Name: Turban buttercup, Persian crowsfoot, ranunculus (Ranunculus asiaticus and varieties).
Height: up to 60cm; flower stems may be taller.
Foliage: bright green, deeply divided, reasonably tough.
Climate: cold to temperate areas preferred; cold winter required to initiate growth from corms.
Soil: well-drained loam with added organic matter.
Position: full sun for best flowering.
Flowering: single and double round flowers, some with a dark eye, in colours from white to bright red, carried on tall stems.
Feeding: add a controlled-release fertiliser in late winter; add bulb food when flowers fade.
Watering: once corms have sprouted, keep moist but not wet.
Ranunculus is not a true bulb but a corm, and an unusual one at that. It develops bright green, deeply divided leaves from corms planted in mid-autumn. By late winter flower buds appear on tall stalks, opening as the weather warms to reveal brightly coloured flowers. These may be picked for vases indoors or left on the plants. However, be aware that strong winds can completely shatter the blooms in a matter of hours.
Ranunculus is very hardy and grows well over wide-ranging conditions, from the cold of Tasmania and southern Victoria right through to the sub-tropics of south-east Queensland. Soil should be kept moist (but not wet) from the time your ranunculus is planted until after flowering.
Always buy corms from a reputable source and avoid any that are very wrinkled, dry, damaged or diseased.
Ranunculus corms are unlike most others—they resemble claws. This makes it easy to remember how to plant them—the claws should always point downwards.
Ranunculus can be grown in the garden or in pots to brighten verandahs and outdoor living spaces.
For best results, follow these tips when planting your ranunculus in the garden.
For best results, follow these tips when planting your ranunculus in pots:
Next season, buy fresh corms for the pots and transfer the old corms to the garden.
When the flowers die off, fertilise the plants with a bulb food, because this is when they will be producing the corms that will carry them over to next season.
When ranunculus shoots are starting to show through the soil, watch out for slugs and snails. Ranunculus plants can sometimes be susceptible to powdery mildew, a fungal disease that shows as a whitish bloom over the leaves. Use a general garden fungicide to control this.
Aphids can also be troublesome when flower buds are developing. Use a natural insecticide such as pyrethrum to kill them.
Jonquils: spring flowering bulbs similar to daffodils, with clusters of flowers from white to yellow.
Pansies: colourful flowering annuals ranging from white to deep purple; many have dark “face” markings.
Alstroemerias: a clump-forming Peruvian lily with tall stems of flowers in white, pink and apricot, and some bi-colours.
Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing!
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