Gardeners desiring to add a blast of springtime colour to their flowerbeds should grow ranunculus. Its celery-like foliage and peony-like blooms, ranging in sizes of 3 inches to 6 inches, make attractive additions to the garden. Flowers bloom throughout spring in colours of pink, red, white, yellow to gold and oranges. Gardeners living in U.S. Department of Agriculture planting zones 8 through 11, should plant tubers in late fall for springtime blooms. Gardeners living in cooler regions, should plant ranunculus tubers before the last frost, for late springtime blossoms.
Clear a planting site in full sun of unwanted weeds and grasses. Select a planting area with well-draining soil. Ranunculus tubers will rot if planted in soils that retain water and stay consistently wet.
Amend the planting site's soil with peat moss, compost or manure, working it into the soil to a depth of approximately 6 inches. Ranunculus grows best in rich, well-draining soil types.
Water the planting site's soil, making it moist before planting. Do not water presoaked tubers again until sprouts appear in approximately two to three weeks. Water the plants once per week, when the soil feels dry and after the bulbs sprout.
Soak the spider-like, ranunculus tubers inside a container filled with water for one hour. This quickens the germination process. Leaving the tubers inside the water any longer, makes them mushy and they will rot.
Dig a hole 1 to 2 inches deep and place the tuber inside, claw side down. Space multiple tubers according to their size. Plant jumbo-size tubers 8 inches apart and small tubers 4 inches apart.
Fertilise with a half-strength application of liquid fertiliser. Apply once every four to six weeks during the growth period.
Prune only to remove flowers for enjoyment. Allow the foliage to die on the plant, as it helps the tuber store food for next season's blooming stage. Tubers can remain in the ground through winter.
Use a container at least 10 inches in size, when growing containerised ranunculus. Fill it with a rich, well-draining potting mix and plant no more than two tubers per pot. Plants have large roots systems and require the space. Water container-grown plants only when the soil feels dry. Ranunculus cut flowers last approximately one week. The larger the ranunculus tuber, the more flowers the plant produces.