Flowers Gardens and Outdoors Plants

How to Grow and Care for Ranunculus (Buttercup) Flowers

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Ranunculus plants are known for their brilliant multi-petaled flowers that show off a rosette shape. The double-ruffled petals come in multiple shades of pink, purple, yellow, white, and red. If you’re looking to grow ranunculus plants, it’s important to keep in mind some essential aspects of growing and caring for these flowers. Ranunculus is not a particularly hardy plant and has a high sensitivity to cold temperatures. It’s recommended for outdoor planting only in hardiness zones 8 to 11.

1. Planting the Buttercup Bulbs

Planting these gorgeous flowers outdoors has to be done in the fall season, assuming you live in warm climates. Gardeners in colder regions should probably consider delaying the planting to early spring when there’s no longer any frost threat. You can start ranunculus indoors and blooms can take around 3 months to emerge. It’s recommended to use corms when planting this flower. They can be found at many nurseries. Ranunculus flowering lasts for around seven weeks.

For best results, always plant ranunculus bulbs 4 inches apart. It’s also a good idea to soak the corms before planting so your ranunculus has more chances to grow as expected. When selecting a spot in your garden, consider the beauty of these flowers and how to best integrate them with the surrounding plants. Ranunculus flowers can work nicely in borders but they also seem to belong in wildflower fields. The thick rosettes of these plants can be used for stunning floral arrangements as they last for around 7 days.

2. Growing Requirements

When it comes to ranunculus growing requirements, there are few details that you should be aware of. These plants should be grown in full sun and make sure the claw end is pointing down. Ideally, soils should be loamy and well-drained but heavy soils can be amended to create a more hospitable environment. Ranunculus is a good example of a plant that can take great advantage of using raised beds. A layer of compost is recommended for the planting area. Mulching could be necessary depending on your climate while fertilizer should be used sparingly considering how these flowers are so delicate.

In terms of water needs, ranunculus plants don’t need a lot of moisture once they’re properly established. Bulbs can benefit from soaking before planting but it’s not always required. Some gardeners choose to avoid this step to prevent the development of diseases. Ranunculus flowers are best grown in cool weather where temperatures don’t fluctuate a lot from around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. That doesn’t mean that it cannot adapt to warmer environments. It’s just likelier for your ranunculus plants to perform poorly in areas with very hot summers.

Growing ranunculus in containers could be an alternative solution in case you’re having issues with the plant. As a potted plant, it will be generally easier to help this flower thrive. Gardeners in temperate climates will usually only have the option of indoor container planting to grow ranunculus. With good drainage and high-quality soil, ranunculus flowers can reward you with their beautiful blooms. They’re reliable as specimen plants.

3. Recommended Varieties

There are a few ranunculus varieties you can try to get a more customized look for your garden. The most popular types of ranunculus that you will find at nurseries are ‘Bloomingdale’ and ‘Tecolote’. The latter are highly appreciated for their larger flowers. Some of the best ‘Tecolote’ varieties to watch out for are ‘Flamenco’, ‘Merlot’, and ‘Café’.

Ranunculus ‘Venere’ is a stand-out variety that boasts dainty pink-coral flowers. ‘Purple Picotee’ offers a delightful color combination of white with tinges of purple that make the flowers fabulous together with peonies or lisianthus. For a more romantic-looking variety, consider the ranunculus ‘Tango’ that shows off vibrant red blooms with many layers of petals.

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