June 10, 2017
I was wondering if you could write a bit about anemones and ranunculus. I know the fall-blooming anemones will grow in Arkansas, but how about the de Caen anemones (Anemone coronaria) and the Grecian Windflowers (Anemone blanda)? I have never seen these growing in gardens here, but the catalogs say they are Zones 4-9. Ranunculus bulbs are also listed as Zones 6-9, but I have not seen them growing in Arkansas either. I would like to try them, since they are not supposed to be attractive to deer.
Ranunculus bulbs and the Anemone coronaria are usually best treated as annuals in Arkansas. While they will grow and bloom for a season, they typically will not come back. I have had a few of the de Caen anemones come back after two years but they flowered sporadically. The Anemone blanda will naturalize and can come back for years forming a low growing mat of foliage with white flowers. They are best planted in a well-drained site with some protection from the hot afternoon sun. I usually buy a few ranunculus plants in late winter for extra color but when they are through, I toss them. They do not like the heat of an Arkansas summer.
I received two blooming ranunculus in 4" pots and the little plastic insert in the pots didn't really say much about the care of the plants, only when to plant and whether to plant in sun or shade. I did a web search and found only a greeting card company with photos of the plants. Are they bulbs or annuals? What do I do with them once the bloom is gone? Any info you may be able to pass along will be greatly appreciated!
Ranunculus are bulbs, or more correctly tubers, which can be hardy in our zone. They bloom early in the spring with bright bold colors, with either single or double flowers. After bloom, let the foliage grow until it dies back, then lift and store the bulbs until next fall, when they can be planted again. If you leave them in the ground for the summer dormant months, they often rot, if they get any additional water. They must have a very well drained soil. Although it is possible to have them for more than one year, I grow them as annuals and buy blooming plants every year in late winter for an extra touch of color. I throw them away after they are done.
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