How to Grow Castor Bean Seeds


Castor bean (Ricinus) is a tropical shrub with shiny, greenish-purple, burgundy or striped leaves and small yellow, pink or red flowers. The castor bean plant is evergreen in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11, and is grown as an annual in all other locations. It can reach heights of up to 40 feet in frost-free regions, but generally grows between 3 and 12 feet tall. All parts of the castor bean plant are poisonous, but the seeds are especially dangerous.

Step 1

Prepare the castor bean seeds for planting. Soak them in a container of water for 24 hours.

Step 2

Fill small planting containers three-fourths of the way with potting soil. Plant the castor bean seeds 1 inch deep and water thoroughly. Continue to water anytime the soil no longer feels moist to the touch.

Step 3

Choose a planting location in your yard or garden. Remove all grass, weeds and small rocks with a garden spade.

Step 4

Plant the seedlings at the same depth as they were growing in their containers. Leave 2 to 3 feet between each plant to allow room for growth. Water until the soil is very moist, but not soggy.

Step 5

Add a 2-inch layer of manure around the seedlings. Continue to water whenever the top inch of soil no longer sticks to your finger.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not grow this plant in an area where children or animals play, as the seeds can be fatal if ingested.

Things You'll Need

  • Planting containers
  • Potting soil
  • Garden spade
  • Manure


  • University of Illinois Extension: Castor Bean
  • Floridata: Ricinus Communis
  • Backyard Gardener: Castor Bean
Keywords: castor bean seeds, castor bean plant, plant castor beans, ricinus, grow castor bean

About this Author

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman, and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.