Ranunculus and Anemones and the art of planting for spring

ranunculus pink picotee.jpg

This week i’m off to York for a Flowers from the farm meeting. I’m lucky because it coincides this year with the Ranunculus and Anemones arriving from Italy for our bulk buy, so I can distribute them in one go.

This means that there will be thousands and thousands of ranunculus and anemones around the country waiting to be planted in the coming weeks so how should they be dealt with?

We cover this in depth in Module one of our Business of Growing flowers course starting next week - along with other forms of Autumn propagation, but here are the basics to get you planning for when yours arrive.

They arrive with you as shrivelled claws

These need to be soaked well for just the right amount of time to get them plump but ensure that the water doesn’t get murky. Running water is often recommended, but as I don’t like to waste water, and I don’t have mains drains at my farm, I just refresh the water several times.

You can then either

Plant into prepared ground

or Chit the ranunculus in Vermiculite or a peat mixture. This creates roots and the stems will start showing, so it’s easy to see how to plant them

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Chitting them is great to give them a head start, but it isn’t absolutely necessary, just planting them straight into well prepared ground is fine, if you’ve bought in good quality claws, the viability of them is high, so you will get good results.

They can be planted quite close, I get 5 across a metre row, which means you can get 25 per metre square.

Here’s a video to show you how the claws change in size when soaked, and how I plant up previously used claws.