Annuals forum: Castor bean plants

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Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
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kniphofia
Jan 23, 2016 6:33 AM CST
I'm thinking about growing some in a large pot on my patio this summer. I've grown them before when I lived in Maine, and they do well here in the UK in borders. Does anyone have experience growing them in pots? I like the look of New Zealand Purple.
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
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DebbieC
Jan 26, 2016 9:54 AM CST
I've grown them in pots before Sue , on my patio; they did fine. Of course, they are limited by the size of the pot so would need a big container. I believe the varieties I grew were Carmencita and the plainer Green Ricinus ( it was some years ago) As I recall, Carmencita did better as it is not quite as large of a plant. Your New Zealand Purple looks very attractive; I love those dark rich leaves and of course they have such a great tropical look to them! I only ever grew Castor Bean in the garden once, it was a monster and I can remember trying to dig up those roots after the frost took it...... Grumbling I never tried it again,lol.
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Annuals Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Foliage Fan
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kniphofia
Jan 26, 2016 10:53 AM CST
Thanks for your input Debbie. I only have a tiny patio garden but I do have some large containers. I love cannas and lush looking tropicals which are treated as annuals here. Chiltern Seeds have NZ Purple so will definitely order some.
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
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DebbieC
Jan 26, 2016 11:13 AM CST
Love cannas too! I grow all of mine in pots on the patio. They really do bring a tropical look which is welcome on the Canadian prairie, believe me. It's a chore to bring them inside for the winter but will continue to do it as long as I am able.
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
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ZenMan
Jan 26, 2016 11:37 AM CST
Hello Sue,

You probably already know this, but I will mention it anyway. The seeds of castor beans are intensely poisonous (I suspect all parts of the plant may be to some extent), and because they are so "pretty", they can be attractive to children. So you should take measures to prevent children from having access to the beans.

I removed the flowers on my castor bean plants as soon as they appeared, to prevent them from setting any beans. I took that approach, because I wasn't sure I could keep the neighbor's children from accessing the plants. Castor beans contain Ricin, a very potent and dangerous poison.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Annuals Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Foliage Fan
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cactus and Succulents Butterflies Birds Bee Lover
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kniphofia
Jan 27, 2016 12:45 AM CST
Yes I'm well aware of the poisonous nature of Ricinus. There are many poisonous plants in our gardens. There will not be any children in the vicinity, but I doubt the plants will be able to form mature seed pods in this climate. Thanks for the input though.
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Houseplants Foliage Fan Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
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DebbieC
Jan 27, 2016 11:14 AM CST
I've harvested seeds from the plants in my short summer climate so would assume you can as well Sue. I was very careful with those seeds I must admit! Blinking

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