How to Grow Ranunculus
Table of Contents
- Written by Holly Hughes on July 04, 2022
For a kaleidoscope of bright, voluptuous color in your garden, it’s got to be ranunculus. Though this plant requires a little extra care than other spring perennials, this attention is definitely worth it for ranunculus’ long-lasting blooms and sensationally intricate flowers.
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know to grow, care for, and enjoy this plant in a long-lasting bouquet!
What is ranunculus?
If you’ve ever seen an unusual-looking flower that you thought could be a rose, it was probably ranunculus.
A perennial plant belonging to the same family as cheery buttercups, ranunculus produces astounding flowers of many different shapes and colors, from oranges to pinks, reds to yellows, purples to purest whites.
These clustered flowers – which bear a striking resemblance to roses – are surrounded by basal foliage. Ranunculi – often known as Persian buttercups – originate from southwestern Asia, southeastern Europe (islands such as Crete, Rhodes, and Karpathos) and even northeastern Africa.
For this reason, they would be right at home in a Mediterranean-style garden (check out our guide to creating a Greek garden here!).
Flowering in the spring until the beginning of summer, ranunculi are a truly stunning addition to any flower bed, patio, or balcony container. Ranunculus blooms also make exceptional cut flowers, lasting for weeks in an arrangement.
Shop fresh bouquets from 1800Flowers to get some showstopping ranunculus delivered to your door with their Serenity Bouquet.
Or, keep reading! For everything you need to know about growing, caring for, and cutting ranunculus.
How to grow ranunculus
It is possible to grow ranunculus a variety of ways. You can grow ranunculus from seed, raise it by splitting established plants or raise them from corms. Growing them from corms – which are similar to bulbs or tubers and often described as such – is the most popular way to grow this plant.
Growing ranunculus corms
Similar to most spring-blooming plants such as peonies, daffodils, muscari, and crocuses, ranunculi do best when planted in the fall. Once you live in a mild area (USDA zones 8-11), your corms will survive the winter buried happily underground and will flower more abundantly and for longer if given this extra time to grow.
However, if living in a region that sees a lot of cold frosts, you can wait until early springtime for planting ranunculus bulbs. As soon as the threat of frosts has passed, you can plant your bulbs. The only downside to planting ranunculus in early spring is that it will cause a shorter flowering period, with the first blooms probably arriving a whole 90 days after planting.
What kind of conditions do ranunculus need to grow?
Ranunculus thrive best in full sun but can also be grown in part shade. Be conscious of this when planting your corms in either fall or spring to be sure you do so in an area that gets lots of light.
Ranunculus, like most plants, love well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter and remains moist. Remember, having well-draining soil is essential to keeping the ground moist but not waterlogged which will rot your plants.
Water only when the soil appears to be drying out when ranunculus is growing and flowering. However, once it begins to die back and go dormant, your plant will do much better if allowed to dry out over its dormant period. Again, you want your plants to be in moist – but not wet – soil when growing.
Related Post: How to Water Plants While Away
How tall do ranunculus grow?
Ranunculus height is typically about 12 inches, with dwarf varieties reaching to around 8”.
This is why they are a great plant to put at the front of a border, adding a bright but compact dash of color to a bed.
How to care for ranunculus after planting
Once you ensure your plants have enough moisture throughout their developing phase, the other main thing this plant needs is regular deadheading.
Similar to roses, these flowers flourish best with regular deadheading and pruning. Cutting back the plant’s stems to below the foliage will help to keep your ranunculus healthy and tidy.
We’ve got the ultimate rose pruning guide for you to follow here.
How to cut ranunculus flowers
Knowing how to cut ranunculus flowers is important because not only will proper cutting enable more flowers to rebloom, it will also ensure your cut buds last longer in your vase or arrangement.
To do this, you want to make sure you cut your flowers as the buds are only beginning to open (this will ensure you get longer from them in your vase). It’s also best to do this in the early morning when the buds are freshest.
Then, using a sharp and clean scissors or shears, cut each flower at the base of its stem, slightly above the plant’s crown. Put them immediately into fresh, clean water and a clean vase. For tips on how to clean your vase and prevent any bacteria from rotting your blooms early, check out this vase cleaning guide.
Related Post: How to Make your Fresh Cut Flowers Last Longer
Frequently Asked Questions about Ranunculus
Can I plant ranunculus in spring?
Yes, though the best time to plant ranunculi is in the autumn (provided you live in a warm enough area), you can also plant your corms in the spring. They just won’t bloom quite as well as fall planted corms.
Can you grow ranunculus indoors?
Yes, you can grow these plants indoors once you give them lots of bright, indirect light, keep the soil moist in their container, and also put your pot in a cool place (an east window is a good way to give your plant sun while keeping it cool). Again, ensure your soil is well-draining – a potting soil that is good quality should do quite well!
Are ranunculus cut-and-come again?
Yes, when its flowers are blooming, they work the same way as dahlias: the more blooms you cut, the more will grow again. A great excuse to cut lots of them for bouquet arrangements!
How long do ranunculus bloom?
How long these flowers bloom for depends on several factors, such as climate and the time you planted them. While the average blooming time for ranunculus is around 5 weeks, these flowers can last anywhere between 4-7 weeks. Individual flowers can last up to seven days in colder weather.
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