How do you start castor beans? Any soaking or nicking required? Thanks in advance...
Grew some in Baton Rouge about 5 years ago. Just stuck the seeds in the ground and off they went.
Easy, easy, easy. I usually soak overnight but I suspect it's not necessary. You can start them indoors (I prefer large peat pots) or directly in the ground once it's warmed up enough. Bury them about an inch deep. Don't start them too soon indoors because they grow fast and need a lot of heat and light. Seeds started directly in the ground will usually catch up with and even overtake the ones started indoors.
Yes we never nick or soak they just sprout!
Wasn't easy for me! Mine never sprouted and I bought them from a reputable nursery. Either I got a bad batch of seeds or I kept them too wet and they rotted. I guess I should try again?
Thanks for the feedback! I'll let you know how it goes.
I've had poor and/or slow germination from commercially purchased seeds, but seeds collected from my own plants have germinated uniformly and promptly the following spring (in fact they often overwinter in the ground and sprout all over my garden in the spring). You have no way of knowing how long commercially sold seeds have been held in storage, and most large, fleshy seeds lose viability rapidly over the long term.
I soaked mine overnight and sowed them with bottom heat. Came up in about 5 days and are now over a foot tall. I've repotted them once and can't wait to see the full grown in my yard!
I just stuck mine in some peat pots and off they went. Very easy.
Mine self-sow without any intervention from me.
Avid castor bean fan here.
The seeds you purchase from seed warehouses
are often leftovers from years gone by.
They should be clean and bright, deep colors.
You should be able to give the seeds a good healthy squeeze
between your fingers without them popping or bursting into pieces.
Very pale or light colored seeds have zip for germ rates,
so assume they are not worthy of planting for the most part.
In zone 7, many seeds pop off and fall to the ground,
sprouting each spring without any assistance. Every
year I walk around digging up babies to move closer to the
house to take care of.
For those who prefer to baby their plants as I do,
you can start them indoors in multi-pot trays.
Simply wet the soil pretty good, allow it to drain, and push the seeds (nub end first) into the soil.
Push the seed down until the other end is level
with the soil line. Keep moist and if you can,
start them with heated germination mats, they will pop
right up quickly. You'll be surprised at the size of
the root systems on these little things.
By the time the seedlings emerge they will have already established a healthy root system.
*Castor bean tip*
While you can toss them at will and they will sprout,
you'd be amazed at how much better they will grow if you
work the soil. Even better, dig a heck of a hole and
pour a bag of potting soil in, then plant your seeds.
And don't forget the Algoflash!
I live in Z5 and have taken mine in ( 10+' )for the winter ......one lasted 2-1/2 years ! ......thicker stalks that grow fuller...... lot of work.