How to Plant Ranunculus Plants


Ranunculus belongs to the buttercup family that blooms from the late spring into the early summer. The plants grow 12 to 18 inches tall with large blossoms of yellow, red, pink and white. Ranunculus plants are grown from a tuber that may look like miniature bunches of bananas. These irregular claw-like tubers are dry and hard when you purchase them. Ranunculus need to be planted in October and November.

Step 1

Soak your tubers overnight in water. This softens and plumps up the tuber as it absorbs the moisture. This will eliminate the need of regular watering while it is growing roots.

Step 2

Dig the soil up in an area of full sun with a shovel to the depth of 6 inches. Break up dirt clods and remove any large rocks.

Step 3

Add sand to your planting area if you have a clay-soil that does not drain well. Mix in the sand to a depth of 6 inches. Incorporate the sand throughout the soil. Do not just bury it.

Step 4

Dig a hole large enough for the ranunculus tuber to fit into at the depth of 1 to 2 inches with a small hand spade.

Step 5

Place the tubers in the hole with the claws pointing downward. This will make it easier for the ranunculus to grow roots and foliage in the proper direction.

Step 6

Cover the tuber with soil. Do not compact the soil down; leave the soil loose. If planting more than one tuber, then space the tubers 6 to 8 inches apart.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not over water the tubers before the roots form. The tuber will start to rot if drenched in excessive water. Add water to the area only if the soil has become dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Ranunculus tubers
  • Water
  • Shovel
  • Sand
  • Small hand spade


  • University of Illinois Extension: Summer Bulbs
  • University of California Cooperative Extension: Ranunculus
Keywords: ranunculus plants, planting tubers, buttercup family

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.