How to Harvest Castor Beans


The castor bean plant (Ricinus communis) is an ornamental plant prized for its colorful flowers and glossy foliage. Though castor beans can sometimes be purchased as started seedlings, growing castor beans from seeds is often cheaper. Collect the beans from a mature castor bean plant for future sowing. Each plant produces a profusion of seed pods that can be harvested as soon as the plant dies.

Step 1

Wait until the castor bean plant is dead and all of the plant's leaves have fallen off.

Step 2

Inspect the dry bean pods. Choose plump pods. Small pods or those that are shriveled or twisted in appearance should be discarded.

Step 3

Grab a pod and pull it away from the plant in a downward motion. The pod will break off.

Step 4

Hold the pod over a container or envelope and break it apart to release the beans inside. Seal the envelope or container and store it in an area that's not accessible by pets or children.

Step 5

Wash your hands and arms thoroughly to remove any castor bean particles on your body.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Container or envelope


  • "Tropical Flowering Plants: A Guide to Identification and Cultivation"; Kirsten Llamas; 2003
  • Palomar Community College: Castor Bean Plants
  • Nova Scotia Museum: Castor Bean
Keywords: harvest castor beans, pick castor beans, castor bean seeds

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.