How soon can or should I dig my Ranunculus bulbs?

steve22802(7a VA)June 10, 2009

I've been growing Ranunculus this year for the first time and I've had a bit of success but not great. I'm going to try to get them in the ground earlier next year and see if they perform a little better for me. They are starting to go dormant now that the warm weather is arriving and so I'm wondering how soon I should dig them up to store away until early next spring. I assume that I could dig them soon after the foliage dies back. Is that correct? Is there any advantage to leaving them in the ground longer? I can't leave them all winter because it's a little too cold here. :(

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allow them to turn brown, then just lift them out and store until you are ready to plant again. I just know off the soil and allow them to dry and "wait" on a cardboard flat of some sort in a closet or corner of the garage. You might use a paper bag after they've dried. They are really small and light therefore easy to forget about if I store them in a small bag...grins.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 4:50PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Whenever I've dug my ranunculus they've shriveled away to nothing. But they will rot if left in a bed that receives summer water. I'm going to try storing in a pot with porous soil and watering it every 3 months ~~ anyone had experience with desication and another solution?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 10:25PM
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steve22802(7a VA)

Thanks for the advice. When I received my ranunculus in the mail they were completely dried out but apparently this is the normal way that they are shipped. I soaked them in water and they swelled up and then grew when I planted them so I guess they can stand quite a lot of dehydration. Perhaps trying to keep them moist during storage would confuse them during their dormancy...?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 9:04PM
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I read somewhere to place them in a wet paper towel then in a plastic bag in the refrigerator till they get roots and then plant. But I am confused now. When are they suppose to be planted ? Summer , Spring ? I am zone 7 and just got mine in the mail and have put them in the fridge.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 3:29PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Koozie --- we plant them after danger of frost. Which is almost nil here so that means Jan-Feb.
They are spring bloomers with Iceland poppies & daffodils.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 3:59PM
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I doubt if it is possible to 'over' dry Ranunculus bulbs. I have been able to separate the twisted bulbs when dry as there are usually two or three twisted together that are not actually attached to each other. Soaking before planting is always recommended. Al

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 9:18AM
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