castor bean’s deadly attraction

Botanical Interests castor bean seeds
Botanical Interests castor bean seeds

In planning next year’s garden I need to prioritize what can be started from seeds and what should be bought as starts. I have no growing beds, no lamps and only a small plastic greenhouse without a heater that lets me take advantage of the very early season sales of things like herbs, tomatoes and the like. It would also be a wonderful place to grow radishes and cold weather greens.

Two of the things I would love to try next year are castor beans (ricinus communist) and  Brazilian verbena (v. bonariensis). The verbena I hope will soon be available in flats as it becomes more popular, for now I will try to grow it from seeds (half of them sown now the other half after the last frost). I have seen how well it can perform in Utah with little water and despite its tendency to reseed itself it will be a welcome addition to our garden.

image credit: Park Seed co.
image credit: Park Seed co.

The castor bean on the other end I wonder about, not because of its extreme toxicity but for its water needs. It would be reasonably easy to start from seeds at home, but is it water wise? will it require constant vigilance with the watering can? Is our climate really suited to such a plant? I need to speak to someone about this but who… will it be analysis paralysis or simply blind faith?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s