|Ranunculus Asiaticus or Persian Buttercups.|
Choosing Ranunculus Tubers
Planting Ranunculus TubersPlant tubers with the top of the banana bunch up (or claw-side down), in well-drained soil, in full sun in late September or October (before the first frost). Some people recommend pre-soaking the tubers in water before planting, but I do not think this is necessary as the tubers will become moist when they are watered after planting. Ranunculus tubers can also rot easily, so they should never be planted in a place where standing water has been observed.
|Ranunculus plants in Mid-December (3rd row from the front).|
Tubers can be planted directly in the winter flower bed or in pots.
Planting them near the foundation of the house is a good idea because this location provides a degree of wind protection for blossoms.
If your flower bed is still occupied by summer/fall annuals, you can just pre-plant the ranunculus tubers as transplants in large flower pots or planter boxes. After the first frost kills the annuals (usually late October or early November), you can move the transplants into the now open flower bed. I also have ranunculus's that have been left in my flower beds for over 3 years now. They just begin to sprout in the fall from the tubers that went dormant in the late spring. So, as I am cleaning out the annuals that were just killed by the first frost, I am delighted to see the green parsley-like foliage of ranunculus sprouting in the flower bed.
When the ranunculus tubers have sprouted several leaves, they are large enough to transplant. Transplant them on a warmer day. A dinner fork makes an excellent transplanting tool. Place the fork 2” or more from the base of the sprouted ranunculus and sink it straight down into the soil and lift the transplant out of the ground. Plant the transplants to the same depth as they were planted in the planter box in well-drained soil in full sun at least 8” apart. Water after transplanting.
|Orange Ranunculus bloom and bud.|
The blossoms remind me of poppies but with more petals. The blossoms are long-lasting and durable.
|White Ranunculus blooms and buds|
Ranunculus make great cut flowers as the stems are long and strong and the blooms can remain colorful and upright for as long as seven days.
Ranunculus blossoms are also highly prized for beautiful wedding bouquets.
Planting Ranunculus with other Winter Flowers
|Winter flower bed. From the front: pansies, dianthus, ranunculus.|
When the Ranunculus Stop Blooming
Most gardeners will just treat the ranunculus's as annuals and pull the plants up after they have finished blooming. Other gardeners will pull up the plant after it has dried up and cut the foliage from the tuber and save the tuber in a cool, dark place for planting again next fall. If you are lucky enough to have well-drained soil that can sustain the tubers throughout the year, then you can leave them in the soil as I do and enjoy them as perennials every year.
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