Ranunculus: A Guide To The Charming Flower

by Australian Flowers

Ranunculus are one of the most popular flowers for both home gardens and as cut flowers. They are relatively easy to grow, and their wide range of colours can be used in various ways. This guide will cover everything you need to know about Ranunculus, from how to plant them to care for them.

Plant History and Cultivation of Ranunculus

Ranunculus Flower

The plant history of this plant goes back to the age of dinosaurs. The plant is a member of the buttercup family, which includes more than 600 species. They are native to temperate regions of the world and can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

The plant we grow today in gardens and greenhouses are descendants of plants first cultivated in the Middle East more than 2,000 years ago.


Seeds, bulbs, or rhizomes can propagate this plant. Seeds should be sown in the fall or spring. The fall-sown plant will flower the following spring. Spring showings may not flower until the second spring.

When To Plant

The best time to plant bulbs is in the fall, about six to eight weeks before the first frost. That way, the roots have time to establish themselves before winter sets in. You can also plant in early spring, but be sure to do so before the last frost date in your area.

How To Plant

It is a tuberous-rooted plant, meaning the bulbs are an underground stem. This type prefers full sun and well-drained soil. You can plant them in the spring, after the last frost date.

To plant, dig a hole twice the size of the ranunculus bulb. Place the ranunculus bulb in the hole, pointed side up, and cover it with soil—water well. Ranunculus will bloom in about 6-8 weeks.

How To Grow

When growing, it is essential to keep the following in mind:


The best location to grow is in an area that receives full sun. They also prefer well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. If your flowers are not getting enough sun, they will produce fewer flowers.


The soil required should be well-drained, rich in organic matter, and slightly acidic with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. They will not tolerate wet or soggy conditions and rot if the soil does not drain well.


Growing Ranunculus

It needs moist soil to grow. Water them when the soil is dry to the touch; too much water will cause the bulbs to rot, so be sure to drain holes in the pot.

Ensuring drain holes in the pot is key to care, as the bulbs will rot if they sit in water. Allow the plant to dry out between watering.

Climate And Temperature

The Climate required is they will not tolerate heat. They grow best in regions where the winters are cold, and the summers are mild. They will go dormant in hot weather and will not flower until the weather has cooled again. It needs a minimum temperature of 10°C to grow.


When it is grown in the garden, the fertilizer needed will depend on the type of flowers you are being grown. For example, tuberous Ranunculus need a different fertilizer than buttercups.

  • Tuberous Ranunculus need a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus and low in nitrogen. This type is typically grown for its flowers, so the phosphorus helps to encourage blooming.
  • Buttercups should be fertilized with a balanced fertilizer that contains an equal amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This type is typically grown for its leaves, so the nitrogen helps to encourage foliage growth.


The maintenance required for these flowers is minimal. These plants are tolerant of neglect and will often bloom even if not given proper care. However, flowers will produce more blooms and have a longer blooming period if given the appropriate care.

These plants are tolerant of neglect and will often bloom even if not given proper care. However, flowers will produce more blooms and have a longer blooming period if given the appropriate care.

When And How To Harvest Cut Flowers

Depending on the cultivar, the flowers can be harvested 60-90 days after planting. It should be harvested in the morning when the stem is fully turgid to ensure a long vase life. Cut to an angle with a sharp knife or pair of scissors. Immediately plunge stems into cool water and recut stems under water.

Popular Varieties

Amandine Barby

There are wide varieties to choose from, so it’s essential to select the right ones for your needs. Some popular varieties include:

‘Amandine Barby’

The amandine Barby ranunculus is a variety that is relatively new to the world. It is characterized by its large, double blooms that can reach up to 8 inches in diameter. The petals are a deep pink colour with hints of purple, and the centre of the flower is white. This is a hybrid of two other varieties, the ‘Aurora’ and the ‘Cape Cod.’

‘Amandine Chamallow’

This ranunculus variety is characterized by its large, double flowers that boast a beautiful deep pink hue. The amandine chamallow ranunculus is perfect for adding a pop of colour to any garden or landscaping.

This variety is relatively easy to grow and maintain regarding ranunculus care. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, it prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. Additionally, it should be watered regularly, especially during hot, dry periods.

‘La Belle White Picotee’

This flower is a beautiful, delicate bloom that is perfect for adding a touch of elegance to any garden. The la belle white picotee variety is a stunning example of this flower, with its pure white petals and delicate pink markings. Native to the Mediterranean region, this is relatively easy to grow and makes a great addition to any garden.

‘Cloni Success’ Series

The cloni success series is a variety that has been cloned for its ability to produce large, vibrant blooms. This is perfect for cutting and adding to floral arrangements. The large flowers make it a show-stopper in any garden or bouquet. The cloni success series come in various colours, including white, yellow, pink, and red.

‘Cloni Pon Pon Minerva’

The cloni pon pon Minerva is a dwarf variety that grows only about 6 inches tall. It has bright green leaves and large, double flowers that are pink with white centres. This variety is easy to grow and care for, making it a good choice for beginners.

‘Bloomingdale’ Series

The Bloomingdale series is a variety known for its large, showy flowers. The flowers are usually a deep red but can also be white or pink. This variety is native to the Mediterranean region and was first introduced to the United States in the early 1900s. Ranunculus in the Bloomingdale series typically grow about 12-18 inches tall and have a long bloom period lasting from late spring to early summer.

Pests and Diseases

Powdery Mildew in Ranunculus

Ranunculus are generally healthy plants and don’t suffer too many pests or diseases. However, there are a few things to watch out for:


Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that can be found in various colours, including green, black, brown, and yellow. Aphids feed on plant sap and can cause damage to ranunculus plants by stunting growth or causing leaves to yellow and curl. In severe infestations, aphids can also transmit viruses from plant to plant.


Cutworms in Ranunculus are the larvae of a type of night-flying moth. These black or brown pests have a cream-coloured stripe running down their backs. Cutworms attack ranunculus plants by cutting through the stem at the base of the plant, causing it to topple over and die.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a type of ranunculus fungus that appears as a white powder on the leaves and stems of ranunculus plants. It can cause the ranunculus leaves to turn yellow and drop off and stunt the ranunculus plant’s growth. Powdery mildew is more common in ranunculus plants grown in shady, humid conditions.


Botrytis is a ranunculus disease caused by the fungus Botryotinia fuckeliana. The fungus attacks ranunculus flowers, leaves and stems, causing them to rot. Botrytis can affect all parts of the ranunculus plant but is most commonly seen on the flowers.

Symptoms of botrytis include:

  • Gray or brown spots on ranunculus leaves
  • Brown or black lesions on ranunculus stems
  • Wilting ranunculus flowers

Plant Uses

Ranunculus is most commonly grown as an ornamental plant. All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested, but Ranunculus is often used in floral arrangements because of its showy flowers. The ranunculus flower symbolizes attraction, radiance and charm.

Planting Tips

  • When it comes to Ranunculus, one important planting tip is to ensure that the corms are planted around six weeks before the last frost date in your area. This will ensure that the ranunculus plants have enough time to establish themselves before any cold weather hits.
  • It’s also essential to plant ranunculus corms in well-draining soil. Ranunculus plants don’t like to sit in wet, soggy soil, so ensure that the area you grow them in has good drainage.
  • Finally, ranunculus corms should be planted at around 4 inches. Once they are produced, please give them a good watering and wait for them to sprout.

With these ranunculus planting tips, you should have no problem growing beautiful ranunculus flowers in your garden.

Frequently Asked Questions about this Charming Flowers

Is a ranunculus annual or a perennial?

This plant is perennial. It is a bulb that will come back year after year once it is established. Most people divide their ranunculus bulbs every 3-4 years to keep them blooming well. Ranunculuses like full sun or part sun, and prefer rich, moist soil. They can be planted in the spring or fall. When planting, be sure to bury the bulb at least 4 inches below the soil surface.

Where is the best place to plant ranunculus?

The bulbs should be planted in full sun in well-draining soil. They can be planted in the spring or fall and can be grown in containers or in the ground.
If you are planting bulbs in the ground, make sure to dig a hole that is twice as deep as the height of the bulb and space them 3-4″ apart. When planting them in containers, make sure to use a potting mix that drains well and place the bulbs 6-8″ apart. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer once a month.

Can ranunculus be grown in pots?

Yes, you can grow them in pots. You will need to provide the plant with plenty of water and fertilize it regularly. Make sure the pot has good drainage so the soil doesn’t become waterlogged. They bloom best when they receive plenty of sunlight. If you can’t place your pot in a sunny spot, then you can supplement it with artificial light.

What happens if you plant ranunculus upside down?

If you plant them upside down, the stem will grow downwards and the flowers will grow upwards. This is because the stem of a ranunculus plant grows towards the light, and since light enters from the top of a plant, the stem will grow in that direction.
The upside-down method is a great way to get more blooms on your plants since you’ll be cramming more flowers into a smaller space. It’s also a helpful trick if you want to disguise where your plants are growing; no one will be able to tell that your ranunculus is planted upside down!

Do you deadhead ranunculus?

Yes, you should deadhead them. The flowers will last longer if the spent blooms are removed. You can either snap them off or use a sharp knife to cut the stem just below the bloom.

Can I plant ranunculus in March?

Yes, you should be able to plant them in March. They prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. You can direct sow the seeds or start them indoors. If starting indoors, wait until the danger of frost has passed and then transplant them into the garden.

What happens if you plant bulbs too deep?

If you plant bulbs too deep, the bulb will not be able to grow and produce a flower. Planting bulbs too deep can also cause the bulb to rot. Make sure to plant bulbs at the correct depth so that they have a chance to grow and produce flowers.

Can ranunculus tolerate frost?

Yes, they can tolerate frost. In fact, they often thrive in cooler climates. The biggest challenge for growing ranunculus in cold weather is keeping the soil from freezing solid. You can do this by mulching the plants heavily with straw or leaves, or by planting them in a raised bed that’s covered with a frost cloth.

Why is my ranunculus not flowering?

It’s possible your ranunculus are not flowering because they are not getting enough light. Ranunculus need at least 6 hours of direct sun each day in order to flower properly.
Another possibility is that your plants may be getting too much water. Ranunculus do best when their soil is kept moist, but not wet. If the soil is constantly wet, the plants will rot and die.
If you’re unsure about how to care for your ranunculus, it may be helpful to consult with a local florist or garden centre. They can help you troubleshoot any problems and recommend appropriate solutions.

How often should I water ranunculus?

Ranunculus like to be on the dry side, so water them only when the soil is dry an inch below the surface. They can be watered every few days or once a week, depending on how much rain they get. In general, wait until the top inch of the soil is dry before watering. If you’re worried about over-watering, you can always test the soil moisture with your finger.

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