How to Germinate Castor Beans


The castor bean plant--also written castorbean--is typically grown for its oil, which is derived from the seeds (beans) and is used in soaps, lubricants and hydraulic fluids, just to name a few. It is also sometimes grown as an ornamental plant. The castor bean plant is a perennial that grows well in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 11, but in cooler zones, it is grown as an annual. You can plant castor beans in the spring, after the last frost, usually around April to May, depending on your climate. The castor bean plant is attractive, but it is extremely toxic if eaten.

Step 1

Turn over your garden bed with a hoe or tiller to a depth of about 3 to 6 inches.

Step 2

Water the soil with about 3 inches of water. Water slowly, so the water seeps in as you are watering.

Step 3

Plant your seeds 1 1/2 to 3 inches deep and about 2 inches apart. Later, when the plants have grown, you will thin the weakest plants out, so the remaining plants are about 8 to 12 inches apart. Separate rows 38 to 40 inches apart.

Step 4

Keep the soil moist until germination, which usually takes about 10 to 21 days after planting.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not eat any part of this poisonous plant, and keep it away from children and animals.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe or tiller
  • Water
  • Gloves


  • Perdue University: Castorbeans
  • Ricinus Communis
Keywords: germinate castor beans, castorbean plants, plant castor beans

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with the script, "Homecoming," currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.