Castor Oil Plant from seed
A friend of mine brought back a castor oil plant seed from her mediteranean holiday and planted it in a pot indoors. It has grown very healthily but never has more than 4 or 5 leaves at a time as it loses the oldest leaf when the new leaf grows.
My friend nipped out the growing tip to try to encourage it to bush out but that didn't work. It is now about 30 cms high with 3 large leaves at the top of a thin stem and a new leaf coming.
Any suggestions as to what we can do?
What sort of castor oil plant (that name is used for a couple of different ones). Is it a ricinus (reddish stem, big maple-shaped leaves, very poisonous?) If so.... I planted mine out in the garden last weekend. I've grown them for a few years, and what I know is that they (a) are very very hungry - need lots of food and lots of space to grow; (b) look a bit weedy to begin with, but stake them and they suddenly shoot up and turn into 6 foot monsters; (c) get very heavy, so your stakes need to be big strong ones; (d) look absolutely fabulous, really tropical and exotic. So I would say: if you can, and if you live in the south, plant it outside now; if not, then make sure it has a really big pot and lots and lots of rich compost. Add plant food. Add a stake. Give it light. Then stand back and watch it grow!
Good luck and let us know how you get on...