Lush and full, the ranunculus really knows how to make an entrance. Blooming in a range of colours from blushing peach to wine red, the large clusters of tissue-thin petals are a cheery addition to any garden. Grow your own ranunculus flowers to add texture to bouquets, as a centerpiece for a container, or to simply enjoy while sitting in the backyard.
In the spring, I always see a whole aisle at the garden winds replacement canopy for the windsor gazebo standard 350 beige_700032 centre dedicated to ranunculus flowers. And they are a florist staple in spring flower arrangements. I was surprised to find out that many folks don?t know is that you can grow them in your garden from corms. I don?t know why they aren?t a home garden staple as they are very popular and have a strong fan base.
Me, I?ll always be one of the ranunculus flowers? biggest cheerleaders! They are so easy to grow and belong in more home gardens. Here?s everything you need to know about how to plant ranunculus corms and care for their blooms.
Meet the Ranunculus
Also known as the Persian Buttercup, the Ranunculus asiaticus is the most common ranunculus found in home gardens. There are over 250 species, but most are found only in the wild. All hybrids found in the home come from the Ranunculus asiaticus.
Tecolote hybrids, known as peony-flowered, come from California and are easy to source. Other hybrids also include varieties from Israel and France.
No matter which type of ranunculus you choose, you are bound to find them in all sorts of colours. Typically flowering in late spring and early summer, you can find ranunculus in white, yellow, pink, orange, red, burgundy, blush, peach, and more mixed and jewel-toned colours. Ranunculus flower stalks grow anywhere from 12 to 24 inches in height.
Commonly referred to as bulbs, ranunculus grows from corms. And boy, do they look strange! They resemble octopuses with tiny, scraggly, brown thick roots called claws.
Larger corms will hold more stored energy and produce a larger, stronger plant. Each corm produces several flower stems.
Ranunculus look like little peonies. They are easy to find at your local garden centre, as corms or already grown. Get the low down on ranunculus in the video below!
This video is part of the Random Gifts of Flowers project with Flowerbulbs.com. The video was made in partnership with Flowerbulbs.com but this post is not sponsored.
How to Plant Ranunculus Flowers
When to Plant Ranunculus
Depending on where you live, you can plant ranunculus corms either in the fall or spring. For those with mild winters, typically zones 8 and up, you can plant in fall with a little bit of protection such as frost cloth. When planted in fall, you will get longer-lasting, more abundant blooms come spring.
For colder winters, you will have to plant corms in the spring. You can start the corms indoors in late winter. They can be planted outside once the threat of a deep freeze has passed. This occurs approximately a month before the last frost.
Ranunculus will only grow back as perennials in zones 8-10. In all other zones, they are treated as annuals.
Corms are dried and small prior to being planted. To get them ready for planting, they need to be soaked first. Soak ranunculus corms for 3-4 hours (no longer). As they soak up all the water, they will double in size. You can plant them directly in the ground from this stage or you pre-sprout them.
Beginning Ranunculus Flowers Indoors
After soaking the corms, you can place them in a seed tray. Prepare the tray by filling it halfway with potting soil. Place the corms on the soil and then cover with more of it. Leave the tray in a cool place for 10-14 days. You will want to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
Check for roots by lifting them from the soil periodically. Once they have small, white roots that are 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, you can plant them outside.
Ranunculus like lots of sun. While they don?t like the heat of the summer, they enjoy soaking up the spring sun as much as possible. Try to plant them in an area where they will get some afternoon sun.
To prepare soil, mix and fertilizer into the ground. Plant the corms 1-2 inches deep and at least 3 inches apart. Make sure the claws are pointed down. Ranunculus like well-draining soil as they are prone to rotting.
After planting, give ranunculus a good watering. You can also easily plant ranunculus in containers. In places with cold winters, this is a popular way of growing them. Keep in mind that ranunculus grow large root balls so make sure the container is large enough to hold it. The bigger the root ball, the bigger the plant!
Once you?ve planted ranunculus, be patient. You should have ranunculus flowers 90 days after you?ve planted the corms. When planted in the spring, they should flower at end of spring or the beginning of summer and last for 4-6 weeks. When planted in the fall, they will bloom in mid-spring and last for 6-7 weeks.
As ranunculus grow throughout the spring, consider using a frost cloth to protect the plants if it dips below freezing.
Ranunculus should be . In spring and summer as the flowers begin to die and wilt, cut them right to the base. This will encourage more blooms.
What should you do with ranunculus after flowering? Once the plant has finished flowering completely, you can cut back ranunculus or dig out the root ball if you choose.
If you plan on trying to overwinter ranunculus in the ground, wait until fall to cut back the stems. When the top half of the plant has started to die, cut right to the crown of the plant. By allowing ranunculus to die back on its own, it will be able to store enough energy for the winter.
Ranunculus Flowers for Cutting
Take a peek at spring bridal bouquets and you will see how popular ranunculus are as cutting flowers. They can last for ten or more days in a vase!
The key to having ranunculus for a long time is to . Cut them when they are still a bud and not fully open. When the buds have coloured and are still squishy like a marshmallow, they are ready.
You want to cut them with sharp, sterile scissors to the base of the flower stem. If you cut ranunculus when they are open, they will last about seven days and will be harder to transport.
Bringing ranunculus indoors will revitalize the inside of the house when the nights are still chilly. Don?t hesitate to cut some flowers for a friend, neighbour, co-worker, or anyone you know who could use a smile.
If you plan on growing ranunculus, let me know in the comments down below! Don?t forget to use on social media if you grow your own ranunculus and gift it to brighten someone?s day.
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These edible flower ice cubes make a stunning show in a garden cocktail. Use them at special events like weddings or showers, or just to add a little pretty to your glass of water or favorite beverage!
What Flowers Can You Put in Ice Cubes?
Any edible flowers work well for floral ice cubes. You probably have some already right in your backyard. Check out my list of some of to grow and see if you have any handy to put in your flower ice cubes, including rose, nasturtium, , and even . They all work wonderfully as edible flowers for drinks, adding pops of colour and even a unique flavour.
I like violas because of the flavour, but also because the size can perfectly fit in an ice cube tray. The only annuals I tend to grow in my garden are edible ones. When I first tasted violas I knew that this stunning plant with vibrant flowers would be front and center.
While they are so often planted just to perk up the flower beds and container gardens, once you taste the sweet, almost pea-like flavour, you will be buying them by the flat. It?s no wonder that these are often called Culinary Violets (botanically-speaking, viola is the name for the collective group of violets, violas, and pansies).
How to Use Flower Ice Cubes
I love adding these flower ice cubes to my summer cocktails. Not only are they pretty, but you might notice their subtle taste in the flavour profile of the drink. I have a whole list of you can certainly add these ice cubes to and really impress any guests.
I also like to add these ice cubes to any of my floral drinks such as my , , and my . The flowers in ice go well with the theme and make drinking it even more fun.
They really add a unique look to your drinks at special events such as weddings, birthdays, showers, etc. Be sure to use a clear glass for your drinks so that the flower ice cubes can be appreciated in their full glory!
How to Make Flower Ice Cubes
One of the biggest questions I get is how do you make clear ice with flowers? The trick to getting the ice to be clear is to boil it first! Tap water typically makes cloudy cubes unless you run it through the tea kettle or stovetop and boil it.
However, don?t discredit cloudy ice. I like both varieties. The clear cubes show off the flowers best but the cloudy ones show formations that look like glass-like cracks.
Helpful Tips for Making This Ice
To make edible flower ice cubes is simple, but here are a few more tricks that will help them put in the best display possible.
- Harvest flowers just before you intend to use them. They should be picked at their peak of freshness and show no signs of ill health.
- Separate the petals from larger flowers to help them fit. Arrange them back together in each of the cells of the ice cube tray.
- Taste them! Yes, there are many flowers you can choose from, but be careful that the flavour they impart works with the drink they are intended to cool. Radish flowers are very pretty and will be tasty in a Bloody Mary, but may not be as much of a match for lemonade!
- Freeze in layers. Start by filling up the ice cube tray halfway with water and place the flower on the surface. Gently pour just a few drops of water over the flower so that when you freeze it, the flower will be held in place. Freeze for 12-24 hours, then pour another layer of water to fill the ice cube trays. Work quickly so they don?t melt. Freeze for 12-24 hours and you are ready to use them!
- Serve in clear drinks for the best results.
How Long Does Flower Ice Last?
Just like most garden bounty, sooner is better when it comes to using these pretty cubes. I get asked often how long do flower ice cubes last? While they technically may be okay for a month or two, the flavor and color will be at it?s best during the first few days. I suggest you use the ice cubes within 2 weeks
Give these flower ice cubes a try and let me know in the comments down below how they turn out!
Want to Learn More About Edible Flowers? Read These:
How to Make Flower Ice Cubes
Ice cube tray
- boiled water to make clear ice
- edible flowers violas, rose, nasturtium, lavender, dandelions
Pick flowers at the peak of their freshness.
Fill up the ice cube tray halfway with water.
Add flowers to the ice cube tray. If needed, separate petals from large flowers to help them fit.
Pour a few drops of water on top of the flowers to help them stay in place, then freeze for about 24 hours.
Remove the ice cube tray from the freezer and immediately add more cold water to fill the tray up.
Refreeze and enjoy!