Update 3: September 5, 2014
I stood it up yesterday morning, packed the soil around the root ball, watered it well, and tied it to a sturdy steel post. It looks as if nothing happened.
Update 2: September 4, 2014
Update 1 is here.
We had another inch of rain last night. That is twice this week. It is unusual for Iowa in the month of September to have that much rain. It made the ground soft. On our return from a morning walk, we noticed this unfortunate sight by the house. The castor bean fell over early this morning from the rain and wind. What a sad sight.
It had been tied to a wooden stake as a precaution for this reason. That stake was too short now. It needed a strong metal fence post. I went to the back and got one. You can see it driven into the ground behind the toppled plant.
I carefully raised the bean and tied it up securely. The ground was very wet. The stalk seemed ok with no breaks or splits. The bean had been down for several hours and the leaves were still looking pretty good. I watered the ground and packed the soil down around the roots. Maybe it will be able to stay alive and growing.
What about those beans?
Here is a closeup of the top of the plant where the beans are forming. They form inside these prickly structures. Each is about an inch across without the spines. This is the female portion of the plant.
Here is a very good post from Maria F. of The Tropical Flowering Zone about the castor bean. She has some high quality pictures and information worth exploring. Consider following her blog.
I decided to do some dissecting to see how the seed development was doing inside at this time. It appeared to have a three way symmetry. I cut with a razor knife on three lines.
I hope the plant recovers from tipping over. I want to see some seeds after they mature. Come back again to see if it makes it.