Ridiculus Rancunculus

Instant impact! That’s what you get when you add ranunculus to your early spring garden.

Each plant produces wave after wave of petal-packed, crepe-paper-like flowers in a bold array of colors. These flowers grow 12 to 18 inches tall and are so frost tolerant that they can survive occasional temperatures as low as 20 degrees F.

Ranunculus is a perfect companion to other cool weather loving annuals and perennials. Pink and orange ranunculus flowers will pop against blue pansies. Yellow snapdragons would be amazing when paired with orange or red ranunculus in your early spring container gardens.

Rancunculus are cool season annuals or tender perennials. Incredible colors, straight stems, long vase life and abundant blooms will be yours. Colors range from pink, rose, salmon, white, yellow and orange. Ranunculus flowers are also sometimes called Persian buttercups.

Ranunculus are one of the best bouquet flowers around. You can cut the flowers without hurting the plant, and the more you cut, the more flowers the ranunculus will grow. These flowers look great in almost every room, and their big flower heads help make a bouquet look lush and full even without a huge amount of flowers.

The flowers grow best in areas with mild winters and long, cool springs, including most western and southern regions of the United States. However, most gardeners in our area rely on ranunculus to provide much-needed early-spring color in pots, planters, and window boxes. They look good planted by themselves, but are at their best mixed with other flowers. Ranunculus also has finely cut foliage that provides interest even when the plant is not in bloom. They do require a sunny spot so plant them where they will receive at least 6 hours of direct sun a day. Once the weather warms and the plants stop blooming, pull them and replace with other flowers.

If planted in the ground, you will need to dig up the bulbs as they are not winter hardy in our area. Ranunculus are cold-tender, becoming injured when temperatures drop below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Ranunculus enjoys cool weather for best growth. Prior to planting the bulbs soak them overnight in water to hasten sprouting. It would be best to direct plant them outdoors in April.

You can plant ranunculus tubers in spring while planting them in a location with full to partial sunlight and lightweight, well-draining soil. Soak the tuberous roots in water for about one hour before planting them. Space the tubers 3 to 6 inches apart and plant them 2 to 3 inches deep into the soil. When the flower stalks appear in spring, apply an all-purpose liquid flower fertilizer once each week, according to the directions on the label.

Dig up the tubers in late summer or fall after the foliage dies back. You can divide the tuberous roots at this time or store them as-is. Store the tubers in sand or peat moss, placing them in a cool, dry location over the winter. Don’t allow the tubers to freeze or become exposed to frost, however. The ideal temperature for storing the ranunculus tubers is 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

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