Home Science Environment Give your Home and Garden Radiance with Ranunculus

Give your Home and Garden Radiance with Ranunculus

Radiant and charming is the meaning behind giving one a ranunculus flower, as you can see the flower has these qualities too.  Ranunculus is a Latin name with two words — rana means frog and unculus means little. Ranunculus grow naturally in wet conditions or along streams where you also find frogs. The first type of ranunculus had single flowering petals and they came in red and yellow — they were known as Buttercups.

Photo of Ranunculus taken at Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne, by Trisha Hadock
Photo of ranunculus taken at Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne, Australai. (Image: Trisha Haddock/Vision Times)

In 1921, Luther Gage moved to Carlsbud and began growing flowers. Edwin Frazee, with his brother and father, worked on Gage’s floriculture farm in California, and ranunculus were grown there, along with other beautiful flowers. Edwin enjoyed his work and he decided to leave school early to grow ranunculus. When nature produced a ranunculus flower that was a little bit different, Edwin kept the seed and sowed it the next year.

Over the year,s Edwin created 13 colors of ranunculus with a fuller bloom of petals. Edwin shifted his flower farm a number of times throughout California. The change in soils could be the reason for the different colors and the increase in petals. Edwin eventually settled his field of flowers at a place that is today called The Flower Fields of Carlsbad.

Photo of Ranunculus at Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne, by Trisha Hadock
Photo of ranunculus at Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne, Australia. (Image: Trisha Haddock/Vision Times)

The ranunculus genus has 2000 species today that you can choose from. Plant them in the Autumn and prepare a well-drained garden bed that is positioned in full sun. Make sure to plant the claw-shaped rhizome with the claws facing downwards at a depth of 3 cm and a width from other ranunculus of 6 cm. Water lightly, then more when growth appears in winter.

Flowers will bloom in the Spring, and the more you cut your pretty ranunculus flowers, the more they will regrow. Fertilize with a granular fertilizer six to eight weeks after planting, and follow the fertilizer instructions afterwards. Such beauty always comes with a caution — all modern ranunculus are poisonous to animals, but when handling cut flowers, there is only low toxicity. You only need to be cautious when handling many flowers often.

Photo of Rununculus flower bed at Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne, by Trisha Haddock
Photo of ranunculus flower bed at Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne, Australia. (Image: Trisha Haddock/Vision Times)

When flowers have reached the end of blooming, let the leaves die naturally for the rhizome to store food for next flowering season, and then remove the dead leaves. The odd-shaped rhizome, which is also regarded as a bulb, can be stored or left in the ground unwatered.

Plant ranunculus with existing perennial plants for a spectacular display, or they can be planted in containers or decorative pots. Make sure they are planted in the sun with adequate drainage and a quality bulb potting mix— this will give you an unforgettable floral display.

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Trisha Haddock
My home is in a bush setting in the outer suburbs of the city Melbourne in Australia. I love walking through the bush and sitting on my back verandah watching the native birds. The Australian bushland gives me inspiration to create. I write, paint, draw and I dabble at some craft work. I am also often found in my veggie patch picking or planting my latest crop. Amongst all these activities I also follow a type of meditation practice called Falun Dafa. I incorporate the principles of Falun Dafa practice, truth compassion and tolerance in everything I do. I hope readers enjoy my interesting stories about our environment, gardening, people and places.

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