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Castor oil plant can reach a height of 1-2 metres. Gives a tropical feel to any garden. The glossy leaves are 15–45 cm long, long-stalked, alternate and palmate with 5–12 deep lobes with coarsely- toothed segments. Colour varies from dark green, sometimes with a reddish tinge, to dark reddish purple or bronze.
A very attractive feature plant, ideal for the border and in creating taller groups of flowers, just check out our selection of flower seeds here, and choose your favourite or something new and unusual so you can too grow a wonderful flower garden.
The stems and the spherical, spiny seed pods also vary in pigmentation. The pods are more showy than the flowers, the male flowers are yellowish-green with prominent creamy stamens and are carried in ovoid spikes up to 15 cm long; the female flowers, borne at the tips of the spikes, have prominent red stigmas. And even the seeds are very pretty. This variety, IMPALA, has red stems, copper red leaves, yellow flowers and attractive red seed pods.
ALL PARTS ARE POISONOUS
Sow the Castor flower seeds (Castor beans some gardeners call them), inside in April, or outside from late May, 2-3 cm deep in individual pots, in compost. For best results keep the seeds at a temperature of 25 Celsius and above. Use an electric propagator if you can, or a greenhouse. Sowing the seeds in unheated greenhouse is okay in middle of May onwards.
Remember this is a tropical plant so the seeds need plenty of heat to germinate. Make sure the compost is moist but avoid too much water. If you water them too much rotting can be a problem as these flower seeds are quite large and larger seeds are tend to rot easily if the conditions are humid which can be the case often in the greenhouse. Keep inside, germination can be slow, soaking the seeds overnight can speed up germination, however it is not necessary. Transplant into final position when 20-30 cm, prefers sunny position and rich soil.