Ranunculus Plant Information
The main attraction of ranunculus is their brightly colored flowers. You will find that the plants are often available in numerous layers of paper-thin petals. Though they excel in western and southern gardens, they make for terrific container plants in any location. Ranunculus can also make durable cut flowers. Bulbs of the plant can be easily gotten at retails nurseries in fall. Early spring and fall are the best seasons to purchase the bulbs.
There are two popular color schemes of ranunculus. Accenting with a few pink and yellow English primroses is one. The other is inter-planting pink ranunculus with red-purple pansies and salmon Iceland poppy. If you do not like these options, you can try combining blue Chinese forget-me-not with salmon ranunculus.
You can either locate seed through a swap or sale. Either way, it will be worth the effort. Sowing should begin in late winter using a peat-based, lightweight seed-starting mix. 20 to 30 days should be allowed for germination, and soil temperature should be maintained at 50˚ Fahrenheit. Since the number of seeds that actually grow is low, you should sow thickly. Once the seeds have germinated, seedlings should be maintained indoors at 55˚ Fahrenheit until it is time to plant outdoors. By June the plants will flower.
As cut flowers
Apart from having intrinsic beauty, ranunculus flowers possess another virtue: they can stay for 7 days indoors after cutting. The flowers are quite inexpensive as each is sold at a penny and a half. The best time to cut is early in the morning, after the flowers show first color.
After flowers fade
The tubers of ranunculus can stay in place like any perennial plant. However, this will only work if you have a garden that has perfectly cool, drained soil. Take note that keeping tubers successfully is rare. In fact, majority of gardeners treat the plants as annual plants and dispose them the moment they finish blooming. You have the option of leaving them in place to fade, or pulling and compositing the plants. If you are an ambitious farmer, you can choose to save the tubers to plant the following year. Once the plants dry out, remove the tubers, cut their tops off and store in a cool, dry place.