How to Grow Anemones and Ranunculus

Photo Credit: Domino.com

Photo Credit: Domino.com

If you’ve spent any time at all looking through Pinterest or any other means of bridal bouquet inspiration then you have seen them, Anemones, with their snow white petals encircling a dramatic dark center, peeking out of or taking center stage in stunning bridal bouquets. Also, Ranunculus, the round little flowers with layers on layer of petals in all sorts of bright and soft colors. We all fall hard and fast for this Spring blooming pair, and as farmer florist, we dream of harvesting our own to tuck into your bouquets and arrangements.

The thing is, Ranunculus and Anemones are both a bit particular in their needs and I would be lying to say that it hasn’t been a bit of a trial and error process to figure these beauties out. However, once you succeed and see even just one cheery little face unfolding for the sun, you’ll be hooked like we are. Thankfully, last year we had a very successful go around and we are very excited to refine our process and especially to share what we have learned with you!

The Nitty Gritty:

Flourish flower farm is located in Eastern Lancaster County, PA in USDA Hardiness Zone 6b. In Zone 6, our last frost date in the Spring usually hits somewhere around May 15th, while the first frost can be expected between October 15th and 30th. If you are reading from another area, you may want to look up your zone and adjust your dates accordingly.

Anemones and Ranunculus are similar in their form and growing process, so if you can master one, you’ll likely have success with both. Although, we have learned that Anemones are a bit hardier than Ranunculus and not quite as picky, so you may want to start with them if you want to ease into this process.

Both appreciate some exposure to cold temperatures (but not too cold) and will give you better quantity and quality blooms if planted out in the winter with proper preparation and protection.

They both come as “corms”, which are pretty much just hard shriveled looking brown things that aren’t quite a bulb or a seed.

Anemone Corms

Anemone Corms

Ranunculus Corms

Ranunculus Corms

This year we planted half of our order outside in December, with two layers of frost cover. We are hoping they will bloom nice and early. Our second planting is in the works now and will be planted out at the end of February to give us some later spring blooms. It is not too late to start your own planting! Follow along with the instructions below to get started, you won’t regret it!

Pre Sprouting

Before you plant the corms, it’s important to give them a head start inside.

Step 1: Unpack your corms and soak in lukewarm water for 2-4 hours. It is best practice to have air moving through your water, either by leaving the sink or hose dripping into your container, or we’ve found that stirring it every now and then will suffice.

Keep different varieties separate with labels so you can distinguish them throughout the process.

Keep different varieties separate with labels so you can distinguish them throughout the process.

Step 2: Once your corms have rehydrated and expanded they should feel softer and look larger.

Ranunculus Corms after about 2 1/2 hours soaking.

Ranunculus Corms after about 2 1/2 hours soaking.

Anemone Corms after about 2 1/2 hours soaking.

Anemone Corms after about 2 1/2 hours soaking.

Step 3: Fill a tray, or container that has sides, with a couple inches of potting soil and then spread your corms on top of the soil. Place Ranunculus corms with the legs facing down into the soil and Anemones with the pointed end down. They can be pretty close together but not touching. You may also want to think about marking the different varieties so you know which kinds are where when you go to plant.

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Step 4: Cover the corms with another two inches of damp soil and store in a cool, dry space to allow time for sprouting. Keep the soil moist during this time, but not soggy. Check the corms periodically. You should start to see little hairy sprouts under the soil in about 10 days, and green shoots with small leaves in about two weeks.

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Planting- About 2-3 weeks after pre sprouting

Anemones and Ranunculus corms are ready to plant when they have sprouted roots and small green shoots are starting to emerge above the soil in your tray. You don’t want to leave them too long in that state or their roots will get too entwined and the shoots too long and weak.

Photo Credit: Floret Flowers

Photo Credit: Floret Flowers

Step 1: Both Anemones and Ranunculus need to be planted about 2-3 inches underground, with pointy ends and legs pointing down, respectively. Anemones should have about 6 inches in between each plant and Ranunculus should have a little more, around 9 inches.

Step 2: We cover the planted area with small hoops and white cloth to keep the corms safe from frost but still allow water and sun to get in. It’s important that whatever cloth you use for covering does not touch the sprouts, or else they will freeze when a frost hits.

Happy Anemones sprouting under cover.

Happy Anemones sprouting under cover.

You can expect the plants to flower in the Spring and continue to bloom through May. Anemones and Ranunculus do not thrive in the high heat of summer and are usually wrapping up when June comes around, so make sure to enjoy them while they last! Thanks for following along and feel free to contact us with any comments or questions you may have. We would love to hear from you!