The Ranunculus family is huge and contains a wide range of plants from delphiniums to hellebores. Most well-known of all in this family is, of course, the common buttercup, which when placed under our chins becomes expert at deducing whether or not butter is a thing we enjoy!
Ranunculus flower bulbs are an altogether less delicate affair with large double blooms in summer, however they do hold similarity to their wildflower relative in their bright sunshine colours and are a top quality garden choice as well as making superb cut flowers.
These really are the richest of gems, glittering in glorious colours as they stand out in your spring and summer borders or pots. Our yellow bulbs sing of buttercup glory whilst our red Ranunculus add a rich warm kick of colour. The flowers are rather like small peonies - luscious and voluptuous and prevalent during May and June.
Plant the bulbs in autumn in a well-draining, sunny sheltered spot. The bulbs appear to have claws and these should be facing downwards when planting at a depth of about 3 inches. If you live in a particularly cold spot, bulbs can be planted in early spring after frosts have ceased. It is often advised to soak bulbs on receipt for a few hours prior to planting to give them a head start, although this is not vital.
After flowering, let foliage die down and then if in an exposed site, lift and store bulbs in a dry frost free place until planting again in autumn/spring. If bulbs are in pots, they can be left and the pots protected in a greenhouse or shed over winter.
It's not just fiery hot colours that these Ranunculus bulbs display, for they can also offer romantic purples such as 'Pauline Violet' and passionate pinks. They really do make sensational cut flowers. Why not dedicate a border to them and grow in rows as a cutting bed?
Add jewel-like sparkle to your summer with a selection of Ranunculus bulbs.
When to plant Ranunculus bulbs?
Ranunculus are ground-hardy in warmer areas and can be planted in the autumn between October and November or in the spring when the danger of frost has passed.
The bulbs appear to have claws and these should be facing downwards when planting at a depth of about 3 inches. If you live in a colder area, bulbs can be planted in early spring after frosts have ceased. It is often advised to soak bulbs on receipt for a few hours prior to planting to give them a head start, although this is not vital.
It is easiest to grow the bulbs in pots, overwintering them in a greenhouse or cold frame and bringing them out in spring. Good ventilation is required.
How to grow Ranunculus?
Plant into well-drained and fertile soil in full sun. Incorporate well-rotted manure for strong plants. If planting in pots, put grit in the bottom of the pots and fill with a quality multi-purpose compost and add some extra grit to ensure good drainage.
Plant 3-5 cm deep and 6-10 cm apart, ‘eyes’ up and claws facing down. Grow in a sheltered position and protect from strong and cold winds.
Buy Ranunculus bulbs UK from Suttons