Radiant Ranunculus

It’s ranunculus time at the farm! I say this about lots of things but… ranunculus are one of my favorite flowers.

There’s nothing quite like taking a bunch of ranunculus home and watching them slowly unfurl their delicate petals over the course of the week.

It’s amazing to watch a tiny-looking ranunculus bud transform into a flouncy, flowery, rose-like orb.

Cold-loving ranunculus like it chilly, so we plant them in January and February.

Ranunculus come to us in the form of hard little “corms,” which we soak in water, then leave in our temperature-controlled cooler to wake up.

We wait for a sunny day in late winter, as soon as we can work a shovel into the ground, to plant them outside.

With a heated greenhouse, it’s possible to plant ranunculus in the late fall and very early winter, and have them bloom earlier in the spring.

We don’t heat our greenhouse, so we plant later and have a later ranunculus crop than many other growers in our area.

Our ranunculus start to bloom right as the tulips are finishing blooming, and right before our first round of cold hardy annuals begin. This makes ranunculus a super helpful flower for us from a crop planning perspective.

I also love using ranunculus in wedding flowers and other floral arrangements! They make for a beautiful focal flower.

The range of colors that ranunculus come in is GORGEOUS!

I especially love this orangey-brown color called “Cafe” that we’re growing for the first time this year.

Ranunculus have a great vase life of 7-`10 days, depending on how closed they are when you get them, and how good you are at changing their water 😉

These flowers also dry fairly well, either left standing up in an empty vase, or hung upside down in a warm space.

When the weather heats up, our cold-loving ranunculus plants go dormant and die back.

To help keep the ranunculus producing flowers as long as possible, this year we made a little “shade tunnel” for them by covering them with shade cloth. The shade cloth only lets through a certain percentage of the sunlight, keeping the plants cool.

It seems to have helped a bunch! Our plants are lush and healthy.

This year, we plan to experiment digging up our ranunculus corms and saving them to re-plant in 2023. We may also experiment with a late fall crop!

We usually only have ranunculus for 3-4 weeks in late spring. As with most spring flowers, they are fleeting beauties.

I’m planning to surround myself with ranunculus as long as they are here!

Samantha is the owner of Sea Change Farm & Flower.

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