If you are looking for easy to grow spring flowering bulbs then Ranunculus spring to mind.
Colorful, easy going and low care they bring a riot of color to the spring garden.
Although they are not regarded as fussy, they do have a few requirements if they are to be as successful as you would like.
You don’t find Ranunculus flower in florists very often, and they are rarely offered in garden centers, however, amongst gardeners in the know they are highly regarded.
Ranunculus like a cool soil, they also like a well drained soil. So no secrets really, just the right soil in the right position.
Ranunculus asiaticus are sometimes called the giant buttercup, however they are a little more than that. You can grow them in containers, or use them as bedding plants. They are not really a bulb, rather a rhizome and they look a little like a claw.
A number of varieties are available including some exhibition types with wonderful large flowers.
A simple guide to planting Ranunculus is to choose a good quality potting soil if you are growing in containers or to prepare the soil well before planting out into the garden. Most potting soils will do the nicely, garden soil should be turned over and some well rotted compost added a few weeks before planting.
For those in the warmer zones, choose a position with some afternoon shade, in other areas full sun will do nicely. They are best in USDA Zones 4 – 7, with a little care they can be grown in slightly colder or warmer zones, you just need to create the right conditions.
- Soak the bulbs or rhizomes overnight before planting.
- In containers add some drainage material before adding the potting mix.
- The eye in the center of the rhizome points up and the rhizomes that look like little fingers point downwards.
- Best planted at around 2 inches -4 (6cm – 12) apart and 1 inch (3 cm) deep.
- Water in well with a liquid seaweed fertilizer.
- In containers, plant them closer than you would in the ground, this way they form a really nice clump.
Did you know that Ranunculus hybrids make great cut flowers ?
What are mainly offered are the larger flowering colorful hybrids however some species are also worth seeking out.
Ranunculus ficaria is one species, and it is available with double white flowers as well as green flowers. Excellent for naturalizing into a woodland area. And if you can find it, R. ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’ has yellow flowers and good deep purple foliage.
Although you could grow Ranunculus from seed, they are far easier by division.