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castor oil plant

lindyloo2lindyloo2 Posts: 2

Does anyone know what I need to do with my castor oil plants now? They have grown to approx 7ft and I'm not sure if I am suppossed to cut them down and let them regrow or pull them out and dispose of them.



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,041

    Castor Oil plants are hardy in the UK and live for years.  Leave it alone and it will put on more growth next year.

     If it's getting too big you could do some pruning in the spring to re-shape it.

     If you want some guidance as to how to do that , you could post some pictures of it on here and we'll try to make some helpful suggestions. image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,172

    Have you got these in a heated greenhouse? If not they'll cut themselves back when the frosts come and you won't see them again. You can save seed then put them on the compost heap. (Don't eat them) They're easy to grow as annuals. If you want a particular colour variety you can buy a packet of seeds in the colour you want.


    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,172

    Are we talking about ricinus or fatsia here. If it's fatsia ignore my comments

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,041

    I assumed fatsia - if ricinus ignore me instead image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • lol Lindyloo2! Both pieces of advice above are correct but they are for two different plants! I believe you have Ricinus communis aka Castor oil plant and therefore should take nutcutlet's advice. However if you have Fatsia japonica aka Castor oil plant then take Dovefromabove's advice. image

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    The true Castor Oil plant, Ricinus communis, is NOT generally hardy in our climate. It will not survive our Winters.

    The plant is actually a perennial, and in warm climates will grow into a small tree. I don't know whether it will survive outdoors in milder parts of the country. Most people who grow this plant in the UK treat it as an annual, and grow it from seed each year.

    You might be able to overwinter one, by putting it in a pot, and overwintering in a heated greenhouse or conservatory.

    There is also another plant that is sometimes confused with Castor Oil plant. That is Fatsia japonica, a shrub, with large glossy green leaves. From the wording of the original question, that the plant has grown to 7 feet, presumably in one season, it would suggest that this is Ricinus.

  • Oh, this thread has made me smile and demonstrated why we use Latin name for plants!! image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,041

    Yes image I may be wrong this timeimage - but I was right when I argued the case for latin names on an earlier thread LOL 

    And the Fatsia Japonica that we had did grow huge very quickly!!!

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thank you for all your comments! It is a ricinus,so I will take on board all advice given. Thanks again folks.image

  • SwissSueSwissSue Posts: 1,447

    Can I point out that the recinus seeds are extremely poisonous, make sure no kids get hold of them!

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