A question that is often asked when talking about Ranunculus bulbs is that of the Ranunculus season and when is it? Quite simply this simply depends on where you live! Ranunculus bulbs have an optimum growing temperature and don’t like the cold weather too much and obviously climatic conditions changes depending on where you live in the country.
Below are the guidelines for successfully growing Ranunculus bulbs – depending on the ‘hardiness zone’ you live in. Don’t know your zone? Then check out the USDA hardiness zones here ==> USDA Zones
The Ranunculus Season Zones 11-8
If you’re lucky enough to be living in one of the states that are in zones 11 – 8; which include California, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas, then your Ranunculus season starts in and around November to December. During these two months you need to be planting out your Ranunculus bulbs. If you do plant the bulbs during these months, then you can expect your Ranunculus bulbs to flower sometime during the following March. If you’re after a later (June – July) display then plant the bulbs in early spring. As you live in one of these ‘optimum’ growing zones then there is no need to lift the Ranunculus bulbs for storage over the winter months – unless you soil is prone to heavy water logging over the fall or winter then its advisable to list and store the bulbs for next year.
The Ranunculus Season Zones 7 and 6
The Ranunculus season in these zones is slightly different. These zones will experience on average lower temperatures and thus lower soil temperatures than the above zones. Due to these zones having colder winter temperatures it’s advisable not to let the bulbs winter in the soil. Lift the bulbs before winter just after the foliage turned yellow. Remove any foliage, place the bulbs in
a box and cover with vermiculite or similar and store indoors in a cool dry place.
If you live in zones 7 or 6 then the Ranunculus season starts in early spring. Aim to plant the bulbs just before the end of the winter frosts. Planting the Ranunculus bulbs at this time of year will ensure that they do not suffer the constant cold temperature of winter. They roots of the Ranunculus bulb can survive the odd frost as they can quite happily take soil temperatures of 10°F or below for short periods of time. A strong growing plant can withstand temperatures below 20°F for very short periods of time i.e. just a couple of hours. So if it looks like you’ll want to protect the Ranunculus season by covering the juvenile plants.
One way of guaranteeing a successful Ranunculus season in these zones is to start the Ranunculus bulbs off in pots or containers indoors. Simply plant the bulb in a well drained pot and leave it in a sunny window sill. You’ll need to keep the pot from drying out. Think about starting the bulbs off in early February with a view to planting then out in spring / end of April just after the winter frosts. You can expect your Ranunculus bulbs to flower around July if you do this.
Ranunculus Season Zones 5 – 4
Again the Ranunculus season is different for these zones. Your Ranunculus bulbs need to be planted later on in the year to avoid the cold winter temperatures and frosts. For best results in these zones you really need to be starting the bulbs off indoors or purchasing pre-potted growing plants from your local nursery, although direct planting out is still possible even in these zones. Look to plant out in May for a brilliant summer display of Ranunculus blooms. To protect your investment and to be ready for next years Ranunculus season don’t forget to lift and store the Ranunculus bulbs before cold fall and winter comes.