Ricinus plants are half hardy perennials that range from 90 cm to 1.8 m (3 to 6 feet) in height.
They are an erect plant that carry large lobed leaves; these may be red, bronze, green or purple in colour.
They bloom in the middle of summer when they carry clusters of red or green flowers.
They then produce attractive seed pods. Some common names for Ricinus include Castor Oil Plant, Castor Bean plant and Palma Christi.
Common Names: Castor Oil Plant, Palma Christi, Castor Bean, Mamona, Jada, Arandi, Higuerilla.
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 40 to 470 inches (100 to 1200 cm).
Native: Mediterranean, East Africa, South Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10. As a perennial in zones 8 to 10.
It is best to start off Castor Oil plants indoors. First soak the Castor oil seeds for a day in warm water, then sow the seeds about 6 mm (1/4 inch) deep into peat pots about six weeks before the last frost.
Ricinus Plant seeds should take about two or three weeks to germinate at 21 to 25 degrees Centigrade (70 to 77°F).
The young Castor oil seedlings should then be transplanted outdoors a couple of weeks after the last frost.
Ricinus species should be spaced from 70 cm (small) to 1.5 m (large) apart, and grown in a sunny part of the garden. For best results grow Castor oil plants in a rich loam of pH 6 to 7.
Castor Oil Plants and other Ricinus plant species are easy to look after; they like a moist soil so water regularly. They are big plants so provide a stake and feed them regularly.
The Ricinus plant genus has only one species, which is commonly known as the Castor oil plant.
Yes, Ricinus communis can be a dramatic addition to a garden due to its large, glossy foliage, and unique seed pods, but it must be handled with care due to its toxicity.
As there is only one species, Ricinus communis is the one grown. It has many cultivated varieties differing in size and leaf color.
Ricinus plants are not known for their fragrance, they are usually grown for their striking appearance.
Ricinus communis thrives in a sunny location with well-drained soil. It is a tropical plant that prefers warm climates.
Currently, Ricinus communis is not officially listed as invasive in the USA, but it can naturalize and become problematic in some areas.
When removing Ricinus, use gloves to protect your skin from the plant's toxic sap. Dig up the entire plant, making sure to remove all roots.
The Ricinus genus comprises the castor oil plant, which is native to the Mediterranean region and East Africa. It is known for its glossy foliage and large, spiked seed pods.
Ricinus plants thrive in full sun and rich, well-drained soil. They are generally planted in late spring, after the risk of frost has passed. While they are hardy in warm climates, in colder regions they are often grown as annuals due to their fast growth rate.