Surround your home with color and beautifully shaped blooms. Summer bulbs hold their own among the showiest flowers, and they are easy to maintain.
The flowers of ranunculus look as if they’re made of crepe paper. Available in both single- and double-flowering varieties, blooms range in size from 1 to 4 inches wide.
Most impressive are the double blooms, which are solidly packed with petals. Ranunculus blooms in a wide palette of colors, including white, red, yellow, orange, and pink.
Newer varieties offer the largest flowers and the full color range. Reaching heights of 12 to 14 inches, the lush blossoms start appearing in July and August. Each ranunculus bulb produces six to eight flowers at intervals of one or two weeks, so you’ll have lots of flowers for show and cutting.
Start ranunculus indoors in a greenhouse in the late spring, or set them directly outdoors when the danger of frost has passed.Soak the stiff, dry tubers in warm water for several hours before planting to encourage sprouting. Set the tubers 2 inches deep with their points pointing down.
Ranunculus demands plenty of sun and a fertile, well-drained, but not continually dry, location. Group 10 to 20 bulbs together in the same spot for a bold show of bloom.
In the fall, after the foliage has died back, lift the bulbs. Store them through the winter in boxes of sphagnum peat moss or perlite in a cool, dry location that stays 50 to 55 degrees F.
Fill your containers with good quality, well-drained soil. Almost any commercially available potting medium will work fine. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes;Site your ranunculus where they will receive full sun.
Dig holes and plant the ranunculus bulbs 2” deep and 4”-6” apart. The bulbs look like small, dark bunches of bananas, a curious shape that makes it easy to determine which side is up and which is down for planting. Tuck your ranunculus into the planting hole with the “bananas” pointing down.
After planting, water well to settle the soil around the bulbs. Spring planted ranunculus will bloom the first year in late summer and in the spring subsequent years in frost-free areas.
When in bloom, feel free to cut ranunculus flowers for bouquets. This will not hurt your plants, in fact, the more you cut the more blooms your Tecolote ranunculus will produce. So snip away.
After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don’t cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight and provide nourishment for next year’s show. Water as needed during active growth periods. Ranunculus actually prefer not to be watered while dormant.
At the end of the summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plant slips into dormancy. Foliage many be removed at this point. Your ranunculus will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle.
Buy ready to use nutrient rich soil:
In general use a soil-based compost placed over a generous layer of drainage material such as earthenware crocks, pebbles or gravel. Water and feed regularly, especially while plants are bearing flowers and fruit, when a high-potash fertilizer is recommended.
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