Ranunculus have to be one of my favorite flowers. I don’t know if its the tissue like appearance of the petals or the variety of colors that all seem to be in the shade of sherbet, I just can’t get enough. So this year I am going to try and grow my own and hope to enjoy these beauties all summer long!
Here are 5 things to know before planting these gorgeous blooms:
1. Ranunculus tend to thrive in cooler temps. So when do we plant them? If you live in growing zones 8-10, you can plant the corms ( we will go over these in a bit) in late Fall for a Spring bloom. If you live in zones 4-7 (which is where I reside) you will need to plant the corms in early Spring for a Summer bloom.
2. The next logical question would be where is the best place to plant ranunculus? The ranunculus like a lot of sunshine but don’t love the heat. This is ok for those in zones 8-10 who can plant in Fall for a Spring flower, but what about those of us in zones 4-7 who need to plant in the Spring for a Summer flower, the hottest growing season? This is why planting the ranunculus in a container is my choice, especially the first few growing seasons. Being able to place the container in a spot that receives plenty of sunshine, but having the mobility to move the container and avoid the intense heat that these blooms just don’t enjoy makes the container and ideal option.
3. What will you need to get your ranunculus started? Get online or head to your local garden center and purchase corms. Now, if you haven’t grown ranunculus before you may be thinking that auto correct just took over. But really, you need corms. These “bulbs” may look like one of your favorite appetizers; calamari. Now before you we sow these corms into the ground we are going to take a moment to pre-soak corm to optimize growth.
4. Why pre-soak the corms? This gives the corms a little warm up before heading into the ground.
The best and most consistent methods I have found are soaking the corms in room temperature water. An even greater benefit is to soak the corms in a container with running water to promote oxygen flow. Soak the corms in water for 2-3 hours. Remove the corms and allow them to drip dry and then place them in, what some call, soil lasagna; a layer of soil, place corm leg side down, then cover with another layer of soil. Store in a cool space and allow to sit (away from potential rodents) for 10-14 days.
5. After you have waited the 10-14 days for the corms to presprout, it is time to plant them in the ground. Plant the sprouted corms about 2-3″ deep in the soil. If there is still a threat of frost, cover with frost cloth. Ranunculus typically bloom around 90 days after planting, and they are so worth the wait!