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The Plant Guide

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Castor bean

Ricinus communis 'Carmencita'

RY-sin-us kom-YEW-nis

'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 CharacteristicsAll parts are highly toxic if ingested, particularly the seeds.

CareNeeds 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.

PropagationSoak 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.

ProblemsSpider mites, gray mold, seedling blight, charcoal rot, bacterial wilt, bacterial leaf spot.

  • Genus : Ricinus
  • Zones : 11
  • Plant Height : 6 to 10 feet
  • Uses : Containers
  • Growth Rate : Fast
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Flower Color : Red
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Bloom Time : Summer
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
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