Planting Ranunculus bulbs

steveandjoy(z10 BGI)April 6, 2007

I have tried three times to grow Ranunculus from bulb and have not been successful. Does anyone know exactly how to grow this flower? I had heard that they were to be soaked for about 8 hours and then planted with the the claw like part pointing into the soil. Is this correct?

I'm thinking about buying more bulbs from Van Bourgondien but worry I won't be successful.


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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

Outdoor Beds

1. Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 2-3 inches to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work well and are widely available.

2. Site your ranunculus where they will get full day sun.

3. 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.

5. After planting, water well, thoroughly soaking the area. Roots and sprouts will form in the autumn. Winter will bring taller growth and flowers will develop in the spring.

6. 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.

7. 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.

This is from Easy To Grow Bulbs website

Here is a link that might be useful: Easy to Grow Bulbs

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 10:34PM
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steveandjoy(z10 BGI)

thanks Hopflower. I went to the link that you suggested and it spoke of the bulbs needing a cold period of several weeks. This is perhaps the reason I have never had success, as we do not have cold seasons. Do you think that a period of refrigeration would work?


    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 9:09PM
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I believe they like temps in the 50s to 80s F to grow and bloom. When we get days in the 90s mine die back. I've had good luck with allowling them to turn brown, then lifting the tubers and storing in a closet over the summer and early fall.

I had no luck with them until I was told to soak the tubers over night before planting. Makes all the difference in the world for me and makes them more pliable.

My favorites are the giant ranunculus....they are blooming for me now in mixed colors in front of the roses. People stop all the time and want to know what they are and where they can get some.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 5:49PM
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calpat(zone9ab No.Ca.)

The planting advice your getting is good, but I really think you'll continue to have a problem because of the climate you reside in. But give it another try and good luck!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 12:57PM
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Ranunculus tubers like anemones have to be soaked over night to rehydrate them, if you plant the tuber bone dry like they come they just rot in the soil.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 3:40PM
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steveandjoy(z10 BGI)

thanks everyone, I think I wil try them one last time. Our temps are usually in the mid 80's for most of the year. I will try to soak them and then try planting in plant pots that I will keep in the patio so that they will not be getting the full heat of the days.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 6:52PM
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I no VERY little about gardening (even though I love it), but I too am wanting to plant ranunculus and have been doing a lot of research. I live in MN, so I will be planting now and hoping they make it. Anyway, I noticed you were thinking of buying from Van Bourgondien. In my internet search I found a GREAT site devoted to ranunculus, I have listed it below. The gentleman who wrote it also bought from that web site and said that out of all his plantings (from different web sites and local stores) those did the worst! So, I just wanted you to know this and maybe that will help. I ordered mine from easy to grow bulbs and we'll see how it goes! I would love to hear how yours turn out.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 9:32PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

I grew ranunculus in zone 10 (zone 19 Sunset) and grow here in zone 9. Never pre-chilled! We are talking about a semi-tender spring-blooming 'bulb' here, not those that need winter chill. Summer is their dormant period. My potted ones' foliage is just beginning to yellow. The clumps in the garden
are still in bloom.

Mild winters are a plus. Heavy soil or/and summer water are killers. I resolved both problems by planting in sun in my best draining bed PLUS in
2 heaping trowelfuls of sand. One trowelful underneath and one on top. For zone 10 they happily stay in the soil year round. And multiply nicely.

Plant them in the fall in warm winter zones. I picked up a bag at CostCo in the spring 2 years ago and had much poorer growth than those fall planted. Some never put out growth. Been too long in storage! Oh, and once you plant, one soaking to settle the soil around the 'bulb' and no more until top growth shows.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 12:22AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I used to grow them when I lived on the coast and they do not require cold temperatures. If you start with good roots(I can't bring myself to call them bulbs)you should be very happy with the results. If well grown they multiply marvelously. I always dug them after they died back and saved the roots for next year. It takes a little time to separate them but they make a lot of new roots for next year. Al

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 7:05AM
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Just like to add that Van Bourgondien has a horrible, horrible reputation as a company. You might like to look for somewhere else to spend your hard earned money.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 6:11PM
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keriann_lakegeneva(5B WI/IL border)

Nutmeg: Have you ever grown rans in zone 5b?

This is my first year growing them and I have them in pots and in the ground (3 different spots).

About 80% have sprouted and they are about 2" tall.

Any tips?


    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 9:56PM
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Hi Keri Ann, Sorry no, I have not. I think they are gorgeous tho, and it has crossed my mind to try them one year. Maybe NEXT year!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 1:46AM
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steveandjoy(z10 BGI)

I actually gave up on this type of plant. Spent too much money in past years trying to get them to grow over here.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 8:22PM
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keriann_lakegeneva(5B WI/IL border)

Mine are in bloom right now!

They are SO worth the extra effort. They are loaded with blooms and just so amazing with their hundreds of petals. They started to piddle off when we got a 'heat-wave' of 90* weather but now that it is back down in the 50/70* they are loving it and blooming like crazy.

I highly suggest this plant/tuber/root/thing!


    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 6:56AM
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Is it safe for me to leave the ranunculus mixed bulbs in the ground during the winter in Reno Nv.?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 10:13AM
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Can they be grown in the fall and brought inside for the holidays or valentines day?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 11:58AM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

maisaigon: not sure of your location, but the answer is 'yes', for R asiaticus. There's a strain particularly for growing in pots - Bloomingdale, I think. The flowers are huge.

I suspect the main requirement is to keep them cool but not cold while they come into leaf, then bulk up. And kept reliably moist/fed.

Over-potting is not a good idea. Nor is overcrowding - because they tend to develop grey mould if the air circulation is poor.

PS - it helps to make a fresh thread. Sometimes spammers hitch a ride on old posts - and we tend to ignore them.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 10:32PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Posted by
growin' old with flowers 6a
( on
Sun, Mar 27, 11 at 10:13

Is it safe for me to leave the ranunculus mixed bulbs in the ground during the winter in Reno Nv.?

So long as you don't get bitter frosts and frozen ground for days. Otherwise - a cold frame, or cloches, or frost hats could be called for. Or grow in pots and under cover.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 10:39PM
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vetivert, thanks for the advise.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 1:34AM
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Keriann--please share details of how you get ranunculus to grow and bloom in your zone 5 garden. I'd love to grow some as well.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 12:30PM
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@Trove and Kerri Ann - I had no idea what to do when I planted my ranuculus bulbs this year and mine came out fine. I did not soak them at all. Simply put the bulbs in "bananas" down, watered and now they are about to bloom. Luck of the draw, I guess...

Zone 5, by the way. CT

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 12:33PM
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cagoldbear(9a - Houston)

All -

What about a spring planting in a hot area? Am I destined to watch my pretty little clumps of foliage stay as just foliage? I had the bag from Costco in my garage and never got around to planting until late winter (i.e. early March) this year, and I've got growth but am concerned that no blooms will show. What do you think?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 5:05PM
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Campanula UK Z8

They are short day plants - timing is essential. They must be sown in autumn, kept very dry, started into growth (by watering) in January, in flower March. After vernal equinox, they are looking to put all efforts into building up the tuberous 'claw' for summer dormancy. Wet is the killer. Spring sown bulbs are frequently a failure - not the bulbs or the suppliers, just the timing. mostly.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 4:36PM
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cagoldbear(9a - Houston)

Fantastic. Thank you for the info. So, I guess I will keep them in the ground for now so they can charge their tubers and then dig them out in a few weeks?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 5:52PM
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