Brightly colored flowers are ranunculus’ chief appeal, and they are indeed exceptional. Our ranunculus display multiple layers of tender, crepe paper–thin petals, looking like an origami perfection. Ranunculus (R. asiaticus) excel in Whatcom county gardens, as well as make terrific container plants for the porch. They also make long-lasting cut flowers.
Ranunculus leaves are grass green and hazily celery-like, come most often in 4 inch pots. If planted or re-potted the flowers on 12- to 18-inch stems emerge in March from fall-planted bulbs, June and July from spring-planted bulbs; they last up to six weeks. The flowers are 3 to 6 inches wide, and available in bicolored picotee, gold, pastel mix, pink, red, rose, salmon, sunset orange, white, and yellow.
Will Ranunculus Grow in Whatcom County?
Broadly speaking, our ranunculus are frost-hardy cool-season perennials. They perform well here in Whatcom County, where winters are relatively mild and springs are long and cool. The roots tolerate soil temperatures to 10°F, while growing plants can handle temperatures below 20°F for several hours.
Gardeners in here (zone 7) and North, grow ranunculus by planting in early spring a week or two before the normal time for last frost.
Alternatively, you can plant them in pots indoors in February for transplanting later. Place pots in a south- or west-facing window or under grow lights. Temperatures around 55°F are ideal. In early spring, gradually acclimate plants to outdoors by putting them out for more time each day (bring them in at night). Plant outdoors by mid-April. Spring-planted ranunculus will bloom in June or July.