get?
Debby...Oh, can't wait til you post for seeds. The purple you posted is fabulous.
Brinda,this is Impala with the Madavilla,I got it from Debby.;0)
Lilyfan,Thanks,I love the color of yours!!!!Glad you share here!
Clayton unless someone else brings one bigger,I think 16 ft is a leader!WoWser!!!!!!!!!
Thanks everyone. I just measured mine this evening and they are 9 feet tall. These are from Debbie at our plant swap this last spring. I'm going to have to do this again next year. This was my first year growing castors in about 10 years. Why did I wait so long!
Lilyfan: They look fabulous esp. against the white. Only one of mine made it to maturity. Weeds took over one bed I had several in and crowded them out, the drought hindered them too. Next year I am planting a whole row of just the purples, even if I have to get some ground plowed.
If ya know the ole Root,you know I just had to stop and talk to this lady,it is on my way home from work.
I could only get the tape up to 15 ft.and still had a couple ft. of plant,we are going to trade seeds,and I have invited her to join Daves',she said her sister has a yard that is on the home tour,so I told her to tell her about DG also.
SOB! SOB! I should have taken a picture of my Castor Bean tree BEFORE Hurricane Isabel hit the mid-Atlantic last week!! It was easily 10ft tall. Now, it is leaning on it's side, resting on the top of our split rail fence, with the top 1/3rd of the tree totally wilted and looking utterly pathetic!!! SOB!
Debby, maybe you have Royal Thai. It has huge leaves with red veins on the bottom and a very dark trunk. Mine was slower to set seed too. In fact, they may get frosted next week before ready to harvest.
How late can we keep these plants going - what's the bottom temperature?
Mine are finally hitting the 7 - 8 foot range (pretty good for me - got a late start in May and no extra water or fertilizer - pretty much whatever the sky gave it). My pods are still very soft and immature.
I have the pink (Carmencita??) that is a very slow grower with seedpods that I want to collect. The one I really want seeds from is a giant purplish burgundy one (and it JUST set a pod) - so I might be begging for seeds for the purple one this winter. We're thinking about putting it all along a white picket fence as a secondary barrier to the street.
I love this post! Rootdoctor just told me about and I've spent a good hour checking out all the posts and the pictures!
Man! You guys have some AWESOME Castor Beans here!!! I'm so impressed! And I'm not even in the RUNNING with my puney little 4' Carmencita! But I definitely want in on the contest next year!!!
My Red Castor Bean started producing blooms in late June, and was in full bloom a week or so later. I let the blooms dry on the plant and then harvested them later than I could have last week (got about 52 seeds).
Should I have pulled the blooms off to keep it growing? It seems that since I clipped off the seed pods, it's taken off again. When is the best time to let them go to seed and collect them? You guys seem to be just now getting yours.
I let someone mess me up with mine, telling me it needed LESS water and didn't like too much! Sheesh! No wonder mine was stunted!
datdog & llilyfan, I love that gorgeous purple you have! If you ever want to swap seeds... LMK! ; )
I also want the giant purple CB to make a row around fence lines here. We have moles so bad that they destroy everything, even the grass. (I had a bed with well over 300 bulbs in it and they ate all of them except 3 bulbs, wasn't that nice of them?) I just hate them. We've spent so much time and money trying to get rid of them, and I'm really tired of messing with moles! Debby is my saviour here!
sbarr...I just read email that you sent me over a week ago. I will be responding to it later today or tomorrow. Please forgive me, sometimes I overlook some email when I'm in a hurry.
Sure Shirley,I like to cut one open to see how well the pulp is developing,I have pulled a few already,and opened some from my storm damage,they seem to mature quickly,I'd say pop one off and inspect it to see what you have so far.
Thanks everybody for your very generous offer of seeds. I greatly appreciate it.
But it turns out that even though Hurricane Isabel knocked over my Castor Bean Tree, it is STILL alive! It was saved from total destruction by our split rail fence, which broke its fall! When I checked tonight, the flowers were still there, plus, most of the leaves on the top and sides. The portion of the tree that struck the fence, those leaves have since wilted. That is one very hardy specimen! I'll be able to share the seeds from my tree too.
Here is a picture of it. It's really grown since the previous picture I posted in June. It just looks pathetic leaning against the fence rail.
Ok now I gotta couple of questions for you seasoned expert Castor Bean growers here. I have been watering and feeding my Carmencita and it's getting quite a few leaves now (or again) and seems to be making a come-back.
1) There is a tiny cluster of leaves growing at the BASE of my plant. Should I leave these? Or do they need to go so that the nutrients can focus more on HEIGHT?!
2) I believe it's making a cluster of blooms (and future seeds) again. Is this normal for this time of year? I think we've only got another couple of months before it starts getting really cold.
Do you think I'll have another batch of seeds on mine?
Cajun2, forgot about this thread. I try orientals, asiatics, all their offspring and hybrids and of course dayLILIES. Email me your addy and I'll get a packet sent to you so I won't forget. We are supposed to get a hard freeze tonight so this may be the end of the season for me.
Cajun 2: Castor bean plants bloom up to the time it frosts and set seed too till then. We are to get a heavy frost tonight and Ours will be history.
If you want to cut off the leaves at the base then that would be okay.
Here is my good-bye picture of my Impala Castor Beans. Taken today, notice all the seedpods and it is blooming still. The seedpods have not matured, so they will be lost. Tomorrow morning it might be mush.
Good Bye to Red Spire Castor Bean--Such a great joy to watch these grow. These and the impala's were only to get to be around 5 to 6 ft. tall. They have not been fertilized and we have been in a drought.
You all have really made an impression on me with these beautiful plants. Castor Beans have been added to my new tropical garden look next season.
...I've spent the last 2 months digging my iris & daylily Friendship Garden.
...Now I can start thinking about tropicals,I already have a few cannas and some brugs...got all winter to search for others.
...BTW...Everything has been killed off here already,just waiting for a little warmer weather to start cleaning up the gardens and yard.
...This is so strange to see all this dead stuff and the tree's leaves have not really started to color or fall yet.
...I was hanging linens out today ,sunny and very strong windy temps in the 40's,,,my fingers got numb...brrrrr.
TLC: I found my photo of Carmencita Red on the PDB. They are a short variety growing about 6 ft. tall. This photo will tell the rest. I believe the photo was from last year. As I didn't grow the red this year. I like Red Spire much better.
The season is over for me. It is history. They look so sad and sickly. We got a really good frost last night. Wanted to take a pic. tonight, but got busy with household chores. This thread will be nice to look at this winter and dream for next spring.
My Royal Thai doesn't have red on the leaves. The seed stalk is covered with green pods. The stalk, and stems/veins of the leaves are deep red. I got my seeds from Kyle and am sure I don't have them mixed up. I only had four kinds this year. This one and both red and green spire and dwarf green. Maybe this is another of those cases where temps and soil makes the difference. My Royal Thai is quite tall, but I doubt that it would be over ten foot. Very pretty castor though.
Deb, my castors look fine after the frost. I've already collected seed except from the RT, so if you need any, let me know.
I'm trying to eek more out mine before it gets really cold. Then I'll try to snip the pods and hope they have ripened enough. I was very pleased to get about 7-8 feet with no special treatment and a VERY late start.
I have long since loved the tropical look. My intention is to have castors all along a long fence and also I plan to clump them in some large corners. I'm wondering if there is a recommendation as to how far apart to plant them. Do they become more full if planted farther apart/do they crowd each other out if planted too close together? I don't need to go for record height, but would like a full look hopefully at least 6 feet tall.
Also, I am wondering if it is possible, or if anyone has tryed, to dry these plants to be used as indoor decor. I have some tropical decorating going on indoors too, and would love to use the castor bean as a dryed floral arrangement if possible.
Well Wlecome to Daves!!! Glad to have you here!
I just started soaking my seeds,I like to soak them for a day and let the end swell,I plant them right in the ground,I have found the ones that do the best,are the ones that have reseeded,they seem to like being direct sown,I do not think they like to have their taproot cramped.
I would plant them about 2ft apart for a hedge effect,they should fill in nice for you.
As far as a dried flower,I am not sure how they would work for this,they get ugly as they dry.
I have seen the leaves used in concretee,as stepping stones and birdbaths,with stunning effect!.
Hey Cala!! How about if you or irish start a new thread!! It can be this years contest,I notice this one loaded slow even on my cable,so lets get a new one going,you start it!
I'm gonna have to read through this one to see who the Unofficial winner was of this unofficial contest!
See,I could not claim myself as winner of my own contest,and this year I have a really good feelin about my Castors,I could be a contender!!LOL
Winner gets a Monkey sittin on the deck with a Beer! I have a good feelin I may win,(LOL!)call it Monkey luck,call it dumb luck,I just can not start the contest!(Last year,I coulda been a contender!,LOL!)
If those red blooms are on your castor, I've never seen one like it before. Some red spires would hide their yard. Wish I had some seeds, but I sent them home with someone. I love the red spire's color in the leaves. Well, I'm moving over to the new thread now. This one is taking a long time to load. See ya there Pete.
Well...I have been trying to get Castor Beans for several months and was told at the nursery that they are now illegal to sell and they would not be forthcoming. Seems that a common poison can be made from the seeds and due to Home Security Laws they are listed as dangerous. Sorry to be spoil sport because my mother grew them every summer and I wanted to duplicate her green thumb.
When did this law start? I just bought 3 varieties from eBay a few weeks ago and they were delivered within a few days. I just did a search on eBay and see they are still selling them. I hope they don't do this. What's next on the hit list? Datura?
Used to have beautiful Castor bean trees. DDH hated them because they got in his way when he mowed so I got rid of them. Later when I wanted to plant some, no seeds on the seed rack. I think they are beautiful! There are so many plant that are poisonous including indoor plants or others that are inedible because they don't taste good and/or make your mouth pucker. We were told the other day that Turk's Cap leaves are edible but they don't taste good but if you are starving and happen upon Turk's Cap, you won't exactly starve. I have a spot that would really be good for Castor but no seeds. It would be right next to a bush you don't want to use for your campfire or to roast your marshmallows on - oleanders. Go figure...
You can buy some off eBay. I just checked and there were over 40 offers. I ordered 3 different types off eBay a couple of months ago and checked the germination by planting two seeds of each. They all came up and I now have them in the basement under lights where they are blooming but aren't very big due to being grown in pots.
I thought the castor bean would be an annual in my area (8b). It grew about 8' this season. Do you think it will come back after we get a freeze? We only get a few during the winter.
I keep cutting the blooms off so that it doesn't self sow and just to be sure the dog doesn't go after the seeds, but I'm thinking about letting it go now and see what happens through the winter. What do you think will happen?
I let the castor beans go at the Southern California house and the trunk got so big we had trouble removing them. In Iowa I just collected the seeds and started new ones every spring. Even if it would keep growing for you, it would be better to start over.
Though I notice some of these postings are a couple of years old, I have noticed people interested in purchasing castor bean seeds but cannot find them. Just thought I'd let everyone know I purchased castor bean seeds this spring from Seedrack.com and Henry Fields Nursery. One was a red variety, but I can't remember which place I got it.
mine is on it's second round of seeds.
The largest has a 12 inch round trunk. It became so big that large branches have broken off when it bloomed. It didn't help that there are heavy woodrose vines in it too..I have to keep pulling them off.
I'm wondering if we're on the verge of a drought...it's been hot and windy for weeks with no rain in the forecase for this area.
I've got some seeds from 2 seasons ago. Do you think they're still worth planting? Should I just soak them till they pop open then plant or should I start them as seedlings inside till they get their true leaves then put in the ground. What's your advice?
Soaking isn't necessary. Just pop them in the dirt and keep damp. Germinates very quickly. I always have lots of babies coming up year round from where ever they hit the ground. Fortunately, they are easily to pull or hoe up when small.
Hey! Anybody know? Are castor bean plants just as lethal to insects as they are to people and animals? I have something chewing on mine and I am hoping whatever it is is gonna die! Does that sound cruel?
That makes me laugh! I have 3 squirrels. (That I know of.) When I first noticed them a few years ago I thought they were cute. I still think they are funny. When I go out in my backyard and catch one running across my roof or in my tree I think it's funny the way they freeze and think I don't see them. I walk right up to them and look them in they eye and talk to them 'til they can't stand it, they have to look. But it is irritating to go out and find the new branches of my blushing bride hydrangeas broken. They are not very big to begin with. I have seen ants crawling on my castor bean plants. I am hoping the castor bean plants will kill the ants. We are having a terrible time with them here. I have put 7 granules in the grass and flower beds. I even tried a home remedy last year that called for grape jelly mixed with poison powder. Didn't work.
aaahh...I was wondering why I still had pears on the pear tree in june, because usually there all chowed by then. I think they must have been nesting, because no sooner had I marveled at the fact of having pears, I came home to see pears all over the ground with a bite out of each and tossed. A couple of the squirrels are big as cats, my friend and I couldn't believe our eyes because it was so big. No freezing on this one..he just looks back at you unconcerned. I call it the mutant squirrel. And the behavior...it chased off some pidgeons from the bird bath, and then postured like a an angry bear or chimpanze, boxing the branches of the tree it was in after chasing the pidgeon.
I heard there was an invasion of a new species of ant in Texas this year that was pretty difficult to get rid of because of their numbers.
I haven't tried it, but was told that coffee grounds deter ants. The concept is that the coffee odor interferes with they're communication and navigation.
Got yours and several others. Been putting in alot of OT at work but they are all ready to go out in the am. Did you have seeds in yours. Wasn't sure what your note meant but there wasn't anything in it if there was supposed to been. The flap was loose so they could have fallen out or been hyjacked.
I hate squirrels. Call them Tree Rats! Before we had kids, use to shoot them with a bb gun. It just keeps them away for a few days, then they come back. I know a friend that grew up in southern georgia and his mother eat them. She can come and get mine anyday.
I think they are cute, but they are really starting to aggrivate me. I wait and wait for my cannas to start peaping out of the ground. When they start getting big enough to have the first leaf, I go out to find it's broken. Same with my elephant ears. They broke my bird feeder. How do you feed the birds and thwart the squirrels?
K people. I need assistance. This is my first year to grow castor beans. LOVE THEM!!! Love the foliage, but I have a question. I have planted both green and red. Aren't the leaves of the red one supposed to be burgandy colored? All mine seem to be green so far. I have spied a purple leaved one on ebay I would like to buy. When I get it and plant it, am I going to be disappointed 'cause when it grows the leaves are going to be green also? I like the green, don't get me wrong, but I was anxious to see the differing colors of foliage. I have also just purchased two new ones, giant zanzibar that is supposed to have leaves up to 3 ft. wide and zanzi palm which is supposed to grow like a palm. Anyone ever grown these varieties before? And can anyone tell me why my red ones are not red?
I can't get my castor beans to germinate. Do you just stick yours in the ground and look for them to come up next year. I'm actually pretty good with seeds, except Castor Beans, Plumerias and Passionflower Vines!
I soak my castor beans overnight, then plant them. In March, when I got my first bunch from Henry Fields, I put them in peat pellets, put the peat pellets in a Jiffy tray, and put a plant light on them. They always started popping out of the pellets in a week. Once they popped out of the pellets, it wasn't long before I had to put them in pots because they just got too tall for the jiffy tray. Also, the roots grew out of the pellets and into the pellets next to them. Once it got warm enough, I just stuck them in the ground. I have heard others say you don't have to soak them but I always have. Not all of them come up, but most of them do. How are you planting yours?
I don't know what the coffee filter method is. Put some peat moss in a baggie, dampen the moss (not wet) and plant them in it. I have some ruffled fan palm seeds that are hard as rocks. I soaked them, put them in peat pellets, then put the pellets in baggies. The instructions on these seeds said it would take 60 days at least for them to germinate (or not at all). It said they needed a certain temp. I had the baggie sitting on my kitchen counter for the longest time. Nothing. Then I tried laying it on my heating pad set on low. I finally put the baggie outside where I knew the outdoor temps would keep the bag warm, but I put it in the shade so they wouldn't cook. I just checked them today. Two of them have a root. Have you tried just poking them in the ground and keeping the soil moist until they germinate? It shouldn't take very long. How many seeds do you have?
I just came accross this thread, and I am cracking up! lol! Budgielover, I would love to try growing castor beans. Do you still have some for sasbe? Thanks!
Bubba: just toss the coffee grounds around your plants, I always get some at starbucks, the plants love it!
Bubba, I usually use the coffee filter method to germinate my seeds. I get about 90% germination this way. I have small coffee filter (for 4-6 cups?) Open them up flat and cut them in half. Wet the filter and squeeze out the excess water. Put the seeds in them. Roll them up 2 times and fold the rest back, so that I will only have 1 layer of coffee filter on one side. Put the coffee filter (with seeds) in a small "snack-size" bag, Seal most of the edge and stick a straw into the middle opening and blow some air into the bag. Seal up the rest of the bag. I leave it the bag in a warm sunroom or under kitchen puck lights (in winter time). Check on it every few days to see if it's germinated. If not, check the filter to make sure it's still damp. If not, add (or mist) some water and squeeze out excess water.
Anyway, if the seeds are hard, I sand them down a little bit on the sandpaper (or nail file) after initially soaking them for 24-48 hours.
Anyway, the castor bean seeds are hard as rock. I'm just going to put them in the ground tomorrow and forget all about it. I'm sure this is going to come back to haunt me in a few years.
There is no need to pre-germinate castor been seeds. If there was, I wouldn't get hundred of volunteers plants coming up from where the seed pods drop on the ground. Just plant them 1 inch or so under the dirt, water when dry and forget about them. They will be up in no time.
LiliMerci- Thank you for explaining that method. And it comes just in time. I am very upset right now. I have seeds planted in little pots (the small ones seedlings come in) and had them sitting on a stand right outside my back porch. I was keeping them moist but not wet. This was the perfect spot because it got morning sun but not the baking afternoon sun. I got up this morning. It was raining. I had the pots sitting 4 to a metal pie tin. One tin was receiving water that was coming off the roof. Half the soil is gone out of those pots and is all over the porch, washing off into my flower bed. Later on, after I recover emotionally, I am going to have to go into the kitchen (brought them in) and fish through the soil and see if my seeds are still in the pots. I am sooo hoping the soil washed out from the bottom.
One question. After you stick the straw in and blow, do you take the straw out and seal bag completely?
Julia, Yes, you take out the straw. I meant to put that. I guess blowing some air in it and sealing up the "bubble" gives it the greenhouse effect. I'll have to find the link that I read all this under and post it for you later. So you don't have to use the straw, you can blow into the plastic bag and seal it, but I find that it's easier to seal most of the bag and stick a straw in it. This keeps most of the air in the bag.
I am sorry about your seeds. I know how you feel. I had some zinnias that I planted from seeds. I got one bloom on one and I was waiting for the buds to open. Came out the other morning and the deer had eaten the bloom and most of the buds off the top! Luckily, I still have a few side branches, so I hope I'll get to see some of the blooms. To make it worse, I can't seem to find the remaining of my cactus flower zinnia seeds, so if I can't salvage the blooms, I won't have any seeds for next year. :( I don't know why, but they are not interested in my yellow ones. They did eat my purple ones.
Well. I have been through most of the pots. I purchased 5 musa sikkimensis daj giant (it's a banana) seeds. I planted 4. Now I only have the one I didn't plant. You can bet I will be germinating that in the house. Of the others, there were only 1 or 2 seeds in each pot. Fortunately, I never pot all the seeds at once so I have a second chance. But I spent so much money.
Oh no! That's not good Julia...sorry to hear that!
I usually sow my seeds in peat pots (the ones they sell at lowes, etc) and cover with a plastic dome to keep humidity. I put everything in the patio, shaded by a trellis and warmed up from below by the stone floor.
Can you believe I sowed zinnias this way on Sunday and they ALREADY germinated???