When to Plant Ranunculus
Zones 8-10 should plant in autumn for blooms in late winter and early spring. Zones 2-7 should plant in late winter/early spring for blooms in late spring/early summer. Ranunculus does best in regions with mild winters and long, cool springs. Fall is the ideal planting time in such areas. Those with colder winters can plant in late winter/early spring, once the threat of hard frosts is over. Ranunculus can grow well in zones 3-10, but you must lift in zones 3-7. Since planting ranunculus corms (or bulbs) in the fall is only advisable for zones 8-10, they are one of the rare varieties that can be stored until spring (if purchased in the fall). We recommend that they are stored in a cool, dry, place until you're ready to plant. After the cold season is over, start ranunculus tubers indoors, and plant them outside when the soil is workable. In temperate zones, you can plant them directly into garden beds in March to late April for blooms in May or June, depending on the conditions in your location.
Where to Plant Ranunculus
For container planting, select a container that's large enough to accommodate the full-grown plant. Ensure there are adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Choose a spot for your container that receives full sun for at least 6 hours a day. When the danger of hard frost has passed, place the container in full sun all day. Of course, you may always plant in prepared beds. Just follow the directions below.
How to Plant Ranunculus
Before planting, soak your bulbs for a two to three hours in lukewarm water. DO NOT OVERSOAK. Choose well-draining soil with full sun exposure. Dig holes that allow you to plant the ranunculus 1-2 inches deep, and 6-9 inches apart. Make sure that the "pointed" ends are facing downward. After planting, gently soak the soil. Learn why soaking bulbs is important here.
Pre-sprouting ranunculus will allow your corms to bloom a few weeks earlier than normal. Soak corms in room-temperature water for three to four hours. Fill a flat-bottomed seed tray half-way with moist potting soil. Place corms in the tray and cover with more soil. Move the tray into an area that has consistent temperatures of 40 to 50°F for two weeks. Check the corms every three to four days to ensure the soil is moist, and remove any corms that show signs of rotting or molding. Once rootlets appear, it's time to plant!
How to Care for Ranunculus
Leave the foliage in place once blooming has ended for the season. The leaves will continue to gather sunlight and strengthen the bulbs for future seasons. Leaves will yellow and die back as the plant goes dormant. Foliage may be removed at this point.
How to Store
Ranunculus are shipped year-round in a dry, dormant state. If you are not ready to plant the dried corms, store them in this bag out of direct sunlight at room temperature for up to eight months. If you have lifted the corms from the ground, store tubers in dry moss, such as peat, in a mesh bag. Mesh onion bags are a great storing option for any bulb or tuber.