My 15' tall castor plants (pics inside)

dirtaddshpSeptember 24, 2011


This forum is a great resource and has really sprouted my interest in gardening. As fall is approaching i wanted to take some pics of my castor plants that were just planted in early spring. They have grown over 14' since! I have never experienced such a fast growing plant and it is absolutely gorgeous. I have 3 of them and 2 of them are over 12' tall and the other is a little over 8'

Its also amazing how bugs dont mess with these plant cause of the ricin. Im planning on growing more of these guys after the frost. But i am quite curious how they will handle the North Georgia frost, it can get in the teens a couple times a year. I wonder if they will turn into a pile of mush like most cacti.

anyways here are my pics and a pic of me with my tallest castor, which is planted 12' below the deck.

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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

When they get froze out, you'll be left with a really tough hard stalk. We actually used a chainsaw to cut off a couple of ours that had grown to almost 3" across.An axe or saws all works good too.
I love castor beans! they are so cool.It is hard to find a plant that is easier care and more tropical looking that you can grow as an annual. Of course if you're crazy like I am, you can actually dig them up and put them in a greenhouse. We have one that's two years old now. We never did get it out of the greenhouse all summer because it was kind of just too hard to get now it's going to be there again. It's giving me lots of seeds though.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:24PM
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Dirta, very pretty. You're so right. NOTHING messes with Castor Bean plants..

Are yours in containers, and did you sow seeds or buy plants?

In previous years, I only found green CB, 'seeds,' but this spring, actually early summer, a seller on Ebay had mahogany/red types.
Great price, too.

I also agree with Sandy, come early winter, you/we'll need an ax or chain saw cutting down the trunks. lol.
If it continues raining, I might leave mine until next spring. Besides, leaves haven't frosted, so it's too early to cut back now.

Here's a few of mine.

CB grows a foot a week. I swear, lol. I wonder if green CB grows larger than red, or because it was late in the season when I sowed seeds directly in the ground, they didn't reach 18' or so?? Anyone know?

One thing. Red CB seems to flower at a much younger age than green. Toni

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 2:41PM
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Ah no green house here, i do have a sowing room (walk in pantry) converted into a grow room when its too cold for growing outside. But i cannot fit my castor plants in there. Ill just start over again next year, they are planted directly in the ground. But it seems the roots stay shallow, ive had 2 of the 3 fall over due to wind. So ive stringed them up but didnt happen till they were over 10' tall. I bought my seeds on ebay, got a 2 month jump on the season in my sow room and then just stuck them in the ground. Yeah i have almost 100 seeds id say.

the only insect ive seen take to the castor plant are these ants.. not red or black exactly.. more black with a clear behind. They seem to go after the new growth or when a leaf breaks off and theres sap coming out.. amazing it dosnt kill them.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 5:28PM
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Howdy. In the 90's, I used to sow all types of outdoor, garden seeds...annuals and a few perrenials. Since, I've run out of room. Too many house plants. LOL

Heck, some seeds germinate in days. As long as they're in a sunny window, the seedlings should be strong enough to live until taken outside. But, I'm sure you already know that.
BTW, your CB's are huge. They look very strong..too strong to topple over.

Funny about the ants. The last two summers, there have been more ants than any other insect. I swear, they're taking over!!
What's weirder is, I've seen the ants you w/clear or white behinds. I 'assumed' it was an egg sac. Maybe these ants are a new breed, lol. But, they are everywhere. On all plants. I haven't looked at my CB's the last few wks, 'not up close anyway,' because we've had non-stop rain, so maybe these ants are living on my CB's, too.

I know what you mean. How on earth do ants stay alive when every part of CB is poisonous???
But, I've learned many plants, house and garden, are toxic, yet you'll find ants and other insects walking on leaves and stems. Maybe, like some Macaws/parrots, they eat and regurgitate toxic pieces?

One other thing. Although we both agree CB is a Cast Iron green, I wonder if they acquire plant bugs. Scale, Mites, etc. Scale and ants work together. Have you checked for these lumpy bugs? Toni

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 1:17PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)


    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 9:40PM
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