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?
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.
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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