persian buttercups - Knowledgebase Question

Portland, Or
Question by snowkittymor
April 20, 2008
not to sure about these bulbs. was wondering what flower family? And how to plant, water and best area to plant also. My son got me these bulbs and i don't have an idea about them. please help

Answer from NGA
April 20, 2008


Persian Butter cup is Ranunculus asiaticus. The Persian Buttercup was introduced to Europe in about 1596 from Asia Minor. The Buttercup is a bulbous perennial that is not frost hardy. It has round, double flowers varying from white, pink, red, yellow and orange, depending on the species. The taller varieties make magnificent cut flowers. The compact varieties are more suited to containers or for window boxes.

The plants need a warm, sunny, partially shaded location and well drained soil. The soil is best if sandy and slightly acidic. They benefit from regular watering and bi-weekly applications of a water-soluble fertilizer.

The bulbs have claws on the bottom should be planted downward about 4 inches deep. When the foliage appears, you should start fertilizing on a bi-weekly basis. Persian Buttercup likes cool nights and a sunny location, but not hot days.

This genus is known to have about 400 species. Any one of them will look great any place in your garden. They will do very well in pots or containers if drainage is good, watering is never neglected, and if sufficient sunlight is available. As we said, hot summer weather is not to their liking.

Again, soil with good drainage is absolutely essential for success. If your garden soil is compacted, hard, and composed largely of clay, you should work some sand and old compost into it. Persian Buttercup does not like extra warm soil. We suggest you mulch around the plants to help keep the soil cool and moist at the root level.

During the flowering season, you should remove all faded flowers to encourage the plant to keep blooming. If you want to use the blooms for cut flowers, you should cut the flower stems when the blooms are in the bud stage for the best looking blooms -- don't wait until they are already fully open or in full bloom. By keeping this in mind, the cut flowers will last longer.

After the plant has died in the fall, be sure to store the bulbs in a well ventilated, dry place. where the temperature is between 45-50? F (7-10? C.). You can then re-plant the bulbs in the spring. Otherwise, they may be grown from seed. However, seeds are often difficult to obtain.

Generally the bulbs area quite inexpensive, thus saving the bulbs for the next year is not much of an advantage. If you should want to save the bulbs, it is best to leave them in the ground until late fall. Cut the stems just above the bulb - wash and air dry the bulb for a few days in the shade - then place them in a cool place for the winter.

Enjoy your Persian buttercups!

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