Ranunculus (Red) – Bulbs (set of 5)
You can add big color to the garden on a small budget when you plant ranunculus. Most of the roughly 600 species in the genus Ranunculus, including buttercups, are herbaceous perennials that yield white or bright yellow flowers. They grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11. Although you can grow them from seed, ranunculus are typically grown from tubers that look like bunches of tiny, dark bananas, available inexpensively by the bag from nurseries and home improvement stores. Gardeners in mild climates can plant tubers in October or November to flower in March, while those in cooler planting zones should plant in the early spring for summer bloom.
Nurseries typically sell ranunculus tubers in four sizes or grades. “Jumbo” tubers are from 2 3/4 to 3 1/8 inches in circumference. “Number One” tubers are 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 inches in circumference. “Number Two” tubers are 2 to 2 1/4 inches in circumference. “Number Three” tubers, rarely found on the market, are 1 1/8 to 2 1/4 in circumference. The National Gardening Association recommends planting Jumbo tubers because they yield about 35 flowers. A plant grown from a Number Two tuber yields about 20 flowers. A Number Three tuber yields about 12 flowers.
Plant ranunculus tubers 2 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart in an outdoor bed. The tubers rot if they sit in saturated soil. If water puddles at the site five or six hours after a hard rain, add organic matter to the soil to raise the planting level 2 to 3 inches above the ground or plant them somewhere else. Water thoroughly after you plant tubers and apply a mulch of straw, bark or coco hulls. If the soil retains some moisture, do not water until you see spouts. This is usually from 15 to 20 days.