I am sending this letter to my gardening friends. If you would like to have some seeds, please leave me a comment with your email and I will get your address and send you some.
Dear Gardening Friends:
We are in the middle of a Shelter in Place order here in Texas due to the corona virus so I wanted to bring a smile to your face this spring. I am enclosing seeds from my very prolific castor bean plants for you to plant in your garden. I am thankful that our house has a small garden to play in, helps me keep my sanity.
The black, larger seeds are the green variety in the picture above left. They are even taller now (maybe 30 feet) than in this picture, but we didn’t have a winter freeze the past two winters. When I grew them as an annual in Kansas, they easily reached 15 feet tall. The stems and branches are thick but lightweight making pruning and handling easy. They have a large green seed pod. The speckled seeds are the red leafed variety in the right picture. They don’t grow as tall as the green ones and have no flower but the attractive red seed pod. The ones in the picture are about 10 feet tall.
Plant directly in the ground where you want them to grow; they don’t transplant very well. The picture of the green variety above is just six plants. Plant them a couple feet apart and they will fill in nicely. The red variety makes an attractive see-through screen. Plant them about a foot apart. Both stand up well to the wind we have here in south Texas. Keep moist until the seedlings emerge. After that, they require very little water; it never rains here and I don’t water them.
IMPORTANT! The seeds and all parts of the plant are poisonous. They are where castor oil comes from and also the poison Ricin. Dogs and cats will not eat them but keep away from kids. I have grown them for years and never had a problem. Handling them is no problem, no need for gloves.
Once you successfully grow them, you will have more than enough seeds to keep you in stock and pass along to your friends. I am going to post on the blog too so tell your friends and I will send them some too.