Ranunculus asiaticus, also known as a ‘Persian Buttercup' is one of the most popular cut flowers to grow. They are a cool climate flower, known for their high yield of flowers, romantic soft petals in a wide range of colors and their long stems.
This article looks at how you can grow your own ranunculus in your garden, yielding fresh flowers that you can use in a bouquet or just admire from the garden.
What are Ranunculus?
Ranunculus flowers are a very popular type of wedding flower in arrangements and bouquets due to their incredible variety in colours, their tall stems, light fragrance and their romantic soft look, making them every florist’s dream to work with, plus the added benefit that they have are of the longest vase lives for fresh flowers.
Uses of Ranunculus Flowers
Due to their long stems, ranunculus flowers are a favourite for florists to work with, especially wedding florists that add ranunculus flowers to bridal bouquets for a soft, romantic look, available in virtually any color that the bride wants.
Additionally, the long vase life or a ranunculus flower makes them a favorite household fresh flower. Commonly used for cake decoration due to their aesthetics, however these flowers are not edible and will taste bitter and lead to gastrointestinal upset if eaten in larger quantities.
Guide on How to Grow Ranunculus
Planting Persian Buttercups
To grow these stunning flowers in your garden, you will begin with a ranunculus flower corm, which unlike other seeds, has an odd shape, somewhat like an octopus.
This is normal and this odd shape will yield the most beautiful flowers when given the right conditions. The best ranunculus flowers come from the largest corms, therefore select the largest corms when gathering your materials.
Once you have the ranunculus corms, start by soaking the corms in fresh room temperature water for approximately 4 hours, you will find that your corms increase in size during this process.
From this step, you can choose to either plant the soaked corms directly into the soil or you can pre-sprout them prior to planting which will speed up the process.
To pre-sprout the corms, you’ll need to place your soaked corms in a tray half full with potting soil, disperse the corms and cover them with soil, leave this tray in a cool place for 2 weeks, checking that the soil is moist, and remove any corms that start showing signs of rot.
Once your corms swell in size and start to sprout small rootlets, usually white in colour, you can then plant the pre-sprouted seed in the garden.
Read more on Growing Flowers from Seeds.
Caring for Ranunculus
Ranunculus flowers are commonly grown in cool climates, they require full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil and are annuals in colder climates.
Once planted, if the temperatures are set to drop below freezing, you can cover the garden bet with a frost blanket to protect the corms from freezing, keeping the temperature ideal for their growth.
Soil and Watering Needs
For the best results in your ranunculus garden, mix an organic fertilizer with a good dose of compost and place the corms about 5cm under the surface of the mixture with the octopus legs pointing down.
Water your ranunculus garden adequately but an important step is to ensure that your garden pots drain well, ranunculus flowers are especially prone to rotting if the soil is too moist.
Ranunculus flowers are famously grown for their high yield of flowers, they will typically flower within 3 months of being planted as pre-sprouted corms. In cooler climates they flower consistently for up to seven weeks when in bloom.
You can enjoy these flowers inside your home in a vase for up to ten days, which makes them the flower with one of the longest vase life. This is also important when considering freshly cut flowers for a bouquet, they will look stunning for longer than the average flower.
For best results, cut the flowers when the bud is still closed, the buds need to be coloured and soft but not yet open, this will ensure they stay fresher for longer.
Types of Ranunculus Flowers
You will find that ranunculus flowers are available in all sorts of colors at your local florist or wholesaler. Ranging from deep reds to soft pinks and yellows and even bi-colors.
The corms you buy at the shop will be mostly for one variant, if you want bi-colors you may need to order them online.
There are 2 main types of ranunculus flowers:
- Giant Tecolote version which is popular for bouquets due to their long stems and larger double flowered blooms.
- Bloomingdale’ which are a smaller version of the Giant Tecolote ranunculus with sturdier, shorter stems.
Wrapping Up Our Ranunculus Grow Guide
Beautiful bright colored flowers with a soft fragrance and long vase life, these fresh flowers are a favourite amongst florists and now you can have them in your very own garden.
Their fast 3-month turn around, from a pre-sprouted corm to a beautiful budding stem is encouraging for those developing their gardening hobby. If you are a beginner in the gardening space, planting ranunculus flowers is a good place to start.