As a large genus, Ranunculus has several well-known species, including spearworts, water crowfoots, and buttercups.
The name comes from Latin, which means little frog, referring to the flower that grows as much as a little frog appears near water.
It is naturally found in meadows, forests, river banks, and more. Yet nowadays, more people are starting Ranunculus indoors.
Indoors or outdoors, they usually bloom during spring and summer in various colors, including red, white, yellow, pink, orange, and green.
Some species are annual, and the rest is perennial. Some also need full direct sunlight for 6 hours at the minimum a day, and several species thrive under partial shade (less direct sunlight).
The flowers are enchanting and attract pollinators and hummingbirds, but they are poisonous to humans, horses, and pets. Not only is the flower, but the leaves, roots, seeds, stems, and sap are also dangerous. It also triggers contact dermatitis.
Pretty varieties for starting Ranunculus indoors
Having about 600 species, these are some pretty varieties of indoor Ranunculus you should plant.
- Buttercup/Ranunculus repens: the most famous type of Ranunculus genus, buttercup has crepe petals. It grows well indoors since it has tenacious and rough roots.
- Ranunculus asiaticus: also called Persian Buttercup, has several varieties, including Bloomingdale, Flamenco, Merlo, Tecolote Red, and Café. Some of them could have multiple colors in a plant.
- Ranunculus acris: as the easiest species for starting Ranunculus indoors and outdoors, this species survives almost all soil types.
- Ranunculus Hanoi: mostly chosen by a bride, this variety has soft colors matching the blushed cheek.
- Ranunculus ficaria: it grows well under some shade, and its flowers have glossy and yellow petals. Some also call it fig buttercup.
- Ranunculus tango: having a similar look to red roses, it requires less pesticide and maintenance than roses.
Preparation before starting Ranunculus indoors
Propagating Ranunculus can be done through the seeds and corms or tubers. For seeds, germinate in cold temperatures of 10 to 15 degrees Celcius.
The best time for sowing the seeds is during the last weeks of winter. Wait until the seedling comes out, then transfer it to the pot.
Meanwhile, tubers and corms must be soaked in water for about four hours. Running is preferred as it provides more oxygen to the corms and tubers.
Wait until the corms begin to swell, being twice their original size. Then you are ready to start Ranunculus indoors using corms or tubers.
Prepare the soil that has rich organic matter and make it moist. For the container, create some holes for drainage. Then choose a spot that is warm and sunny.
Step by step, starting Ranunculus indoors
- Prepare the seeds/corms/tubers, soil, and container. Prepare as mentioned above. The key to preparation is healthy roots.
- Plant the seedling in the prepared container and soil two to three inches in depth. Put the seeds/corms/tubers within a four to six inches distance.
- If the soil is already moist, watering is not needed. Only water the soil if it is dry.
- Add mulch to the surface to retain the moisture. Mulch is essential during hot temperatures, so the soil will not lose water easily. Then follow the steps by doing regular care for the Ranunculus.
Essential care while starting Ranunculus indoors
- Fertilize the plant every two months with liquid fertilizer. This will stimulate more flower growth and prolong the Ranunculus lifespan.
- Cut any dead flowers as it makes other flowers dry faster. Not only the flowers but also the leaves and stems that are longer fresh or get infected should be removed. Removing them will trigger new growth.
- Water the soil regularly if the soil gets dried fast. Keep it moist and not wet. Yet before each watering, make sure to let the soil dry first.
- After starting Ranunculus indoors and the plant grows well, fully inspect the whole, especially the leaves, stems, flowers, and roots. Pests and diseases like aphids, fungi, and mollusk are often found. Prepare also the pesticide to clean up the infected parts.
- Provide enough sun. Although the plant thrives under full sun, placing them near the window is the best option.
Tips for starting Ranunculus indoors
- Do not plant during its dormant season. The best thing to do while dormancy is to save the tubers for the next growing season.
- Choose the right variety. As there are many species and varieties of Ranunculus, choose the color and density you wish to see.
- The goal of starting Ranunculus indoors is to enjoy the flowers or to sell them. Cut the flowers along the stems before the petals are furling to make the flowers bloom longer.
- While planting, the claws must be pointed down.
- Be careful of overcrowding and transfer some to a new pot. If you wish to regrow the dead Ranunculus after flowering, let the whole leaves turn yellow in a whole. Remove them, leaving the bulb only. Then store the bulbs in a cool and dry spot.