Ranunculus flowers look almost too perfect to be real. Their rose-like blossoms feature layer upon layer of tissue-thin petals, in colors that range from cream and pale yellow to apricot, pink, orange, red and burgundy. Though not often seen in home gardens, the exquisite flowers of ranunculus are a staple in high-end flower shops and wedding bouquets.
If you're a fan of ranunculus, why not try growing them yourself? The corms can be planted in containers or in the garden so you can enjoy these beautiful blooms both indoors and out.
When you compare two ranunculus corms side by side, it’s easy to see differences in quality. Larger corms contain more stored food energy and will support a stronger plant with more flowers. Longfield Gardens supplies 6/7 cm ranunculus corms (shown at far left) so you can enjoy the biggest, brightest blooms.
Sun and Shade: Ranunculus should be grown in full sun. The plants dislike heat and hot temperatures, but they need lots of bright light every day.
Hardiness Zone: In growing zones 8-10, ranunculus corms are planted in fall for spring flowers. In zones 4-7, ranunculus will not survive the winter outdoors. The corms should be treated as annuals and planted in spring for late summer flowers. To find your growing zone click HERE.
Soil Conditions: For best results, plant the corms in light, well-drained soil. Avoid soil that stays wet as the corm and roots can rot. If you are growing ranunculus in containers, use a high quality, soil-less growing mix.
Ranunculus are cool season flowers that grow best in spring-like temperatures of about 55°F. In warm climates (zones 8-10), the corms are usually planted in the fall for spring blooms. Plant ranunculus in beds and borders, cutting gardens and containers. The plants are good companions for other spring flowers such as primroses, pansies and larkspur.
In climates where ranunculus are not winter hardy (zones 4-7), the corms are usually planted in spring for flowers in late summer. In these areas, the most reliable way to grow ranunculus is to plant them in containers rather than in the garden. This helps to ensure proper drainage, and once the plants come into bloom, it's easy to move them around so they get noticed.
Flower farmers and other commercial growers usually grow ranunculus in a greenhouse. This lets them control both high and low temperatures, and produce flawless blossoms for their wholesale customers. When ranunculus are grown under cover, the bulbs are typically planted in fall for flowers in late winter or early spring.
To learn more, read Cut Flower Favorites: Freesia and Ranunculus.
Depth and Spacing: Plant the corms 4” apart and 2” deep with the claw side down.
Planting Tips: When they are dormant, ranunculus corms are hard and dry. To help them get started more easily, you can soak the corms immediately before you plant them. Set them in a bowl of room-temperature water for 3-4 hours (no longer!).
Ranunculus typically bloom about 90 days after planting. You can expect flowering to continue for 4 to 6 weeks.
In good growing conditions, each ranunculus plant develops a large root ball. Be sure to allow plenty of space for the roots so the plants can get reach their full potential.
For long-lasting bouquets, ranunculus flowers should be cut when they first begin to show color.
Ranunculus are winter hardy in zones 8-10. To encourage them to come back a second year, make sure to plant them in very well drained soil. Keep in mind that these plants do not like hot weather. The relatively cool coastal conditions of Southern California are ideal.
In colder areas (zones 4-7) or where growing conditions are less than ideal, ranunculus are usually treated as annuals, with fresh bulbs planted each spring.
You may also be interested in reading: Cut Flower Favorites: Freesia and Ranunculus.