Answer: Ranunculus will bloom for a long period of time and the foliage will remain green for most of the summer. The tops will die down in the fall but new foliage and flowers will develop the following spring. Here's how to get the best performance out of your ranunculus:
Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. Or amend the soil with organic material to raise the level 2-3 inches to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work well and are widely available.
Site your ranunculus where they will get full day sun.
Dig holes and plant the ranunculus bulbs 2? deep and 4?-6? apart. The bulbs look like small, dark bunches of bananas, a curious shape that makes it easy to determine which side is up and which is down for planting. Tuck your ranunculus into the planting hole with the ?bananas? pointing down.
When in bloom, feel free to cut ranunculus flowers for bouquets. This will not hurt your plants, in fact, the more you cut the more blooms your Tecolote ranunculus will produce. So snip away.
After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight and provide nourishment for next year's show. Water as needed during active growth periods. Ranunculus actually prefer not to be watered while dormant.
At the end of the summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plant slips into dormancy. Foliage many be removed at this point. Your ranunculus will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle.
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