All parts of Ricinus communis are highly toxic so it’s very important to wear gloves when handling – it can irritate skin and eyes. Water plants regularly and feed with a liquid fertiliser every month. Plants are generally fast growing – Ricinus communis reaches 8-12m in height in tropical climes, but in a British garden, it is much smaller. Plants may need staking. Deadhead flowers if you don’t want to collect the seed. At the end of the season, discard plants on the compost heap, or move plants to a covered area under glass to grow on as a conservatory shrub.
Grow in humus-rich, fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full/ part sun. Choose a warm position sheltered from cold winds and give a deep winter mulch. In hard frosts lift the rhizomes and store somewhere dry until spring.An alternative is to grow it in a large container on a warm, sunny patio and to overwinter indoors or under glass.