Castor bean Seed floating?

I usually harvest my castor bean seed each year but this year they don't seem to be any good. They didn't pop in the bag over the winter and when I separated them manually, they floated on top of the water for more that a day. After two weeks no germination. I just bought a package of seed at a nursery today. They float on top or the water too. My question is: do Castor been seed always go the the bottom right away or could they still be viable if it takes 24 hours for them to sink?
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Some of my seeds did germinate even though it took a day or more to sink in the float test. So I answered my own question. LOL
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wrote:

Hi Ben,
I was hoping you would get some useful answers...
I've searched both online and through my reference library, which is pretty good on this in the past. I've tried sanding, nicking, soaking, cracking, shallow, deep, wet paper towels... with much the same success as you have stated. The best I can come up with is that they (Castor Beans) have dismal germination rates. Some seeds are like that I understand. I found only a couple references/suggestions. One was sanding the coating thinner and another was soaking them.
It is also a possibility that there is something wrong with the seeds, even though they appear to be mature/okay. However store bought seed and saved seed are about equal in success/failure. The Castor Oil plant is of African origin, so maybe it likes hotter,drier conditions or something else common from there.
I know that they are grown commercially for their oil, so I would think there would be some publications or hints on getting them to germinate with some consistency. If you ever find any good info/help, keep me in mind :)
That last couple of years I had any they were all volunteers. All of my seeding attempts failed, using the same seed that the volunteers most likely sprung up from.
I just like to have 2 or 3 plants as an interesting ornamental. Once they start growing they are pretty much bomb proof other than frost.
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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I usually start them in jiffy7's. It's fun to see the roots seach for water until I put them into a pot. They're montrous almost violent almost like a plant in a horror movie taking over the house.
but you are right about it being difficult to germinate. I've had quit a few germinate a year late in old Jiffy's when I use them for different seed. No other plant of course have a chance of surviving in a jiffy 7 with a Castor bean seedling.
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