|Castor Bean Plant|
But here in Minnesota, they make beautiful and unique tropical plants that die back every fall (funny how that works).
I especially love this red leaf variety that I have been growing in my tropical garden for a few years now.
I first received seeds for this plant in a trade, and have been collecting them every year since.
|Castor Bean Seed Pods|
It's easy to collect the seeds once they are ready.
The seed pods will start to fade and eventually turn brown.
Allow the seed pods dry on the plant.
After a while they will start to split open, which is a sure sign the seeds are ready to be collected.
|Dried Castor Bean Seed Pods|
Remove the pods from the plant and break them open to remove the seeds, there are three seeds per seed pod.
Sometimes not all the seeds in the pod are large enough to keep.
Discard any pods or seeds that are small, they won't be mature enough to germinate.
It's best to wait to collect the seeds until the pods break open, but with our short summers, most of the pods I collect aren't open.
|Castor Bean Seeds|
Don't worry about collecting the castor bean seeds before frost, I usually don't get around to it until after a hard freeze, and I haven't had problems. Allow the seeds to dry completely before storing them for the winter.
Ideally, castor bean seeds should be stored in a dark, dry place until spring. (Read more about general seed storage tips.) It's important to note that all parts of the castor bean plant are poisonous, so be sure to keep the seeds and seed pods out of reach of children and pets at all times.