How to Winterize Ranunculus


Ranunculus asiaticus (Persian Buttercup) is part of the buttercup family but is not a weedy perennial like it's cousin the Meadow Buttercup. Popular in cut flower arrangements, the compact furls of pink, white, red, yellow and orange petals create a little cup with a dark center ringed by blue green foliage. As a spring flowering bulb, hardy only in winter to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, R. asiaticus will thrive with a little late season care.

Step 1

Prepare the soil in fall before planting the spring blooming R. asiaticus tuberous roots (a type of bulb) by working the soil to a depth of 9 to 12 inches. The site should have good drainage and full sun.

Step 2

Place 1 tsp. of bone meal about an inch below the bulb hole to ensure proper phosphorus levels during growth.

Step 3

Plant tuberous roots horizontally 2 inches under the soil with hooking roots facing down. Allow 9 to 12 inches between bulbs.

Step 4

Water the tuberous roots well before cold temperatures set in.

Step 5

Cover the topsoil with a layer of organic mulch 2 to 3 inches deep. Mulch protects the Persian Buttercup tubers from the cold, holds in heat and retains some moisture through the winter.

Step 6

After the growing and flowering season ends, prepare Persian Buttercups for another winter by cutting back foliage after it has become yellow and died off naturally. This decaying process feeds the tubers for the next blooming season, and mowing foliage back prematurely may reduce spring blooms. Repeat step 5 for winter protection.

Tips and Warnings

  • All parts of the plant are poisonous and should not be eaten by people or animals.

Things You'll Need

  • Bone meal
  • Spade
  • Organic mulch
  • 5-10-10 fertilizer


  • Mississippi State University Cooperative Extension, Planting and Care of Bulbs, Corms, Rhizomes, and Roots
  • University of Illinois Extension, Bulbs and More: Planting Care
  • Dave's Garden, PlantFiles: Ranunculus, Persian Buttercup

Who Can Help

  • United States National Arboretum, USDA plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: ranunculus winterization, Persian Buttercup over wintering, winter care for ranunculus

About this Author

Desirae Roy began writing in 2009. After earning certification as an interpreter for the deaf, Roy earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Eastern Washington University. Part of her general studies included a botany course leading to a passion for the natural world.