A Comprehensive Guide on Growing Ranunculus: Tips, Tricks, and Care Instructions


If you’re a gardener who loves beautiful and vibrant blooms, ranunculus should definitely be on your list. Ranunculus, also known as buttercups, are a popular choice for gardeners due to their stunning and diverse range of colors, as well as their unique and delicate petals. They are an excellent addition to any garden or flower bed, bringing a burst of color and a touch of elegance.

Ranunculus thrive in cool temperatures, making them an ideal choice for spring and early summer gardens. To get started, plant your ranunculus bulbs in trays or containers filled with well-rotted compost or loamy soil, about 4-8 weeks before the last frost date. Make sure to choose a sunny spot in your garden, as ranunculus need plenty of sunlight to grow and bloom.

One important thing to note about ranunculus is that they are susceptible to wind damage, so it’s best to plant them in areas that are sheltered from strong winds. If you live in a windy area, you can also grow ranunculus indoors in pots. Just make sure to place them near a sunny window and water them regularly to keep the soil moist.

Ranunculus bulbs should be planted with the “claws” facing downwards, about 2 inches deep and 4-6 inches apart. Water the bulbs thoroughly after planting, and then keep the soil consistently moist throughout the growing season. Ranunculus are heavy feeders, so it’s also a good idea to fertilize them with a balanced fertilizer once a month.

Once your ranunculus plants start blooming, it’s important to deadhead them regularly. This means removing the faded flowers to encourage more blooms and prolong the blooming period. If you’re growing ranunculus as cut flowers, deadheading is especially important, as it helps the plant redirect its energy towards producing more flowers.

Ranunculus can also be propagated by division. After the plants have finished blooming and entered dormancy, carefully dig them up and separate the bulbs. Replant the bulbs immediately, making sure to give them plenty of space to grow. Keep them well-watered and protected from frost during the winter months, and they will reward you with beautiful blooms again in the spring.

In colder areas, ranunculus bulbs may need some extra care to survive the winter. You can try covering the plants with a thick layer of mulch or straw to insulate them from the cold. Alternatively, you can dig up the bulbs and store them in a cool, dry place until the next growing season.

With a little care and attention, you can enjoy the beauty and bounty of ranunculus flowers in your own garden. Whether you choose to grow them in containers indoors or in your outdoor flower beds, these stunning blooms are sure to brighten up your garden and bring joy to your gardening time.

“Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas.”


Ranunculus, also known as buttercups, are a popular choice for gardeners who enjoy a challenge. These delicate flowers require a bit more effort to grow, but the bounty of beautiful blooms they produce is ultimately worth it.

When it comes to planting ranunculus, the better the conditions, the better the flowers. Ranunculus plants aren’t well-suited for all areas, as they prefer cooler climates with a range between 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they can be grown outdoors in colder areas if given some extra care.

To start, plant your ranunculus bulbs in the early spring, as soon as the soil begins to warm up. It’s best to soak the bulbs in water for a few hours before planting to help them rehydrate. Choose a sunny spot with well-draining soil and good air circulation to ensure optimal growth.

If you’re planting ranunculus in pots, make sure to use a well-draining potting mix and provide a cover to protect them from harsh weather conditions. Keep in mind that ranunculus plants tend to be a little more susceptible to fluctuations in sunlight, so it’s best to grow them in a spot with consistent light throughout the day.

Caring for ranunculus involves regularly watering the plants, making sure the soil is moist but not soaked. They also benefit from regular deadheading to promote continuous blooming. As the plants grow, provide support with stakes or trellises to keep them upright.

While ranunculus plants are generally easy to care for, they can be a little tricky to overwinter. After the first frost, allow the foliage to die back naturally, then cut it away. Once the soil has cooled, cover the area with a layer of mulch or straw to protect the bulbs during the winter months.

With proper care and attention, you can expect your ranunculus plants to start blooming in late spring or early summer. These fantastic flowers come in a range of colors, from vibrant reds and pinks to soft pastels like apricot and cream.

In conclusion, growing ranunculus can be a rewarding experience for any gardener. While they may require a bit more effort than some other flowers, the beauty of their blossoms makes it all worthwhile. Follow this guide and you’ll be on your way to a garden filled with stunning ranunculus blooms!

Propagation and where to snag ‘em

If you’re planning to grow ranunculus, one of the best ways to get started is by snagging some bulbs. Ranunculus bulbs are widely available for purchase, both online and at commercial gardening stores. You can also try propagating them yourself through seeds or division.

When choosing bulbs, look for ones that are firm and plump, without any signs of mold or damage. The bulbs should be around the size of a small potato. If you’re unsure about the quality of the bulbs, it’s always a good idea to check the label or ask the grower for more information.

Once you have your bulbs, you can start planting them in pots or directly in the ground. Ranunculus bulbs should be planted about 2-3 inches deep, with the pointy end facing upwards. Make sure to space them about 8-10 inches apart, as ranunculus plants tend to spread. If you’re planting them in pots, make sure the pots have good drainage and are large enough to accommodate the bulbs.

Ranunculus plants prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. A mix of loam, sand, and well-rotted compost works well for them. They also enjoy full sun, so make sure to place them in a spot that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day.

Regular watering is important for ranunculus plants, especially during dry spells or hot weather. Water them deeply once a week, allowing the water to reach the roots. However, be careful not to overwater them, as they don’t like wet feet and are prone to root rot.

Ranunculus plants are also sensitive to temperature fluctuations. They prefer temperatures between 50-60°F (10-15°C) during the growing season and slightly cooler temperatures during dormancy. If you’re growing them indoors, try to maintain a consistent temperature range.

Adequate airflow and circulation are essential for ranunculus plants, especially when they start blooming. Providing plenty of airflow helps prevent issues like powdery mildew and botrytis. If you’re growing them outdoors, make sure to space them out properly to allow for good air circulation. If you’re growing them indoors, you can use fans or open windows to promote airflow.

With proper care and attention to these growing conditions, ranunculus plants can reward you with a bounty of beautiful blooms. They come in a range of colors, from soft pastels to vibrant reds and yellows, making them a delightful addition to any garden or front yard.

So, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, consider giving ranunculus a try. With their stunning blooms and easy propagation, they can be a great addition to your garden.

Propagation Where to snag ‘em
You can propagate ranunculus through seeds, division, or by purchasing bulbs. Ranunculus bulbs can be purchased online or at commercial gardening stores.
Seeds should be sown in trays and planted indoors before the last frost. When purchasing bulbs, choose firm and plump ones without any signs of damage.
Division involves separating the tubers from the parent plant and planting them separately. Check the label or ask the grower for more information about the bulbs’ quality.

How to grow ranunculus

Ranunculus are beautiful flowers that can bring a burst of color to your garden. They tend to thrive in areas with mild winters and cool springs, making them especially popular in California. If you want to add ranunculus to your garden, here is a guide to help you get started.

Planting: Ranunculus should be planted in well-drained soil. They prefer full sunlight, so choose a spot in your garden that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. Before planting, soak your ranunculus bulbs in water for a few hours to help them hydrate.

Soil: Ranunculus grow best in loose, well-rotted soil. If your soil is heavy, you may need to add compost or peat moss to improve drainage. Alternatively, you can also plant ranunculus in pots filled with a well-draining potting mix.

Watering: Ranunculus bulbs should be watered regularly, especially during their growing season. They should be kept moist but not soggy. Avoid over-watering, as this can cause the bulbs to rot. During the dormant period, reduce watering and only water lightly when the soil feels dry.

Caring for ranunculus: Ranunculus require minimal care once they are planted. Deadhead the flowers regularly to encourage more blooms. Also, watch out for pests and diseases, and take appropriate measures to prevent or treat them.

When to plant: Ranunculus bulbs are typically planted in autumn, around the time of the first frost. They will start to appear above the soil in early spring. Ranunculus bulbs can also be planted in early spring, but be prepared to wait a little longer for them to start blooming.

Varieties: Ranunculus come in various colors and flower sizes. The most common colors are shades of red, pink, orange, yellow, and white. There are also some bi-color varieties available. Choose a variety that suits your taste and garden design.

Storage: If you live in an area with cold winters, ranunculus bulbs can be stored during the dormant period. After the foliage dies back in summer, carefully lift the bulbs and clean off any soil. Store them in a cool and dry place until it’s time to plant them again.

Tips: Ranunculus can benefit from staking as they tend to become top-heavy. Use stakes or cages to keep the plants upright and prevent them from being damaged by wind or heavy rain.

By following this guide, you can successfully grow ranunculus in your garden. Enjoy their fantastic blooms and add a touch of elegance to your outdoor space!

What are ranunculi

Ranunculi, also known as buttercups, are vibrant and beautiful flowers that belong to the Ranunculaceae family. They come in various shades, including yellow, apricot, and even deep red. These flowers have delicate petals arranged in a spiral pattern, resembling an octopus or a cup.

When it comes to growing ranunculi, it is essential to store them properly before planting. Make sure to keep them in a cool, dark spot, preferably between 35-45°F (1-7°C). Storing them in trays with a layer of damp peat moss or vermiculite will provide them with the necessary moisture.

Ranunculi are consistent bloomers and can be grown from bulbs or corms. The second option is more common, where corms are planted in early spring or fall, depending on your region’s climate. They are susceptible to wind damage, so choose a sheltered location if possible.

After planting, make sure to water your ranunculi regularly, but avoid overwatering. Provide them with plenty of sunlight, as they thrive in full sun or partial shade. It is important to control fluctuations in soil moisture and ensure good air circulation to prevent diseases.

There are numerous varieties of ranunculus available, with each having its own unique characteristics. Some popular varieties include the apricot-hued ‘Apricot’, the yellow ‘Yellow’, and the upright ‘Larkspur’. Choose the varieties that suit your preferences and climate the best.

Ranunculi typically take about 8-12 weeks to bloom from the time of planting. When the flowers begin to appear, it is crucial to monitor their watering needs carefully. Ranunculi require regular watering, but make sure to avoid getting the flowers wet, as this can cause them to rot.

One important tip to remember is that ranunculi go dormant after blooming. During this dormancy period, it is better to stop watering them. This helps the plants conserve energy and prepares them for the next growing season.

If you’re interested in propagating ranunculi, you can use the corms produced by the mother plants. Simply wait until the corms reach a decent size, then gently remove them and plant them in separate containers or in a new spot in your garden.

In summary, ranunculi are beautiful and vibrant flowers that add a touch of elegance to any garden. With proper care and attention to their needs, you can enjoy their exquisite blossoms for years to come.

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.