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Castor Bean Plants

Q.castor bean plant safe in compost?

Zone 87507 | sobadores added on October 8, 2017 | Answered

is it safe to put the remains of a castor bean plant in my compost? will it kill off the worms and other microbes or will the poisonous parts decompose and be safe to use?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 8, 2017

Ricin, which is the chemical culprit responsible for the plants toxicity, will break down at around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. this being said, if your compost pile is properly maintained and large enough then you will have no problem composting the plant. If you are concerned that the temperature will not reach 140 in your pile then I would stay away from composting it.

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Answered on October 9, 2017

thank you; do you take the temperature of the compost deep in the center or at the bottom to determine the temperature?

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