Planting Ranunculus


Ranunculus (Ranunculus asiaticus), also called the Persian buttercup, is a bright pop of color in the spring. The ranunculus looks like a camellia or poppy; its red, yellow, purple, pink or white blooms appear in late spring or early summer. It grows 12 to 24 inches tall with fine, parsley-like leaves that form a mound of foliage 1 foot tall. Some of the ranunculus hybrids, such as 'Tecolote,' have double flowers that look like peonies and come in pastel or bi-colored shades.

Step 1

Prepare a site in your garden two weeks before the final spring frost date. Choose an area that receives at least six hours of sun each day.

Step 2

Amend the soil with peat moss or compost if it does not drain well or is heavy clay. Ranunculus needs a sandy, dry soil. If the soil is too wet, the tubers the plant grows from will rot.

Step 3

Dig holes with a hand trowel 2 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. Set the soil to the side.

Step 4

Place the ranunculus tubers in the holes, root "claws" pointing down. Cover the tubers with soil, tamp lightly with your trowel, and water.

Step 5

Water every two or three days for the first week, then once a week for the rest of the season.

Step 6

Apply an all-purpose liquid fertilizer once a week during the growing season, according to directions on the label.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Compost
  • Hand trowel
  • Hose
  • All-purpose liquid fertilizer
  • Sand or peat moss


  • Michigan State University Extension: Ranunculus
  • Missouri Botanical Garden: Ranunculus

Who Can Help

  • U.S. National Arboretum: USDA Growing Zones Interactive Map
Keywords: Ranunculus asiaticus, planting bulbs, Ranunculus planting care

About this Author

Aileen Clarkson has been an award-winning editor and reporter for more than 20 years, earning three awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. She has worked for several newspapers, including "The Washington Post" and "The Charlotte Observer." Clarkson earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Florida.