Position bulbs in spots that receive plenty of sunshine, although most will be happy with a little shade for part of the day.
Ranunculus are cool-climate flowers that flourish and will thrive in most Australian climates, but cold to temperate areas are preferred. In warmer areas – simply store the bulbs in the fridge for four to six weeks before planting.
Plant in well-draining soil that has been enriched with well-composted organic matter, such as manure or blood and bone. If your soil is poor, you can mound up garden beds to help improve drainage, or plant in pots or troughs that have drainage holes and ensure you use good-quality potting mix.
After planting, water sparingly, then increase as the weather warms up. Ensure the soil is moist, not wet – otherwise, the bulbs can rot. When plants are budding up, water generously during any spring dry spells.
Feed bulbs with a controlled-release fertiliser in autumn and water in well. When flower buds begin to appear, give the plants a boost with an application of soluble fertiliser using a formulation specially designed for flowering plants.
Deadhead ranunculus in spring or summer as the flowers begin to droop. Cut the bloom at the bottom of the stem. This will encourage new flower growth. Once flowering has finished, it’s important to continue watering the plant and leaving the foliage intact until it has died off naturally. Then, remember to fertilise the plants with bulb food to help produce the corms that will carry them over to the next season.
When to plant ranunculus seeds in Australia
Although ranunculus can be grown from seeds, you’ll often find them sold as claw-like corms which can be planted directly into garden beds or in pots. The best time to plant ranunculus corms is in late summer to early winter.
Where to plant ranunculus in your garden
Here are some handy tips to help you find a suitable spot in your garden to plant your ranunculus.
- Choose loamy soil that doesn’t stay wet for long periods after rainfall or watering. If you notice the water puddling after 5 to 6 hours of heavy rain, it's best to find a new spot or amend the soil with organic matter to improve drainage.
- Ranunculus are great for mass plantings in beds or borders. Look for spaces under trees that provide partly shaded conditions.
- Once planted, it can be difficult to remember where your bulbs are, so be sure to position a label or stake nearby. This will help you avoid damaging them when digging over areas of the garden.
Growing ranunculus in pots Australia
Ranunculus can be grown in a pot. It’s best to plant one corm per pot, unless you have a pot that is large enough to accommodate corms spaced at least 15cm apart.
Simply fill a pot with good quality potting mix, and plant the corm at a depth of 3cm. Be sure to plant the corm with the claws facing downwards, as these claws will become the roots of the plant. Cover the corm with soil and water well.
When flowering begins, you can bring the pot indoors to enjoy their blooms.
Ranunculus flowering season
Ranunculus are considered annual to bi-annual plants that flower in spring and summer.
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