How to Grow Ranunculus Flowers

The beautiful marvel that is Ranunculus Flowers! (Also Called Persian Buttercup) Learn How to Grow these Annual, Showy attention drawing flowers that wow and delight!

Ranunculus Bouquet
Ranunculus Pastel Mix and Mixed Brights

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Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers

A Pinterest Favourite, the elegant Ranunculus flowers with paper thin petals and full voluptuous blooms have proved a popular pick for Brides and gardeners alike. I have been married for 16 years now, but was I in the midst of wedding planning? I would Certainly be be adding Home grown Ranunculus to my wedding Bouquet. Here’s why I think they have become so popular in the Garden as well as the wedding industry…

The Faux Rose

The look without the price tag! Some Ranunculus varieties resemble the classic but expensive Rose, and come in colours that mimic the Rose ideal. Whatever your Wedding Colour theme or budget, you can be assured, that there is a Ranunculus out there that matches it perfectly! A Perfect choice for the frugal bride keeping an eye on the wedding budget! Easy to grow too! But more on that later..First check out these popular Ranunculus varieties …

Dusky Vintage shades

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Maybe you want bright and Colourful?

Dark and Moody?

Ranunculus Symbolism

  • Radiance
  • Charm
  • Attractiveness

Sensitive to Floral Scents?

If you are sensitive to floral fragrances or you don’t want to be overwhelmed by scent whist walking down the aisle, Ranunculus is the right choice! Most varieties are not scented.

Ranunculus Vase Life

Ranunculus also have a very long vase life, often staying fresh beyond 10 days! For a longer lasting bloom, cut flowers when they are not yet fully open. Don’t worry if you miss the window! Ranunculus that has already opened will still have a very respectable vase life of around 1 week.

Closed Ranunculus Flower

Ranunculus Folklore

The name Ranunculus has quite a sweet origin, the word is a combination of two Latin words, rana meaning frog and unculus meaning little. The story goes that once upon a time Ranunculus flowers grew abundantly and wildly on stream edges and were as plentiful as little frogs in the spring, this earned them the name of Little frogs or Rana-Unculus- ‘Ranunculus’

Cultural Legends

Persian Legend: According to Persian legend, there was a young Persian Prince who always wore green and gold, he became infatuated with a beautiful Water Nymph and sang to her day and night. It is said, the nymph became so tired of listening to the young Prince sing incessantly, that she turned him into a Ranunculus flower.

Native American Legend: The Ranunculus flower was known by the Native Americans as Coyote Eyes. According to Native American Legend, it earned this name when a Coyote was throwing his eyes (as you do!) into the air and catching them again to entertain himself. A stalking Eagle saw this and suddenly swooped down and snatched the Coyote’s eyes out of mid air. The Coyote, now unable to see, plucked two buttercups( Ranunculus) from the field and fashioned them as new eyes.

*Fun Fiction

A long, long time ago, it was believed the bright yellow colour of Butter was caused due to Cows eating Bright Yellow Ranunculus Flowers! Of course, this isn’t true! (In fact we now know that Ranunculus is definitely not for Human or Animal consumption) Far safer in a vase than on a plate!

Yellow Ranunculus

How to grow Ranunculus

Lets get down to it! How do you grow these beauties? There is some chatter about Ranunculus being difficult to grow! But they really aren’t, the technique I Use never fails. Follow my easy steps below for a successful sea of Ranunculus!

Good to know

Ranunculus can grow 12 to 16 inches in height. You can grow as many as you want, plant a whole block of 100 Ranunculus Corms for a large, pinterest worthy display or just a handful…Ranunculus are abundant bloomers even in the tiniest quarters! Each Ranunculus plant can yield several 2-5 inch flower heads, each opening one at a time, perfect for an impactful and interesting floral display. So whether you go big or small, the Ranunculus blooms will still fill the largest of spaces or the smallest of spaces with a bounty of blooms that are anything but sparse! If you’re looking for a border filler, Ranunculus is absolutely the way to go!

Ranunculus Flowers

How to Plant Ranunculus Corms

One thing I never do is plant Ranunculus Corms directly in the ground, I like to guarantee that whatever I plant is going to be fruitful. I like my seedlings lined up and counted! Call it control, call it organised, call it pampering….I call it failure avoidance! There are too many what ifs when planting bulbs/corms/ tubers directly in the ground…will they grow? won’t they grow? How many did I plant??? Is this a far more fussy option ?- yes, yes it is- but it’s worth it.

When To Plant Ranunculus Corms

You can plant Ranunculus corms at two different times in the year here in the UK

Autumn (October-November)

*Options for Autumn Planted Ranunculus Corms

  • In mild areas, plant your ranunculus corms directly into the ground in Autumn to overwinter in their flowering positions.
  • However, if you live in a colder area that regularly sees hard frosts and harsher winters, plant your autumn bulbs in pots to overwinter in a greenhouse or polytunnel environment. Move them outdoors In Spring ( my preferred method)

Spring (March)

See below for Detailed Spring Planted Ranunculus instructions

Preparing Ranunculus Corms for planting

Very Important…Hydrate your Corms! This is a very simple process, you simply soak the Ranunculus Corms in room temperature water for 3 to 4 hours. Don’t over-soak them and go beyond the 4 hour mark, otherwise you risk rot. As the corms soak, they will plump up and almost double in size.

Soaking Ranunculus Corms
Ranunculus Corms Before and After

Planting Ranunculus Corms

After soaking, pre-sprout your corms by planting ‘Claws down’ around 3cm deep in damp compost, in individual pots or large flat trays. This technique of Pre-sprouting the corms helps determine a more successful growth and will also help your Ranunculus to bloom a couple of weeks earlier than Corms that have been planted directly.

Growing On

Place on a windowsill, in a Greenhouse or cold frame to sprout and grow. You should see some action within 10 days (Spring planted)

Ranunculus Seedling

Planting Out Ranunculus Plants

Once the Ranunculus have established a healthy amount of Foliage, plant out after the risk of frost has passed.

Pre sprouted Ranunculus

Where to Plant Ranunculus

Choose a spot with full sun to partial shade. Optional: dig a little Organic matter in to the bed for a nitrogen boost. Expect flowers within 90 days.

Water Requirements

Poor drainage can cause the plants to rot. Keep the soil moist, but not wet.

Caring for Ranunculus

Want the blooms to keep coming? Keep on top of the deadheading, cut the stems back once the flowers have faded, to below the foliage.

Ranunculus, Lupin & Delphinium Bouquet

Can you Dig up and Re-use Ranunculus Corms ?

Yes! With a little extra care you can re-use and re plant your Ranunculus Corms year to year. Simply wait for the foliage to turn brown in summer and let them dry out. When the leaves have died completely back, lift the Ranunculus Corms, clean them off and store in a dry, cool, frost free place over Autumn. Plant the following Spring (see instructions above)

How to Grow Ranunculus
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