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How to Plant Ranunculus Bulbs

Ranunculus asiaticus is the glamorous cousin of the buttercup, a sometimes weedy but happy little flower that grows prolifically in meadows and untamed landscapes. The Persian buttercup, however, grows from a bulb and blooms in the late spring or early summer. Providing beautiful furls of petals and pretty dark centers perfect for cut flower arrangements, R. asiaticus is an easy summer bulb to cultivate.

Choose a site with full sun and soil with good drainage. Avoid areas where water pools, such as under a drain spout or an area at the base of a slope. Ranunculus are prone to bulb rot in continuously wet soil.

Soak the Persian buttercup bulbs in water the night before planting takes place.

Plant the tubers, or finger shaped bulb roots, with the body in line with the top soil and the projections facing down. Cover with 1 to 2 inches of soil and space tubers 6 to 10 inches apart.

Water well after planting. Do not over-water due to bulb rot tendencies.

Fertilize new shoots with a balanced liquid fertilizer. New flower stalks are the indicator that feeding is needed to promote flowering.

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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