The ranunculus shrub is also known under the name golden rose or scientifically as Japanese kerrie (Kerria japonica). The shrub impresses with its beautiful and numerous golden yellow flowers, which adorn it from April to June. With good care there is a second bloom, then from August to September. There are both simple (‘Simplex’) and double flowers (‘Pleniflora’). There are also differences in the foliage of ranunculus. Many Ranunculus shrubs have green foliage, but there are also species with green and white variegated leaves (‘Picta’). They all have a lot to offer in winter too. Its light green, luminous branches are very striking in the otherwise rather dreary garden.

Cultivate the ranunculus bush

The growth of the ranunculus bush is not really stunning. The approximately 2 meter high shoots die off at the tender age of three or four years. Only with a very good location and ideal soil does the ranunculus shrub become really luxuriant as a single shrub. Only because of its many runners does the shrub appear compact and large. But he is slowly becoming hollow inside. So you always have to cut to get the shape.

The ranunculus shrub is fast-growing. If you’re not careful, the wood can spread quite a bit. In small gardens where there is little space, this can become a problem. This is where prevention helps. It is best to install a root barrier right away. Otherwise ranunculus are easy to care for and not demanding. The shrub tolerates pruning well, blooms happily and is completely hardy.

What you must not forget is to water the ranunculus bush when it is dry, because it is a shallow root that cannot get water from the depths. Otherwise, only an annual cut is recommended so that the shrub does not grow old and is constantly rejuvenated.


The ranunculus shrub actually gets along with almost every location. It likes sun, but blazing sun is not ideal for the buds. Partial shade and even shade are also tolerated.

  • sun to shade
  • If the location is too sunny, the flowers will fade
  • Partial shade is therefore better
  • Shade is also tolerated. Supposedly the flower should then be even more lush. In any case, it lasts longer.

plant substrate

In terms of plant substrate, the ranunculus is not very demanding either. The soil must not be too dry and not too wet. Soil compaction is also harmful. Otherwise, the wood gets along with almost any soil. But the better the soil and location, the more beautiful and magnificent the shrub will thrive and bloom.

  • Tolerates all well drained, loose and not too dry soils
  • Sandy to loamy
  • Normal to high nutrient content
  • PH value – slightly acidic to slightly alkaline
  • But the soil must not be too acidic!
  • Sensitive to soil compaction
  • Doesn’t like lime very much
  • No waterlogging

Plants of ranunculus

The ranunculus shrub is suitable as a solitary plant or for smaller privacy hedges. It is also suitable for mixed woody plantings together with other flowering shrubs. He looks especially beautiful next to dogwoods in winter. The green and the red shoots together form a striking unit in the otherwise rather dreary winter grey.

When planting, you should note that the ranunculus shrub forms strong runners and spreads out, even very much in good conditions. A root barrier is therefore recommended. Ranunculus is a flat-rooted plant. The root barrier must be above the ground, about 5 cm is enough.

  • Often forms veritable thickets with runners – install root barriers
  • The double varieties should form fewer runners
  • Best planted in spring.
  • Planting distance in cut hedges approx. half a meter
  • Planting distance freely growing hedge approx. one meter
  • Soak the root ball in water before planting, at least until no more air bubbles rise!

watering and fertilizing

Since the ranunculus bush is a shallow root, it cannot draw water from deeper soil layers. That means it has to be watered when it’s dry! It is best to water thoroughly and then wait until the surface of the soil has dried well again. There are also a few things to consider when fertilizing.

  • Water when dry!
  • Do not fertilize with nutrient-rich substrate!
  • If you fertilize too much, especially with nitrogen, all the energy goes into length growth. It is then no longer sufficient for flowering.
  • I would definitely try it without fertilizer first. If the shrub is not flowering well, you can still quickly use mineral, fast-acting fertilizer, but this is usually completely unnecessary.
  • If you absolutely want to fertilize or have extremely lean soil, you can fertilize with compost in the spring.

To cut

The ranunculus bush grows wide and upright and forms long, rod-shaped shoots from the ground, which hardly branch and overhang because of their length. If you shorten the rods, they branch out and drive side shoots. However, the shrub will bare from underneath. The side shoots grow horizontally or often downwards, it doesn’t look good and doesn’t fit optically. That is why the ranunculus shrub is not really suitable for trimmed hedges. Free-growing hedges are better, but you need space for them.

  • Clearing is better!
  • Prune right after flowering!
  • Cut off old branches completely on the ground!
  • The shrub can thus rejuvenate.
  • Older shoots get fewer and fewer flowers, they have to go.
  • Cut out dead and cross-growing shoots!
  • One and two-year-old shoots bloom best
  • One or more biennials, depending on the size of the shrub, can also be cut for the vase when they are flowering.


The ranunculus shrub comes from the mountainous region of China and is absolutely hardy here. Even in cold locations, he gets along well in winter. What you shouldn’t forget is that when it’s dry, you have to water it from time to time even in winter!


The ranunculus bush multiplies by itself. It forms root suckers. It usually multiplies significantly more and faster than desired and you have to remove a number of the offshoots. If you want to have several plants, you can plant the separated rooted offshoots in another place or give them away.

  • Separation of foothills
  • Simply dig up a stolon with roots and plant it somewhere else
  • Propagation by cuttings also works, but is much more complex

diseases and pests

Diseases of ranunculus are absolutely rare. It is a robust plant. Pests are also extremely rare and usually do not pose a threat to the shrub.


  • If you want to attract bees and insects to your garden, you have to plant an unfilled variety. Filled ranunculus bushes are not flown to by bees.
  • The ranunculus contains cyanogenic glycosides in the seeds, which are also found in the seeds of stone fruit or bitter almonds.

The ranunculus is a grateful garden plant. The shrub rarely grows more than 1.5 to 2 meters tall and flowers wonderfully. The ranunculus shrub is easy to care for and absolutely tough. It rarely gets sick and blooms reliably year after year, usually even twice, even if the second bloom is usually weaker.

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