Castor oil plant: growing from seeds when planted at home
This beautiful thermophilic plant has long taken root in various regions of Russia, although it came from the subtropics of Africa back in ancient times. There is evidence that its seeds were discovered by archaeologists during the excavation of the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs.
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In appearance, it resembles an exotic palm tree with large palmate leaves, similar to maple leaves, with a thick tubular trunk.
Now this annual is so acclimatized in Russia that it can grow in the territories from Siberia to the Krasnodar Territory. The features of varieties, seed preparation, planting seedlings and growing castor oil plants are described in this article.
Castor bean variety, which is better to choose
The spread of the "northern palm" in the vast territory of the European part of Russia and its popularity among gardeners is due to the fact that it is unusually beautiful and attractive. Her tall varieties look like exotic palm trees, decorative - perfectly in harmony with different colors.
Experience shows that this “African beauty” looks best if it is placed, for example, in the middle of a flower bed or lawn, in some secluded corner. Mass plantings are not recommended because they look like thickets.
To make the site look harmonious, select the varieties you need. Of all the variety, the ones indicated in this table are more popular.
Table. Brief characteristics of the varieties
|Zanzibar||Height not more than 2 meters, leaves are large, with notches, purple with a reddish tint|
|Cossack||Extremely decorative, green leaves look good in combination with red shoots|
|Impala||Medium-sized plant (2-2.5 m), leaves bright red with a bronze tint|
|Tree of paradise||Height up to 2 meters, green leaves with a reddish tint, bright inflorescences|
|Bourbon||Height is up to 3 meters, the leaf in the center is green, the edges are burgundy|
|Northern palm||Cold-resistant variety, zoned for the Trans-Urals and Altai Territory, the color of leaves is deep green, height up to 4 meters|
|Cambodian||Tall, reaches 5-6 meters, leaves and stems are painted in richly brown and black tones|
|Gibson||Height up to 4 meters, leaf color - metallic red|
In fact, there are many different varieties of castor oil plants, including those intended for industrial purposes. After all, its seeds are a source of castor oil, which is extracted using special technologies. It is no coincidence that it has other names in use: “castor oil”, “Turkish hemp”, “paradise tree”. But do not try to get oil at home - this is possible only in the laboratory using a number of pesticides.
It should be remembered that castor oil contains the toxic substance ricin, which can cause severe poisoning. Therefore, you should not plant it where contact with children or animals is possible.
How to determine the time of sowing castor oil
Castor oil plant is grown with seedlings, followed by transplantation into open ground. For sowing, you need to choose the optimal period for the region in the last decade of March - the first half of April. There is a belief that the most suitable time for this is the phase of the "growing" moon.
When to plant depending on the region
More precise dates for the start of sowing in the regions of Russia:
- Moscow and Moscow region: planting seeds - in April, in gardens - in late May - early June;
- Leningrad region: planting seeds for seedlings - in late March - early April, in gardens - in early June.
- Ural: sowing is carried out in March, seedlings are transferred to the soil with the onset of stable temperatures + 20-22 degrees;
- Siberia: so that the shoots do not stretch before the onset of heat, it is better to sow in late April, and move them to the ground in mid-June;
- Middle lane: The optimum sowing period is April, and the time for planting in the soil is in late May - early June.
- Krasnodar region: it is more rational to sow in March, and planting in the ground at the end of April. Given the warm climate of the southern regions, castor oil can be planted immediately in open ground.
Experienced gardeners are advised not to rush into sowing, focus on weather forecasts. In the case of a prolonged cold spring, the seedlings stretch, weaken, and in general can die.
In the southern regions, crops are sometimes produced even earlier, especially for the further cultivation of castor oil in indoor galleries and conservatories.
When to sow castor oil for seedlings in 2020 according to the lunar calendar
The lunar calendar is compiled on the basis of long-term observations and will be accepted, so experienced gardeners and gardeners try not to neglect his advice.
LONG TIME NOTE: this on auspicious days and you will be with the harvest!
Most suitable for sowing is the period of the "growing moon". But in the days of the Full Moon and New Moon, landing is generally not recommended. These recommendations apply to all garden and garden plants, and castor oil plants too.
What does the 2020 calendar advise us?
Favorable days for casting castor oil plants in 2020, depending on the month
Favorable for planting annual and perennial flowers (including castor oil plants) in 2020 are the following days:
- January – 11, 12, 15, 19, 24;
- February – 4, 5, 6, 22, 28, 30;
- March – 5, 7,10, 11, 13, 18, 19, 25, 27;
- April – 2, 5, 6, 15, 17, 25, 26, 30;
- May – 2, 4, 6, 7, 12, 22, 23, 28, 29
The days are considered “bad” and even forbidden for planting and transplanting:
- January – 10, 25;
- February – 9, 23;
- March – 9, 24;
- April – 8, 23;
- May – 7, 22.
How to prepare planting material for sowing
Castor bean seeds are similar to beans, and a little like ticks, hence their name. They are in a solid oily shell, with characteristic spots on the surface. On the plant itself, they are in round green inflorescences that burst as they mature and throw them to the ground. You can use them for landing, but it is better to buy in a store. And that's why.
In the store you buy already sorted, tested and decontaminated planting material. If you want to sow the seeds collected in the garden, you will have to disinfect them.
HOW TO DO IT? Pour clean water into a cup, make a weak solution of potassium permanganate and place the seeds there for 20-30 minutes. Then wash them in boiled water.
And now about the procedure that you just need to do if you want to get quick shoots. It is called Scarification. It consists in the fact that you need to take each seed and rub it on the emery cloth to erase the hard shell. After this, the seeds should be put in a container with a solution of growth stimulant (you can take heteroauxin or epin). This will help them “hatch” faster.
How to choose a capacity for landing
Before sowing in a container, you need to understand that castor oil does not like picking. This means that under it it is better to take peat pots or plastic containers about 1 liter in size so that the plant develops freely until it is transplanted into the ground. Sometimes in a pot it can reach a height of up to 1 meter.
Do not forget to put drainage on the bottom of the pot - gravel or expanded clay. So the young shoots will be easier to “breathe”, and the moisture will not stagnate.
Planting castor seeds by seeds step by step
Sowing is carried out in the following sequence:
- pour soil into a container for 2/3 of the volume;
- moisten the soil;
- slightly compact the soil with a spatula;
- put 2-3 seeds at a distance from each other;
- pour on top a layer of soil 2-3 cm;
- water abundantly;
- cover the pot with foil;
- put in a warm place (20-22 degrees).
What depth to plant
Since the seeds are in a hard shell, quick seedlings should not be expected from them, despite the scarification. Therefore, they need to be deepened during planting very moderately - by 2-3 cm. When the seedlings sprout, it is better to add soil so that the plants do not stretch.
How to plant castor oil in peat tablets
Planting seeds in peat tablets is a reliable and practical way. The obvious benefit of this method is that you do not need to prepare and fertilize the soil. The tablets have everything you need for plant growth, but you need to choose them correctly. They should be designed specifically for flowers, have a moisture capacity and breathability, have a biocomplex of mineral fertilizers with antibacterial protection.
The procedure for planting in peat tablets:
- put the tablets in a plastic container;
- pour warm water at the bottom of the container at the rate of 25 ml per 1 tablet;
- wait until the tablets swell and increase in volume;
- put the seeds in the recess in the tablet;
- close the container with a lid or foil and put in a warm place.
IMPORTANT! When shoots appear, you need to open the container in time and put it under the lamp. Make sure that the seedlings do not rest on the lid of the container, otherwise they may “lock”!
How to care for castor seedlings, what tricks?
As experience shows, castor oil is unpretentious and does not require special care. Both in the early stage of development and in adulthood, the main thing for this culture is warm and plentiful watering.
When the seedlings grow a little, you need to leave the strongest shoot, and carefully cut the rest with scissors. For top dressing, complexes of mineral fertilizers with a content of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, as well as trace elements (iron, zinc, boron, etc.) should be used.
Dive and transplant young shoots very carefully so as not to damage the root system. If seedlings grow in peat pots, it should be planted directly in them. From plastic containers, the sprout, along with the soil, is better to carefully transfer to the soil.
An adult plant requires abundant watering (2-3 buckets of water) every 4-5 days. In this case, water stagnation must not be allowed. The surface of the hole must be regularly loosened so that a crust does not form.
Is it possible to sow seeds immediately in open ground?
Landing in open ground is advisable only in the southern regions, when the soil warms up to +12 degrees. In the Urals, in Siberia and in the middle lane, seedlings run the risk of getting frozen and dying. It is better to wait for stable high air temperatures, and then the "northern palm" will quickly grow.
Before planting, the soil should be loosened and fertilized, make holes 1-1.5 cm deep. Put 2-3 seeds in each hole, water abundantly and cover with a thin layer of earth. Before emergence shoots cover a bed with a greenhouse film.
When and how to plant seedlings in open ground
It must be remembered that castor oil plant is a southern plant, very thermophilic. Therefore, it is possible to transfer seedlings to the garden only when stable air temperatures + 13-15 degrees are reached.
REMEMBER: castor oil dies even with small frosts!
It is better to place this culture in the garden on the south side of the house or fence, where there is most of the sun. It is possible near the house, it is believed that it repels flies. The soil must first be prepared: to add humus, peat, humus. Clay soil can be “lightened” with sand and compost.
The procedure for planting seedlings in the soil:
- Dig a hole to fit the root system;
- make mineral fertilizers (nitrophosphate) in the amount of 30-40 grams;
- carefully place the seedling in the hole to a depth of 8-10 cm;
- fill the hole with earth and make a roller around the perimeter;
- water the plant plentifully;
- After absorbing moisture, mulch the trunk circle with peat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Consider what issues may arise when growing castor oil plants.
What soil to buy for growing seedlings?
An ordinary floral one will do. Remember the main thing: it should be light, loose and nutritious. You can prepare the soil mixture yourself by adding peat, humus, turf and garden soil, sand in equal proportions. In this case, it will have to be disinfected by holding it in the oven for half an hour at a temperature of 200 degrees.
How can seeds be stimulated for further growth?
Any growth stimulator is suitable for annual crops, for example Biostin, Kornevin, Rastimaks, Novosil, etc.
Why don't seeds germinate?
They may not germinate in several cases:
- turned out to be of poor quality;
- their scarification has not been carried out;
- air temperature is not high enough;
- weak and irregular watering.
Why soak the seeds?
In a humid environment, their hard shell softens, which contributes to faster seedlings.
How to harden seedlings?
For hardening it for a short time (1.5-2 hours) is carried out in a cool room (+ 15-16 degrees).
What to do if seedlings do not grow?
To prevent this from happening, you need to re-read this article carefully and follow all the recommendations. Good luck to you!
Depending on the variety, Castor bean can have different colors: from green to purple, red, brown and even black. One thing is certain - it will always be an adornment of a garden plot, lawn, flowerbed.