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Plant Care for Ranunculus

By Dale Devries ; Updated September 21, 2017

Ranunculus is a favorite of florists and gardeners alike. The tightly layered, lacy petals come in a variety of colors. They grow on long, straight stems that make them perfect for cutting and placing in a vase or flower arrangement. Ranunculus is a spring to late summer flower that is easy to grow and propagate. It can be planted in the ground or in planters and makes a wonderful border plant. If you want fresh colorful flowers on your table this spring, then Ranunculus is sure to please.

Keep your Ranunculus in full sun and water when the top of the soil starts to dry out. These plants are sensitive to over-watering, as the bulbs will rot and the flowers will die. Water only during the growing season and not while the plants are dormant.

Fertilize with bulb fertilizer once every other week during the spring and summer. Hold back fertilizer once the leaves start to turn yellow and die. It is better to dilute the fertilizer and feed more often than use full strength less often.

Mulch around the plants in the spring with a 2-inch layer of pine needles or other thin mulch. This will keep the soil moist and cool and Ranuculus likes cool soil. It will also keep the soil loose and well draining.

Do not cut off foliage when the plant is done flowering. The foliage will continue to gather nutrients for the next growing season until it is yellow and dying. At that point you should cut it off and discard.

Lift the bulbs out of the ground in late fall in very cold climates. Keep them in a plastic flower pot surrounded by slightly damp peat moss. Keep them in the garage or other cool area. Separate and plant out in spring. In warmer climates, you do not need to take them out of the ground unless you want to separate them for more flowers.


Things You Will Need

  • Pine needle mulch
  • Bulb fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Garden fork
  • Plastic flower pot
  • Peat moss