Ranunculus – or Ranunculus asiaticus – may not have the most beautiful name in the plant world, but it captivates with its magnificent flowers. And with this she can definitely keep up with Rose and Co. As a spring bloomer, it gets you in the mood for summer and transforms the garden into a blooming paradise at an early stage. It is undemanding and is just as suitable for the garden as as a container plant on the balcony or terrace.

Choose the right location for the ranunculus

Ranunculus like it cool and damp, but even the blazing sun cannot harm them. At least as long as they have enough water in the substrate. However, the moisture should not accumulate, because then there is a risk of mold and decomposition of the tubers.

The location can be sunny or shady. The main thing is that the soil is permeable yet kept well moist.

Incidentally, this also applies if the ranunculus serves as decoration on the balcony or window sill. Boxes and buckets in which the water can accumulate should be avoided at all costs.

  • Choose a shady or sunny spot
  • Substrate should be permeable
  • Ranunculus do best in a cool, moist place
  • Keep soil moist but not waterlogged
  • Suitable for balcony, terrace, window sill and garden

multiply ranunculus

Propagating ranunculus requires neither special knowledge nor a green thumb. Because the handsome flowering plants actually multiply by themselves. Namely through brood tubers, which form themselves as offshoots on the mother tubers. These only have to be detached when moving or removing the onions. With a little pressure and a small sharp knife, this is easily possible.
They can then be planted straight back into the bed or brought up indoors in spring.

  • Propagation by tubers
  • Preferred and direct planting possible
  • Use a sharp blade to detach the brood tubers, breaking off the risk of damaging the mother and brood tubers
Tip: Ranunculus reproduces not only through bulbs but also through the seeds of the flowers. However, the extraction of the seeds is quite laborious and the germination time is also significantly longer than with the bulbous tubers.

Plant and prefer ranunculus

Normally, the brood tubers appear very dry and inconspicuous, almost as if there was no longer any life in them. However, this changes abruptly when they are soaked in water for a few hours. This measure also separates the wheat from the chaff. Tubers that are actually dead stop absorbing water and appear thin and gnarled even after soaking. On the other hand, healthy brood tubers are plump after soaking and have a largely smooth surface.

Live tubers can be planted directly in the garden bed or pot from March or April. However, it is also possible to prefer them earlier in the house. All you have to do is place them in the ground with the tips down and cover them with about 2 to 3cm of substrate. A little watering and a few rays of sunshine – that’s all you need for the following flowering splendor. When preferring young plants, it must be noted that they do not tolerate frost well. They are only finally allowed outside when the ground is permanently frost-free.

Tip: When soaking the tubers, the water should not be too cold, but also not too warm. Lukewarm water is ideal.

Flowering time and flower colors
Ranunculus flowers from about May to July, in the colors white, pink, red and orange. In addition to the single-colored variants, there are also cultivated forms with multicolored petals. Different colored flower edges are typical.

During the flowering period, which can also be slightly different depending on the weather and climate, the plants consume a lot of water. During this time, it should be watered sufficiently. Otherwise, the flowers will dry up long before they reach their full beauty.


In addition to watering and choosing the right location, the ranunculus also requires a little care. This includes fertilizing and removing dried flowers and leaves as well as protection against diseases and pests. Unfortunately, the plant itself is frugal but also susceptible to mildew and a treat for snails and aphids.


As already mentioned, ranunculus should be watered regularly, especially during the flowering phase. Because the full bloom consumes a lot of moisture, especially in the double cultivated forms. The soil should therefore never dry out completely.

If the flowers have died and dried up, no new buds appear, watering can be gradually reduced. From this point on, it is also advisable to let the soil dry out a little between watering. This gives the plant the impetus to slowly adjust to hibernation.

Tip : The amount of irrigation water can be reduced if it is only watered in the evening and the plants are in the shade as much as possible.

Fertilizing the ranunculus

Regular fertilization of the ranunculus extends the flowering period and helps to strengthen the plant’s own defences.
There is no need to be picky about the choice of fertilizer. Natural infusions of stinging nettles or a simple liquid fertilizer for flowering plants are completely sufficient and are also well tolerated.

The fertilization should be carried out until the leaves dry up and fall off by themselves. Normally this happens in autumn.

  • Fertilization is not absolutely necessary, but it is advisable for filled cultivated forms
  • Ranunculus are not picky about the type of fertilizer, nor are they demanding
  • Fertilizer should be applied every two weeks until the leaves die back on their own
Tip: change the fertilizer regularly. In this way, a balanced nutrient content in the soil is possible.

Cut ranunculus

Ranunculus does not need to be cut per se. Nevertheless, it is advisable to remove faded and dried-up areas. Just like regular fertilization, targeted pruning can ensure a longer flowering period. Because once the withered parts are gone, the ranunculus often has more strength that can be put into the budding of new flowers.

Tip: If you really want to get a lot of flowers, you should remove the old ones at the first sign of withering. In this way, a lot of energy is left over for new flowers.

Overwintering the Ranunculus

Ranunculus is considered hardy, but it can still be damaged by frost. Overwintering the tubers indoors is therefore ideal.

If you don’t want to remove all the tubers in autumn, you can apply a layer of compost and brushwood for extra protection.

On the other hand, if you want the tubers to hibernate in the shelter of the house, for example because there is no garden available, you can dig up the tubers. Stored dry, dark and cool at around 7°C, they will certainly survive the winter. Incidentally, this is also the ideal opportunity to separate off the bulbs and multiply the ranunculus.

  • Remove all leaves once they have faded
  • Apply a thick layer of brushwood and compost during the winter in the garden, and add garden fleece in very cold climates
  • For overwintering indoors, remove plant debris from the tubers and dig up
  • Storage of the tubers in a dry, dark place at 6 to 8°C

In the spring, the tubers can then be easily replanted. However, as with propagation, it is also possible to prefer them without any problems.

Repotting and transplanting the ranunculus

Anyone who brings the tubers into the house in autumn anyway can plant them again in the spring in the same place. The situation is different if the ranunculus remains in the same place continuously and for years. In these cases it is better to transplant the tubers every two to four years. This allows the soil to recover and replenish depleted nutrients.

Similar to ranunculus in pots and tubs. Again, it makes sense to change the substrate every now and then. However, repotting in larger pots is not necessary or only necessary if there are numerous corms.

pests and diseases

Ranunculus are susceptible to powdery mildew and slugs. Once the mildew has attacked the plant, affected specimens should be removed from the bed and pot. If several ranunculus are infested, only appropriate pesticides will help.

Traditional methods such as slug pellets are recommended to prevent snail infestation. If the snail damage is discovered too late, whole groups of plants can disappear overnight, right down to the tuber.

Aphids are also common on ranunculus, and pesticides or natural methods such as ladybirds can be used here.

Are ranunculus poisonous?

All ranunculus species are poisonous and can be deadly, especially for children and pets. If they accidentally eat leaves or flowers, a doctor must be consulted immediately and informed of the plant species ingested.
Even if there are ranunculus in the garden and signs of poisoning appear in the animal or child, you should not wait until you see a doctor.

Symptoms of ranunculus poisoning include:

  • vomiting and diarrhea
  • Pain in the gastrointestinal area
  • Excessive salivation
  • nausea
  • Tremble
  • fainting
  • a headache
  • Excessive panting or sweating
  • bleeding
  • Rashes and irritation of the skin

Poisonous plant with
medicinal properties Despite the toxic substances, ranunculus can also be used as a medicinal plant. In the dried and processed state, they help, for example, against rheumatism, warts and other skin diseases, problems with the sciatic nerve and arthritis. However, this form of preparation only belongs in expert hands, since the side effects can otherwise predominate.

Improper drying and application can also lead to poisoning. So caution is advised here.

Ranunculus as a cut flower

The double breeding form of the ranunculus, but also the more original variant of the Ranunculus asiaticus, not only looks good in the garden, it can also enchant in the vase.

If you also want to use the garden ranunculus for spring bouquets as cut flowers, you should not plant the tubers in shady corners. In order for the stem of the flower to grow as straight as possible, the ranunculus needs a lot of direct sunlight and should be able to follow the course of the sun unhindered. The ideal place for this is a free bed where neither trees nor shrubs or bushes cast shadows on the ranunculus.

Straight growth can also be achieved in the balcony box if the ranunculus is shade-free or rotated daily.

In the language of flowers, ranunculus stands for uniqueness and outstanding people.

Combine ranunculus with other plants
So that the ranunculus gets enough sunlight and still doesn’t have to do without shade, direct socialization with other plants in the garden is recommended. Accompanying plants such as goose cress and blue cushion provide the ranunculus with shade, but their nutrient supply is not endangered. Ranunculus can also thrive in the vicinity of trees, bushes and shrubs. Only the use as a cut flower is then possibly hindered, since ranunculus usually cannot grow completely straight in the changing shade, but have small bends, inclinations or kinks.

Ranunculus is a beautiful and undemanding flowering plant that heralds the summer with colorful flowers. With the right location and appropriate care, it can also provide colorful accents outside of the actual flowering phase. In addition, it is perennial and easy to overwinter, so the beauty of the plants can be preserved for a long time. And the propagation of particularly beautiful specimens is so easy that even newcomers to plant care can quickly achieve success.

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