The ranunculus plant, also known as the Persian buttercup, is a tender perennial flowering plant. Ranunculus plants often freeze and die in locations where temperatures fall below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Blossoming in shades of red, white and yellow, these attractive specimens grow from tuberous roots planted in moist areas receiving adequate amounts of sunlight. Proper care of a ranunculus plant requires proper planting techniques, as well as continued attention throughout the growing season.
Select the proper site for growing your ranunculus plants. Choose a location that receives full sunlight. Avoid low areas in the landscape that retain water after rainfalls. The ranunculus is fragile and easily damaged by strong winds. Select a location that provides adequate shelter from strong winds when planting outside in windy climates.
Plant your ranunculus tubers inside approximately 12 weeks before the last anticipated frost in your area. Purchase biodegradable pots for easy transplantation later. Soak the tuberous roots in warm water for a few hours prior to placing in soil. Fill your pots with commercial potting soil to a level about 2 inches below the tops of the pots. Lay your ranunculus tubers on top of this soil and cover with an inch of potting soil. Water well and place in a sunny location. Provide adequate sunlight in a cool location. Temperatures between 45 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit encourage healthy plant growth in new tubers.
Transplant your sprouted ranunculus plants into the selected garden location after all chances of frost have passed for the season. Incorporate a little clean mulch into dry, poor soil compositions to supply adequate nutrients. Continue to care for your ranunculus plant by keeping your soil slightly moist. Add a little mulch near the base of your ranunculus plants to hold in moisture in arid climates. Apply a small amount of water-soluble plant food every couple of weeks. Choose a plant food formulated for use on ranunculus flowers and apply according to instructions.
Dig and store ranunculus tubers in climates that experience winter temperatures below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Wait until plants go dormant in the fall, then carefully remove tubers from soil and place in containers filled with sawdust to store until the next year.