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Tecolote Ranunculus Growing Guide

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Calling All Flower Arrangers


Most gardeners appreciate a beautiful bouquet and regularly snip a few stems for dining room and bedside tables. If you cut flowers for indoor use, please make room in your garden for Tecolote ranunculus. Incredible colors, straight stems, long vase life and copious blooms will be yours. In return, these lacy-leafed plants will ask for sunshine and very light watering. No meticulous care needed. Your borders and beds will look great, your office desk will sport fresh flowers for pennies and your neighbor will be by asking for your gardening secret.

Special Considerations for Ranunculus

These bulbs perform best when they have 6-8 weeks of cool weather in which to sprout and grow. Ideal conditions are typically 30 50 degree F nights and daytime highs in the 60 75 range. For this reason we do not recommend planting bulbs in late spring or early summer in hot areas. Ranunculus are winter hardy down to Zone 8. They can tolerate a mild overnight frost so it may be possible to plant with success in warmer Zone 7s. To grow Ranunculus in zones 4-7, we recommend planting in the early spring when the chance of frost has passed and enjoy late spring blooms. These spider like looking bulbs are unusual in that they will hold well for extended periods of time out of the ground (sometimes more than a year). If you wish to hold your bulbs to plant at a later time (perhaps when weather is more suitable) simply wrap them up in a brown paper bag and store them in a cool and dry environment. Too much air circulation will cause the bulbs to dry out, too much moisture can cause them to mold. Ranunculus do like food and though they dont require fertilizer to flower, we recommend you fertilize at the time of planting and use liquid fertilizer sparingly during the plants active growth faze.

Outdoor Beds
1) Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 2-3 inches to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work well and are widely available. Site your ranunculus where they will get full day sun. Dig holes and plant the ranunculus bulbs 2 deep and 4-6 apart. The bulbs look like small, dark bunches of bananas, a curious shape that makes it easy to determine which side is up and which is down for planting. Tuck your ranunculus into the planting hole with the bananas pointing down. After planting, water well, thoroughly soaking the area. Roots and sprouts will form in the autumn. Winter will bring taller growth and flowers will develop in the spring. When in bloom, feel free to cut ranunculus flowers for bouquets. This will not hurt your plants, in fact, the more you cut the more blooms your Tecolote ranunculus will produce. So snip away. After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight and provide nourishment for next year's show. Water as needed during active growth periods. Ranunculus actually prefer not to be watered while dormant. At the end of the summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plant slips into dormancy. Foliage many be removed at this point. Your ranunculus will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle. It is important to withhold water from the bulbs during this dormancy period.

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Pots, Tubs & Urns


1) 2) Fill your containers with good quality, well-drained soil. Almost any commercially available potting medium will work fine. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes; ranunculus must never sit in waterlogged soil or they will rot. Site containers where they will receive full day sun.

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Plant your ranunculus 2 deep and 4-5 apart for the most brilliant display. The bulbs look like small, dark bunches of bananas, a curious shape that makes it easy to determine which side is up and which is down for planting. Tuck your ranunculus into the planting hole with the bananas pointing down. After planting, water ranunculus well, thoroughly soaking the area. Roots and sprouts will form in the autumn. Winter will bring taller growth and flowers will develop in the spring. (Spring planted ranunculus will bloom the first year in late summer and in the spring subsequent years in frost-free areas.) After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place, don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight and provide nourishment for next year's show. Water as needed during active growth periods. Ranunculus actually prefer not to be watered while dormant. At the end of the summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plant slips into dormancy. Foliage many be removed at this point. Your ranunculus will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle. It is important to withhold water from the bulbs during this dormancy period. Ranunculus shoot long roots therefore it is recommended that you plant the following Jumbo bulbs in the following containers: 10-12 Pot 5 or 6 bulbs. 8 Pot 3 or 4 bulbs.

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Professional Growing Information


1) Planting Medium: Use a very well drained, low soluble salt, sterilized, pH 6 to 6.5, planting medium. Ranunculus require excellent drainage and this characteristic must be incorporated into the planting medium. Coarse perlite is an excellent amendment. Planting Orientation and Depth: The tuberous roots should be planted with the eyes upright and with the crown about one inch (2.5cm) below the planting medium. Fresh Cut Flower Forcing: Plant 40 to 50 tuberous roots (3/5 cm) per square yard (meter) plant bed. This is about 5 inches (12.5cm) apart. For other sizes, the spacing would be: 5/6 cm 6 inches (15cm) and 6/up 7 inches (17.5cm) apart. Flowering Potted Plants: Either use one 5/6 or 6/up cm tuberous root per 4 inch (10cm) pot, or two 6/up cm or three 5/6 or 3/5 cm tuberous roots per 6 inch (15cm) pot. Grow plants pot-to-pot on the greenhouse benches. Light: Use medium to high (greater than 2500 foot candles) light intensities. Since light intensities vary in each area, forcers should use planting dates that will provide the plants with optimal light and temperature conditions. Watering: Keep the planting medium moist, but do not over water Ranunculus! Automatic water systems are preferred. Temperatures: Use a 45 to 50 F (7-10 C) night/60F (16 C) day temperature greenhouse. Do not allow the temperatures to exceed 60 F (16 C) for extended periods. Ranunculus grow best in a cool environment. Ventilation: Keep greenhouse well ventilated. This helps to prevent Botrytis from developing. Fertilization: Fertilize weekly with 200ppm N of 15-16-17 starting after the plants begin to grow. Fresh Cut Flower Production: Cut flowers when they are fully colored and about to open. Store flowers in water at 32 to 41 F (0-5C). The storage period should be as short as possible.

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Willow Creek Gardens 2521 Oceanside Blvd, Ste A Oceanside, CA 92054 Ph. (760) 754-0435 www.willowcreekgardens.com