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Keyword Search Results for:
Castor Beans

2 Found

Question: 894-813
I have had trouble starting castor bean from seeds. I was told that they should be started in compost at 90-100 degrees. I have soaked them for two days without success. What do you think? Rob.

Mort's Answer:
I do know that they love heat. The plants thrive in zone 8 south and get to 10-12 feet. Give it a shot. I had some seeds that I allowed to crack on my south facing sill and used them in my garden. Ricinus communis is a native plant in Africa. Since you are now in zone 6, you can try growing this plant outdoors. There is an area southwest of your city that is still in zone 5. Remember that this is a tropical plant and should be treated as a tender perennial and possibly an annual. It usually grows well in a sheltered area near a pond in zone 6.

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Question: 1003-3513
Why do public parks plant Castor beans? I understand that the bean is very poisonous to man and animals. Jim, Gardener, MA

Mort's Answer:
There are many plants like Datura and Castor that are truly beautiful but fatal if ingested in various amounts. Actually there are hundreds that are toxic, if ingested. Most animals know better than to put these plants into their mouths. Little children have to be taught not to put any foreign object in their bodies. Fortunately, the prickly cover of the seed pod on Castor bean would discourage any sane person from trying.

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