Adored by florists and gardeners, Ranunculus asiaticus (Persian Buttercups) is a tuberous-rooted plant boasting brilliantly colored flowers adorned with multiple layers of delicate, crepe paper-thin petals. Native to the Eastern Mediterranean region in southwestern Asia and southwestern Europe (Crete, Karpathos and Rhodos) and northeastern Africa, Persian Buttercups produce masses of very long-lasting, single, double or frilled blossoms in a rainbow of gorgeous colors. Borne atop sturdy stems above a lush foliage mound of finely-cut, fernlike leaves, they bloom for about 6 weeks in early-mid summer in cold climates (planted in spring), or in early-mid spring in mild climates (planted in fall).
1. Choose The Right Corms
- Choose corms that are large, firm, and plump.
- The size of the corms is highly correlated to the number of flowers per plant. The larger the corm, the bigger the plant and more spectacular the flowers.
- A jumbo corm will produce up to 35 flowers while a number 1 corm will produce up to 20 flowers, a number 2 corm will produce up to 12 flowers and a number 3 corm will produce up to 7 flowers.
2. Select The Right Site
- Best flowering occurs in full sun.
- Persian Buttercups thrive in medium moisture, well-drained soils. The soil is best if sandy and slightly acidic. Good drainage is absolutely essential for success.
- Persian Buttercups are cool-season flowers. They perform best where winters are relatively mild and springs are long and cool. They like cool nights and a sunny location, but not hot days. They are winter hardy in growing zones 8-11, where they should be planted in fall for spring flowers. In zones 4-7, they are usually treated as annuals and the corms are planted in spring for summer blooms. Not sure about your growing zone? Check here.
3. Planting Your Persian Buttercups
- It is advisable to soak the corms for an hour before you plant them, or water well when planting.
- Plant the corms 2 in. deep (5 cm) and 4-6 in. apart (10-15 cm) with the claw side down. Space jumbos 8-12 in. apart (20-30 cm).
- Cover the corms with soil and water as needed. Mulch around the plants to help keep the soil cool and moist at the root level.
- Persian Buttercups benefit from regular watering and bi-weekly applications of a water-soluble fertilizer after the leaves emerge. Mulch around the plants to help keep the soil cool and moist at the root level.
- Deadhead spent flowers to promote new blooms.
- If you wish to use the blooms for cut flowers, you should cut the flower stems at a slant when the blooms are in the bud stage for best results. By keeping this in mind, your cut flowers will last longer.