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Ricinus Communis (Castor Oil Plant) in the UK?

Isle of Wight, United Kingdom Gb

I bought 3 of these last year and have overwintered them in my greenhouse which isn't heated.
I have been doing some further reading about these plants and it would appear that they only grow as annuals in this country, is this true? Have any members in the UK managed to get them to re-grow?

On plant Ricinus communis



i've never tried to over winter them as i understood them to be annuals. technically if they are perenial and if they havent got too cold you may be lucky. i'd be interested to find out.

2 Mar, 2009


Yes. I lift them and cut them back and move them into the conservatory in pots in October. They are basically perennial. I move them into the cold greenhouse in April and plant out again mid May. No problem if you know what you are doing.


2 Mar, 2009


They are very poisonous too, so watch out if you trim them or have hungry children!! Ricin is made from it (remember the Japanese subway attack?)

5 Mar, 2009


Thanks volunteer, i did know that. I did plan to plant them in the middle of a border where they would be difficult to get to for anyone. I think I may have lost them, but I will water them and put them outside when things warm up, now I know what to do to keep them alive I will give them another try next year

5 Mar, 2009


Hi, I'm new here but I wanted to comment on something Volunteer posted.

The Japanese subway attack used a nerve gas called sarin not ricin.

I'm convinced some newspaper first made this mistake because it is very common.

Ricin is very poisonous but very difficult to administer. You'll see lots of it growing in municipal flower beds.

To answer the question, I've never known anyone keep them over the winter but then again I've never tried because I've always taken them to be annuals in this climate.

29 Mar, 2009


Hi.My Caster oil plant was planted in my front garden (North facing) in 1993. It has continued to grow and is beautiful. It has been subject to many frosts and a large amount of snow this year, but nothing seems to have effected it. I haven't pruned it back at all, but am going to have to do this now as it has grown so big ! I love it so much I want to get another for my back garden. Hope this helps.

29 Mar, 2009

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