Instructions for Planting Ranunculus

Overview

The ranunculus, a cold-hardy perennial, is known for layer upon delicate layer of vibrantly colored, paper-thin petals. Growing 12 to 24 inches tall with a 6- to 12-inch spread, ranunculus plants sport grass-green foliage and 3- to 10-inch wide blooms in a vast array of shades. Ranunculus flowers grow from tubers, shaped like a minuscule bunch of bananas, divided into four size classes, including jumbo, No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3. Whether planted individually, in decorative containers or in dramatic mass plantings, ranunculuses add extraordinary beauty to any landscape.

Step 1

Choose planting locations that offer well-draining soil and full sunlight. Equal amounts of coarse sand and organic compost can be worked into the planting site to improve drainage, especially for clay soil types.

Step 2

Wait to plant ranunculus tubers until 1 to 2 weeks before the last frost for colder climates with harsh winters. In warmer climates, bulbs can be planted in late fall for late winter/early spring blooms.

Step 3

Make a 1- to 2-inch hole and place the ranunculus tuber in with claws (resembling a bunch of tiny bananas) pointing down. Once the tuber is situated properly, cover with a thin layer of soil.

Step 4

Space tubers according to type. Jumbo tubers should be planted 8 to 12 inches apart, while smaller tubers need only 4 to 6 inches of space.

Step 5

Water tubers thoroughly to set, then cover with a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch. The National Gardening Association recommends bark, straw or coco hulls.

Step 6

Wait until sprouts appear before watering again. Germination typically takes 15 to 20 days.

Tips and Warnings

  • Ranunculus will not tolerate warm, soggy conditions. Wayne Schmidt (Waynesthisandthat.com) discovered through trial and error that the individual "bananas" will not sprout when planted separately.

Things You'll Need

  • Ranunculus tubers
  • Organic compost
  • Coarse sand
  • Pitchfork or garden spade
  • Water
  • Mulch

References

  • Easy to Grow Bulbs: Tecolote Ranunculus Growing Information
  • National Gardening Association: Prolific and Terrific: Ranunculus
  • Backyard Gardener: Ranunculus aconitifolius (White Bachelor's Buttons)
  • This and That: How to Grow Ranunculuses
Keywords: growing ranunculuses, ranunculus soil requirements, care of ranunculuses

About this Author

Deborah Waltenburg has been a freelance writer since 2002. In addition to her work for Demand Studios, Waltenburg has written for websites such as Freelance Writerville and Constant Content, and has worked as a ghostwriter for travel/tourism websites and numerous financial/debt reduction blogs.