Castor bean

Ricinus communis 'Carmencita'

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
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Castor bean (Ricinus communis 'Carmencita')
RY-sin-us kom-YEW-nis
Genus:  Ricinus
'Carmencita' castor bean is a shrub, usually grown as an annual, that grows to 6 to 10 feet and is well branched, with dark bronze-red foliage and bright red female flowers. Grow in a cool greenhouse or use as a specimen foliage plant in the summer outdoors.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  All parts are highly toxic if ingested, particularly the seeds.
Care:  Needs rich, well-drained soil in full sun to perform well. Stake in exposed sites. Under glass, grow in full light and water freely, except in winter.
Propagation:  Soak seed for 24 hours before sowing in late spring, in pots at 70°F. Plant out or pot on into larger pots before they become root-bound to prevent premature flower production. Plant in the garden after the threat of frost has passed.
Problems:  Spider mites, gray mold, seedling blight, charcoal rot, bacterial wilt, bacterial leaf spot.

Overview

Height
6 ft. to 10 ft.
Growth Pace
Fast Grower
Light
Full Sun Only
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Showy Foliage
Bloom Time
Summer
Flower Color
Red
Foliage Color
Colorful/Burgundy Foliage
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Container,
Indoor Plant,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point,
Suitable as Annual
Seasonal Interest
Summer Interest
Type
Shrubs

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