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How to Prune Ranunculus

Ranunculus is a tender flowering perennial plant that grows from dry underground tubers in the shape of a small round bulb. Ranunculus blooms in the spring and summer producing a range of colored flowers on tall, slim and slightly furry green stems. It is widely used in beds and borders, en masse plantings, containers and in cutting gardens.

Deadhead fading ranunculus flowers in the spring and summer as they begin to look ratty or droop. Cut each bloom at the base of the stem in amongst the foliage. Regular deadheading will instigate fresh and continuing bloom.

Harvest fresh ranunculus blooms just as the buds begin to open for use in long lived flower arrangements. Cut the stems at the base of the stem just above the crown of the plant with clean sharp secateurs or scissors.

Prune off all of the plant's top foliage in the fall after the first frost and after the top growth has begun to die back. Allowing the plant to die back on its own will recharge the bulb for next season's growth and bloom. Shear off the stems and foliage at the soil level and toss them in the compost pile.

Care For Ranunculus

Select a site for your ranunculus where the plants can receive five or six hours of sunlight each day in a well-drained location. Use a raised bed if good drainage cannot be assured to prevent rotting of ranunculus tubers. Use a soaker hose or other form of ground irrigation to avoid wetting flowers once ranunculus begins to bud. Remove spent flowers to encourage additional bloom. Apply fertilizer to the planting bed after foliage dies down. A balanced fertilizer blend, such as 10-10-10, bone meal or a fertilizer blend designed specifically for flower bulbs, can be used, following product instructions. Allow ranunculus tubers to dry for about one or two weeks. Store in a cool, dry place.

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