How to keep a ranunculus over the winter

Written by meg butler
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How to keep a ranunculus over the winter
Ranunculus bulbs must be carefully monitored if they are to survive winter storage. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Ranunculus bulbs can survive the winter in the ground under a few inches of organic mulch in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 through 11. However, in places where temperatures fall below -3.89 degrees Celsius, you must dig up ranunculus bulbs and store them indoors. Pull your ranunculus bulbs from the ground in late fall after the foliage yellows and dries out -- a sign it's going dormant -- and prepare them for storage. Once temperatures warm, just before the last predicted frost date in the spring, you can replant them outside.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Pruning shears
  • Trowel
  • Plastic container
  • Peat moss
  • Thermometer
  • Dehumidifier

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  1. 1

    Cut back the foliage to an inch or so above soil level.

  2. 2

    Dig the bulbs out of the soil, taking care not to scratch or nick them. Bulbs with compromised skin probably won't survive storage.

  3. 3

    Brush the soil off the tubers and lay them in a sunny spot until their surface dries completely.

  4. 4

    Cover the tubers in a plastic container with at least 1 inch of dry peat moss on all sides. Do not stack the bulbs or allow them to touch one another.

  5. 5

    Place the container in a dry area that remains consistently between 10 and 12.8 degrees Celsius. If you live in an area with high humidity, consider locating a dehumidifier in the room where you store the ranunculus bulbs.

  6. 6

    Check the bulbs periodically for signs of mould or disease. Remove and compost any compromised bulbs as soon as possible to prevent the problem from spreading.

Tips and warnings

  • According to the University of Kentucky Extension Service, ranunculus bulbs are difficult to store. Some of the bulbs may not survive the winter even under ideal conditions.

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