"The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last for ever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change."
―E.B. White, Charlotte's Web
Tell me you don't want one of these.... | Tecolote Ranunculus
Ranunculus. You know you want one.
While I would like to start this post with a gorgeous photo of one of my own ranunculus flowers, I can’t, so I have to borrow this one from ENGAGEMENTAL .
This is the thing. I’m going to be honest and tell you that I have never been able to successfully grow ranunculus. I fell in love with them about 2 years ago when I was walking through a nursery and saw a yellow one in bloom. I almost cried. Well, not really, but I did actually ask the nurseryman what it was and I am so absurdly shy when it comes to talking to salespeople that I knew I really, really loved it. Not to mention it was yellow, and I’m not a yellow fan. So, make that flower peach or purple or cream or LIGHT yellow – I’m sold! Unfortunately, it was one flower for like $12, so I was not buying that day.
For the next year, I tried to find them everywhere. I trolled garden centers and big box centers and catalogs and websites. I told my husband the only thing I wanted for Mother’s Day was a ranunculus. (They were already out of bloom that year and they tried to sell HIM a $12 bulb that I could hold onto and plant next year…no thanks) Eventually I found Wayne. Wayne made me happy because he told me all about ranunculus. He made me sad because he had hundreds and I wanted hundreds. He also made me sad because he had found his at Home depot for like $5 for a giant bag and the cheapest I was finding was online for way more money than that.
Of course, I bought them anyway. I bought them for more money than I should have from a specialty nursery. I bought them even though everything I had read told me they needed cool temps to bloom and it was already April. I bought them even though we were moving into a townhouse with exactly 2x3 feet of planting space…in the shade.
They grew. They did not bloom. Of course they didn’t! I planted them in the wrong place at the wrong time! I was desperate though…I wanted ranunculus flowers SO BAD!
After the colossal failure and loss of money, I decided to give up on ranunculus. Of course, everyone knows that when you give up is when you find exactly what you are looking for (does this sound like a college girl on a husband hunt to anyone else??) Anyway, right there in Lowe’s, in the front of the store was a bag for $5. FIVE BUCKS!!! Just like Wayne’s! I swooped them up and looked over my shoulder as if that giant man with 2x4’s on his shoulder was going to sneak in and steal the ranunculus deal from under me (girly shopping habits die hard).
Perfect timing….early March will give me plenty of time to get them planted and blooming before the 90 degree temps swing in and I hope to show you some true ranunculus blooms this year!
How to plant them?
They are pretty easy. One of the most important steps is to soak them a bit before planting.
When you get them out of the bag, they look like shriveled up, dead little bits of nothingness.
Let them soak for a little while in some tepid water and they will start to plump up again.
(Don’t leave them in longer than a few hours because they will start to rot!)
Letting them sit in water also allows them to be a bit more flexible,
so you can spread the roots into the soil without risking a break.
See how I am gently squeezing the bananas outwards?
See those little bananas? Those are the roots and they face DOWN.
Put your trowel into the earth, pull it up and place the ranunculus, bananas DOWN, about 2 inches under the surface.
Make sure you spread the roots our GENTLY as you place it in the dirt.