Ranunculus is one of the most beautiful early flowering plants in the Northern Hemisphere. Hailing from the buttercup family, with an estimated 1800 species in its genus,  ranunculus blooms are an excellent source of nectar for pollinators. They can be grown as alpine, border, or bedding plants and their versatility makes them a great choice for your garden.

Mix of colourful ranunculus flowers.


Ranunculus asiaticus


Persian Buttercup


Cyprus, Turkey, Iraq and Iran


Persian buttercups are herbaceous perennials treated as annuals, producing perfectly formed, crepe-paper thin, multi-petalled flowers for around six weeks.

Flower Colours

Many shades of pink as well as yellow, red and white.

Ranunculus yellow
Ranunculus border

Ideal Growing Conditions

A sheltered, sunny spot is ideal in moist, well-drained soil.


Heavy and/or water-logged soil.

How to Grow


Some people recommend soaking the bulb-like corms in water for three hours before planting. This usually encourages the corm to sprout slightly quicker than if not pre-soaked but, be careful not to leave them soaking for too long as they may rot.

Bulbs can be started off during the autumn by planting them individually in cell trays, or in 9cm pots.

Keep moist but not over-watered in an unheated greenhouse before transplanting outside late spring.
Plants can be transplanted into larger pots in January before planting outside once all risk of frost has passed.

Alternatively, pre-soak and plant outside into a sunny border late spring.

If growing in pots plant in a multi-purpose, peat-free compost, mixed with grit. Keep pots raised off the ground so that excess water drains away.

Good for Pollinators



The right ranunculus for the garden

Ranunculus Mix

Persian buttercups are all multi-petalled and therefore the aim is to choose the right colour for the style of flower border, whether that be the hot colours of orange and yellow, the elegant deep maroons or the gentle pastel pinks and white colour flowers.

How big will ranunculus get

An average height and spread of approximately 30cm x 50cm.

How to plant ranunculus


The corms have downward facing ‘claws’ which should be kept facing downwards when planting.

Plant corms 3-5cm deep, spaced between 5-10cm apart and water well.

How to care for ranunculus

Make sure the plants remain well-watered during dry weather and protect from frost by covering with horticultural fleece.

The bulbs can be lifted after flowering and stored for use the following year but they do not reliably reflower so are best treated as an annual.

How to keep ranunculus looking good

Ranunculus in a vase

Ranunculus make great cut flowers and cutting them encourages the plant to produce more flowers.

How to propagate ranunculus

Lift and divide corms in the autumn removing offsets from each corm.

What problems can ranunculus have?

Generally trouble free but can suffer from powdery mildew if conditions are too dry. Plants grown in greenhouses may develop grey mould. To avoid this ensure good air circulation is maintained around plants.

Varieties of ranunculus asiaticus to have

A peony type ranunculus like ‘Pauline Violet’ producing very dense maroon colour flowers with layers of paper thin petals on upright stems.

‘Tecolote Orange’ has large, rose-like, orange flowers with many layers of dark centred, silky petals.

‘Cloni Pon-Pon’ is a rich pink and white multi-petalled variety with a green eye in the centre.

Ranunculus Pauline Violet
Ranunculus Tecolote Orange

Best time of year to buy ranunculus

Early autumn or early spring.

The best garden design style for ranunculus

Choose the pastel or deep maroon colour flower varieties for elegant flower border and/or container designs.

They work well in a mixed flower and/or rose border.

As they make great cut flowers they are perfect for including in a cutting garden.


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