Ranunculus ‘Bloomingdale’ is an indispensable plant, and a lovely option for late winter to early spring colour. Flowering in only five months from seed, this stunning variety produces large, densely petaled blooms that resemble small peonies.
With large colourful, double flowers Ranunculus asiaticus is a well-known variety that is adored by florists everywhere and, although it is usually grown from tubers, is quite easy to grow from seed.
It is a cool weather loving plant and will flower in advance of the main bedding plant season. A true herbaceous perennial, it will flower in spring then die back through autumn. Under the soil the plant produces a crown, these can be left to regrow or lifted to divide and multiply the plants, otherwise they can simply be treated as annuals.
Ranunculus ‘Bloomingdale’ grow to only 20 to 25cm (8 to 10in) tall, yet their dainty looks are deceiving. The large blooms, each 9 to 10cm (3 to 4in) in diameter are borne on sturdy stems. They are hardy, durable and long lasting and can withstands temperatures as low as minus 5°C (23°F).
A mix of all eight colours from the series: Yellow, Tangerine, Gold, Pink, Red, Rose, White and Purple. They are an attractive addition to gardens, patios and containers when colour is in short supply.
Sowing: Sow in autumn to winter
Cover seed with a very thin layer of soil or peat/perlite mixture and water thoroughly. Select a well-ventilated environment and avoid strong sunlight. Place seed flats in the coolest possible location in the greenhouse, 10 to 16°C (50-60º F). Never allow the growing media to dry out until the seed germinates.
After seedlings begin to emerge, reduce moisture and do not allow air temperatures to exceed 25°C (77º F).
Once the seedlings have developed four true leaves they are ready for transplanting into pots. Do not leave until after this time as late transplanting creates smaller plants with poor foliage and plant body development.
When seedlings reach the fourth true leaf stage, transplant them into 12cm or 14cm (4 or 5in) pots. Select a highly fertile soil with good drainage. Initial growth after transplanting will be slow. It is important to maintain temperatures as low as possible, 13 to 16°C (55 to 60º F), never allowing daytime temperatures to exceed 25°C (77º F). Place one plant per 10cm (4in) pot and three per 12cm (5in) pot, being careful not to damage the delicate root system.
Approximately two months after sowing, plants will begin to grow rapidly. Ranunculus requires high nutrition. Either incorporate fertiliser into the potting medium or apply a commercial liquid feed every 7 to 10 days. Water thoroughly and regularly and allow sufficient space between plants on benches to enable maximum growth at all times.
Cut Flowers / Flower Arranging, Beds and borders.
Cut the stems at a slant so they absorb more water. If you keep buds attached to a larger bloom, water will feed the baby buds first and the bigger flower will start to wilt. To prevent this from happening, we separate the buds from the blooms so everyone gets fed equally.
Fill up the vase halfway with water, freshen it daily and remove any deteriorating petals.
Place these flowers in a well-lit room but not directly in a window.
Ranunculus asiaticus, the Persian Buttercup is a species of buttercup native to the eastern Mediterranean region in south-western Asia, south-eastern Europe (Crete, Karpathos and Rhodes), and north-eastern Africa. It is a protected plant in some jurisdictions, including Israel. Although the species has single red or yellow flowers, today’s hybrid strains feature gorgeous, double blossoms in a rainbow of delicious colours and bi-colours.
The cultivation of Ranunculus asiaticus goes back more than 350 years. According to an article by Timothy Clark in the Royal Horticultural Society journal The Garden, the first plants were brought to Europe from the Levant (the old name for regions bordering the eastern Mediterranean) in the 17th century by bulb traders who were also importing the first tulips and anemones.
Cultivated seedlings of Persian buttercup proved highly variable in colour and were often infected by viruses which caused the colour to “break” (like the Rembrandt tulips of Tulipmania fame), causing bizarre patterns, stripes, spots and contrasting edges. Breeders went to great lengths to keep the best “breaks” ongoing by dividing the tubers, rather than growing uninfected plants from seed.
The plants were so popular with “gentlemen florists” that before World War I, it was estimated that for every tulip cultivar, there were ten Ranunculus cultivars. Today, the old varieties have disappeared; newer ones are much more resistant to viruses.
Ranunculus is such a strange bumpy word, it is pronounced ran-un-kew-lus
The etymological root of the genus name is derived from the Latin rana meaning ’frog’, in reference to the plants liking for damp places. The word more accurately describes the moisture-loving, yellow buttercups (R. acris) to which Persian buttercups are related.
The species name asiaticus refers to the origin of the plant, similarly the common name of Persian Buttercup comes from the fact that the wild plant grows on rocky limestone hillsides of Iran, once called Persia.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 10 Seeds Family Ranunculaceae Genus Ranunculus Species asiaticus Cultivar F1 Bloomingdale Mixed Common Name Persian Buttercup Hardiness Half Hardy Perenials Hardy To around -5°C (23°F). Flowers Large blooms, each 9 to 10cm (3 to 4in) in diameter.
Yellow, Tangerine, Gold, Pink, Red, Rose, White and Purple
Natural Flower Time Spring Height 20 to 25cm (8 to 10in) Soil Fertile, moist, preferably humus-rich soil Time to Sow Sow in autumn to winter Germination 30 days