I have to be honest. I had no idea what ranunculus were until I started flower farming and progressing through my floral design courses. I almost gave up on them the first year I was growing as I literally had only one bloom survive. 🤦♀️
However, I stuck with it and found ranunculus, commonly known as Persian Buttercups, to be one of my favorite blooms each spring! Last year we planted 500 ranunculus corms and had a plethora of brightly colored blooms! They were hands down my favorite flowers to work with in May and June. In fact, the first bouquets I offered at the farmers' market last year were filled with them!
This year, we are gearing up to plant 1,100 ranunculus corms for the growing season. That'll give us THOUSANDS of gorgeous blooms because each plant produces loads of flowers! I typically pre-sprout my corms inside in mid-March. This allows me to have blooms 3-4 weeks earlier than if I were to plant them directly into the ground. I start by soaking my corms, little octopus looking things, for several hours.
Then I scatter them over seed trays that have been filled half way with moist potting soil. Next, I completely cover them with more soil and leave the trays on our back porch for about two weeks where the temperature is usually 50° to 55°F. During this time, I check that their soil is still moist and that none have developed rot or mold. By the time they are ready to plant they will have swollen to twice their orginal size and developed rootlets. Once the roots are at least 1/2 inch long, I plant them out in rows that were prepared the previous fall. Ranunculus typically start blooming 90 days after they've been planted and continue to flower into the June in our area. Ranunculus grow into beautiful blooms with tall stems and paper-thin ruffly petals in an amazing array of colors.
Did you know that during the Victorian era people would send ranunculus to someone they thought was charming? I'm sure you will fall head over heals for these sweet, lightly fragrant blooms and follow in the Victorians' footsteps this spring by sending them to someone you find charming! 😊