Castor bean plant - growing from seed, multiply and overwinter

The Content Of The Article:

Castor - Wunderbaum - Ricinus communis

The castor bean plant (botanical: Ricinus communis), also known as the Wunderbaum, Roman bean, dog tree or Christus palm, belongs to the family of the milkweed family and is originally native to the subtropics and tropics. It is often considered a decorative and container plant in Central Europe due to its eye-catching leaves and flowers. The castor bush needs plenty of space and plenty of water. Otherwise it is quite easy to maintain. However, its seeds are poisonous, while the non-toxic oil obtained from them is used in cosmetics and medicine.


The castor plant needs a full sun, which should be protected from the wind, so that the large leaves do not tear in strong winds. Her instincts could also break off if she storms too hard. A half-shady spot in the garden or in the tub on the terrace tolerates the castor bush as long as it is protected from the wind.


The soil should be profound, permeable and rich in humus and nutrients for the castor tree, since it is a well-known heavy drinker. Therefore, a substrate mix with manure or compost is ideal for him.
Tip: Pay attention to the good permeability of the soil, so that no waterlogging can occur. Over-compacted soils can be improved with some perlite. However, the water must not leak away immediately. Therefore, a thorough mixing of the substrate is necessary.

to water

The marvelous shrub can reach a considerable size in no time. In addition, its large leaves evaporate a lot of water. That's why regular watering is essential for him. Waterlogging should be avoided! He survives even longer periods of drought. However, he does not grow so fast then.
Tip: So that the water in the soil does not evaporate too quickly, you can cover it with a mulch layer of chaff, leaves or pieces of bark.


  • weekly fertilization with conventional liquid fertilizer
  • Regular composting is just as good
  • if you like, you can also use a long-term fertilizer
  • Slowly stop fertilizing in September

To cut

Castor - Wunderbaum - Ricinus communis

The castor tree does not have to be cut. Who cultivates it as an annual plant, can give it to the compost in the fall. Otherwise, he can overwinter in the garden with a cover. Hobby gardeners, who have plenty of space available, like to spend the winter in the bucket in the house.


The planted in the garden of castor plants lose their aerial parts of the plant in winter, while the root remains in the ground and the winter there survives well, if it is not too severe. In harsh areas and in heavy frost, the castor must be covered with a thick layer of leaves, brushwood, brushwood, mulch or other means of frost-free wintering.
Wintering as a container plant
  • enough light and plenty of water
  • Allow substrate to dry slightly between waterings
  • large conservatory most suitable
  • use appropriately sized planters
  • Avoid waterlogging
Caution: Castor seeds are poisonous!
The castor flower blooms in panicles between July and October. Then 2 cm large capsule fruits are formed, containing 3 maroon marbled seeds. In addition to a hard shell, the seeds have a root-like appendages, the so-called caruncula, which is considered a characteristic of a milkweed family. The seeds of the castor bean are also called Castor beans and are extremely toxic to humans and animals! Because they contain highly toxic, deadly ricin, which is considered one of the most toxic protein substances that occur in nature. Even if Roth-Daunderer-Kormann in their standard work "poison plants - plant poisons" count only the seeds to the deadly plant parts, so it is precaution better not to grow a castor tree, if children and pets often play in your garden!


The miracle tree is best propagated by sowing. So that you can plant a vigorous plant in the garden in spring, it is advisable to start sowing early in the year. It is best to sow the castor in late January or early February. Be sure to wear gloves so that you can not absorb the toxins of the seeds through the skin.
Castor seed is available from specialist retailers or you have kept seeds from self-planted castor from last year. You can store this seed for about 3 years. That's how long he stays germinable. Because of its hard shell, you should put the seeds in a bowl of water for a few hours or better overnight so that it can swell. This also promotes its germination.

Castor - Wunderbaum - Ricinus communis

Distribute potting soil in small pots. Then press a seed into each pot. Put some earth on it and lightly press it. Sprinkle the earth with a fine mist of water so that it is thoroughly moistened.Put a foil against evaporation on the pots. Make the vessels warm and bright. At temperatures between 20 and 26° C, the castor seeds germinate very well. Every now and then, air the films to prevent mold from forming. Once the seedlings are visible, remove the slides completely. One to two weeks later, depending on the growth rate, the plantlets are piked into larger pots and first used to the field. Once there is no frost, the castor trees can be placed in the garden soil.

plant out

The planting distance for the Wunderbaum should be at least 1 m. The best way to incorporate horn chips or compost as a slow-release fertilizer. A planting near the shore or too close to roadsides is quite unfavorable, as it has very sweeping roots. Some hobby gardeners plant the castor tree as a specimen plant and some use it because of its impressive size as a background planting in perennial beds.
bucket attitude
If you want to plant the castor in a bucket, be sure to select a very large pot so that its big roots will fit properly and you will not have to repot it that often. The bucket should have a vent hole. Then comes a piece of potsherds, above a layer of pearlite, expanded clay or gravel. This layer serves as a drainage layer. Lay a layer of nonwoven on top of the fleece and get the actual plant substrate, which is well drained and contains a few handfuls of compost.
Tip: If you use coasters, gradually empty out the excess water that collects in them. This counteracts "wet feet" of the castor plant and waterlogging in the vessel.

Castor varieties

  • Ricinus communis 'Apache' (small, only about 1 m high)
  • Ricinus communis 'Carmencita Bright Red' (up to approx. 3 m high, shiny metallic reddish-brown leaves and bright red fruits)
  • Ricinus communis 'Gibsonnii mirabilis' (small, dark red)
  • Ricinus communis 'Impala' (red-leaved, taller than 1.50 cm, red colored fruits)
  • Ricinus communis 'Sanguineus' (about 2 m high, violet-red flower stalks and green leaves with burgundy-red nerves, seed capsules rose-red)
  • Ricinus communis 'Zanzibariensis' (very large leaves)

planting combinations

The castor bean can also be planted in beds. Due to its size, however, it should be given a large space in the rear area, so that it does not take away any light from the other plants. As background plant he fits well with:
  • Ice Plant
  • lavender
  • columbine
  • delphinium
  • Atlas flower
  • daisy
  • lady's mantle
The Castor Bush is a gigantic, perennial, easy-care plant. It can grow up to 4m and more. Its large leaves and inflorescences stand out in the garden or in the bucket on the terrace from afar. It needs to be poured abundantly and regularly, but it also survives even drier periods. In the winter he moves in and has to be covered with winter protection. If you want, you can also spend the winter in the bucket in the house. Its seeds are dangerous because they contain highly toxic, deadly ricin. Therefore, the castor tree with seed stands of children and animals must always be kept away! As a precaution, do not sow any castor plant with children and animals in the house!

Information coming soon

Location of a castor plant
  • The castor plant likes a sunny spot.
Cheap plant substrate
  • As a plant substrate is humus rich soil. The nutrient requirement is high. Favorable is loose, well drained soil.
  • Planting time is in the spring. Thus, the plant can form enough roots until winter.
  • You can plant in the garden, but also in a large bucket.
  • A large bucket protects against frost in winter and does not freeze too quickly.
Pouring and fertilizing a castor plant
  • To be cast regularly and abundantly. The big leaves evaporate a lot of water.
  • When the temperature is warm, you have to provide daily water replenishment!
  • Waterlogging is essential to avoid!


Castor - Wunderbaum - Ricinus communis

  • The above-ground part of the plant dies completely.
  • The root ball needs to be protected. Cover it with a thick layer of leaves, hay or paper. Everything has to be fixed well, it is best to place bricks or stones on it.
  • A pot of the plant must also be well packed, preferably in several layers. The bucket should not be on earth. Always put something under it!
  • When hibernating the plant in the conservatory, the leaves remain preserved. The castor plant is evergreen. It then needs a lot of light. The plant continues to grow rapidly. So there must be enough space up!
  • If this is not the case, it makes sense to grow a new plant from the seeds next year.
Propagation of castor
  • Propagation is best done by sowing. You can buy seeds or use your own.
  • Ausgesät is from the end of January.
  • To ensure that the seed germinates well, place it in warm water overnight.
  • The next day sow seeds in plant pots, best with seed soil and cover only slightly with substrate:
  • With plenty of light (no sun) and temperatures around 20 ˚C, the seeds germinate within two to three weeks.
  • The soil must be kept evenly moist but not wet. It is best to spray the substrate only.
  • Once the temperatures are permanently above 5 ˚C, the young plant is allowed to garden.
Diseases and pests
  • Both diseases and pests rarely occur. Luckily!

Video Board: Maintaining & Pruning Shrubs : How to Care for Fatsia Japonica.

© 2019 All Rights Reserved. When Copying Materials - The Reverse Link Is Required | Site Map