The irresistible Ranunculus asiaticus a.k.a. Persian buttercup is as low-demanding as it is beautiful, bringing lots of joy while growing and caring for it. Ranunculus asiaticus, commonly referred to as Persian buttercup, is a species of flowering plant in the Ranunculaceae family. The plant is native to various regions of southwestern Asia, northeastern Africa, and southeastern Europe. In some jurisdictions, such as Israel, is a protected species.
Persian buttercups belong to the Ranunculus family of plants, which is very extensive, consisting of more than 2000 species. Other popular members of the Ranunculus family include Helleborus, delphinium, clematis, anemone, and columbine. If you want to turn your outdoor area into a Mediterranean garden, Ranunculus flowers will always make perfect additions. Often admired by tourists that visit the beautiful Greek islands of Rhodes, Crete, and Karpathos, the Persian buttercup will fill your garden with joy and vibrant colours.
About Persian Buttercup
- This plant belongs to the large Ranunculus genus which contains about 600 species of flowering plants. The name “Ranunculus” is the Late Latin word for “little frog”, referring to the fact that these flowers will often be found growing near water, like frogs. This makes Ranunculus plants perfect for bog gardens. You can also grow Persian buttercups near ponds, lakes, streams, and wetlands.
- The plants from the Ranunculus genus, including Persian buttercups, are a great food source for the larvae of some moth species, such as Hebrew characters (Orthosia gothica) and small-angle shades (Euplexia lucipara).
- The Persian buttercup family comes along with many cultivars to choose from. Some of our favourites include ‘Bloomingdale’, ‘Café’, ‘Cloni Success Hanoi’, ‘Delano’ series, ‘Elegance’ series, ‘Flamenco’, ‘Merlot’, ‘Tecolote’ series, and ‘Tomer’ series. These are just a few examples, but there are a lot of different cultivars that are just as attractive.
- The most popular ornamental Persian buttercups are the double-flowered varieties which are actually hybrids. They are excellent for cutting gardens, Mediterranean gardens, cottage gardens, butterfly gardens, wildflower meadows, and any other type of flower gardens, beds, or borders, but also vases, and containers.
- You can plant your Persian buttercup near other ornamental flowering plants, grasses, and shrubs that have similar growth requirements. The best companions for Persian buttercups include African Daisy, Iceland Poppies, Linaria, primroses, pansies, Evergreen Candytuft, Snapdragon, Sweet Pea, Calendula, and Forget-Me-Not.
- Persian buttercup can thrive easily in lots of sunlight, a wide range of temperatures, and well-draining soils. These flowering ornamentals thrive in humid environments, but when planted in regular soil, they have moderate water needs.
- You can also keep your Persian buttercups alive for longer by propagating them through division or seeds.
- Buttercup flowers are long-lasting as cut flowers so they can be used to create beautiful floral arrangements and bouquets. In fact, they are enjoying some popularity as bridal flowers and wedding centrepieces.
- Like all bulb plants, the Persian buttercup is toxic to pets and humans if touched or ingested in large quantities. For safety purposes, keep it in a spot where your beloved ones cannot reach it.
- Despite these concerns, Persian buttercups have played a big part in traditional medicine. People have used it to treat skin problems, nerve pain, arthritis, inflammation, and bronchitis. However, there is no good scientific evidence to support this, so you should only use it for ornamental purposes.
- Native Americans used dried petals of ranunculus to treat sore joints and other types of pain. They referred to these plants as ‘coyote eyes’ because, according to legend, a coyote was entertaining itself in an unusual way, by throwing his eyes into the air and catching them. An eagle noticed what the coyote was doing, so naturally, it swooped down and caught the eyes. Being left without his eyes, the coyote replaced them with two buttercup flowers.
Persian Buttercup Features: An Overview
- Persian buttercups are among the most popular sping-blooming bulbs (tubers). They are brightly-coloured herbaceous perennial plants.
- The most important and attractive feature of Persian buttercups is, of course, their three to six-inch blooms, which have multiple layers of thin, delicate petals.
- The Persian buttercup petals resemble bright layers of tissue paper and making them look like small-version peony blooms.
- As mentioned above, Persian buttercups grow from tubers and, depending on the cultivar, these low-maintenance plants can reach 1 to 2 feet (30-60 cm) in both height and width.
- The foliage of Persian buttercups consists of basal, three-lobed, downy or hairy, and green leaves that appear on simple or branched stems. The leaves that grow higher on the stems are typically more deeply divided.
- Persian buttercup blooms from spring through summer. Their vividly coloured flowers measure between 1.2 to 2 inches (3-5 cm) in diameter and each stem can feature one or several flowers, depending on the cultivar.
- Their blossoms can come in different shades of white, yellow, pink, red, or purple. Some varieties have flowers with pleasant colour mixes.
- The petals of the Persian buttercup can be highly shiny, especially in yellow specimens. The smoothness of the petal’s upper surface might cause a lovely mirror-like reflection.
Growing Persian Buttercup
If you decide to add Persian buttercups to your collection, you will see that it is a delight to have them around. Although these blooming ornamentals have a dew mandatory demands for their healthy and happy growth, it is not as difficult to take care of them as you might think. But enough talking! Let’s get you more familiar with growing and caring for Persian buttercups!
When it comes to lighting conditions, the Persian buttercup will have the time of its life when it is planted in a location where it can get as much full sunlight as it can. In other words, plant this beauty in a spot that allows it to get at least six hours of bright and direct light on most days. This particular type of light exposure will help your plant grow and bloom at its best.
Temperature-wise, Ranunculus asiaticus is a hardy species only in the USDA zones 8 to 10. This plant thrives in cool spring weather and will naturally go dormant once summer temperatures go higher than 90 °F (32 °C).
Overwintering your Persian buttercup is on the priority list. If you live in a warm region and want to grow your Persian buttercups as perennials, all you have to do is leave them in place and allow their foliage to die back on its own at the end of summer. After this, you have to cut the remains back to the ground before the first sign of winter and also protect your plants with a layer of mulch.
Outside of the plant’s hardiness regions, you can grow them as annuals, or you can dig up the bulbs and place them in a cool room for winter, covered in peat moss. However, this method does not always work as we would want to. Because of this, in areas where winters are harsher, it is better to grow your Persian buttercup in pots and bring them inside during the winter.
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- Ranunculus - A kaleidoscope of colour. These bulbs produce vibrantly colored flowers, from the marsh marigold family and bright, tightly clustered petals in strong almost luminous colors. They will grow equally well in full sun or partial shade and make ideal cut flowers
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- Can be used as cutflowers Delivered as Corms Full grown height 10 - 20'' Full Grown Width 1 - 4'' Bestseller
- Zone 5-10
- Also known as Persian Buttercup, these sweet colorful annuals cannot be more fun and rewarding to grow from Ranunculus flower seed.
- Ranunculus is an 8 - 10 inch annual plant growing in USDA zones 5 - 10.
- This Magic Mix features dwarf, mounding plants with a refined foliage and the multi-petaled whorled blooms ranging in colors: red, rose, orange, yellow, pink and white.
- This dwarf variety grows on top of 6 - 8 inch stems, so there is still enough stem to cut, and Ranunculus make a beautiful cut flower as well. Ranunculus are among the most beautiful of all flowers!
- Sow 3 - 4 seeds per plant to begin growing this beautiful flower mix today.
Planting Persian Buttercup
In warmer areas, you can plant your newly-bought Persian buttercup directly outdoors in autumn. Yet, if you live in a colder climate, it would be wise to wait for the spring to bring some warmth before planting the bulbs. You can also start the bulbs in an indoor setting in containers about twelve weeks before the last frost date. In case you plant them in a pot, space the bulbs 3-4 inches (7.5-10 cm) apart from one another.
In terms of soil, the Persian buttercup prefers to grow in sandy or loamy substrates that come along with very sharp drainage. Moreover, you will have to choose a growing medium with a slightly acidic soil pH. If your garden soil is too heavy, you can amend it with peat moss or simply plant your companion in a raised garden bed. When it comes to indoor specimens, it’s important to plant them in pots that have drainage holes at the bottom.
Right before you plant the Ranunculus asiaticus bulbs, make sure you mix some bulb fertilizer or compost into their future growing mediums. Once the foliage shows up on your plants, you will have to fertilize them once every two weeks following the product label instructions. The best product for these buddies is a water-soluble fertilizer.
Regardless of the setting in which setting you are growing your Persian buttercup, whether it is indoors or outdoors, deadheading is mandatory in its caring routine. Keep in mind that you must deadhead the flowers once they fade to have a tidier plant and more bloomings overall. If you keep your Persian buttercup indoors, however, you will have to also trim its foliage to maintain a certain size and shape.
Watering Persian Buttercup
In general, bulb-growing plants must be soaked in water for a few hours before planting them to stimulate growth. When it comes to Persian buttercup, this is not a mandatory practice. But if you decide to soak the tubers, make sure you do not overdo it. It is more than enough to soak them for about one to four hours, as this will prevent mould from developing.
When you plant your Persian buttercups, we suggest you water the tubers well. After this, you should refrain from watering again until you notice the first signs of growth. This method will help you avoid issues like root rot. Once the plants have settled in their new environment, you can spoil them with drinks whenever their soil begins to dry out.
Persian buttercups are not as picky regarding humidity, and they usually thrive in humid environments. Still, very high humidity levels may cause root rot, which is a serious issue that will kill the plant with time. For optimal growth, provide your Persian buttercup with medium levels of humidity.
Propagating Persian Buttercup
With their spectacular flowers and easy-going nature, it is perfectly natural to want more Persian buttercups in your garden. Luckily, you can easily make more specimens through various propagation methods. The most popular and efficient ones are via division and seed. Let’s see what this is all about!
If you choose to propagate your Persian buttercups via division, your chances of success are really high. The first thing to remember is that this process is usually carried out in autumn, so you might have to wait for a few months before you can dig up the bulbs from their growing medium. You will see that, in general, many of these bulbs should have already created tiny seed bulbs or offsets.
In warm areas, once you dig them out, you can divide the bulbs using a sharp knife and plant each offset in its new location right away. This is not a problem, as winters are not as harsh as in other climates. It would be wise to plant them about two inches (5 cm) deep with the roots or ‘fingers’ pointed downward. Once this step is done, you will have to water the divided parts well and keep their substrates constantly moist by watering them once every couple of days. New shoots should emerge in a few weeks after planting.
In cooler areas, however, you will need to store the bulbs until spring to propagate your Persian buttercups. In autumn, before the first sign of frost, dig your plants out, clean off any excess dirt, and then store them in a cool, well-ventilated place. Place the bulbs in a box filled with peat moss or coir and keep the box away from direct sunlight exposure. Once the spring shows up, divide each bulb into as many sections as you can, then soak them in water for one hour. After this, you can plant them outdoors in the ground.
In case you wish to start your own Persian buttercups from seed, wait until the blossoms begin to fade, then cut them off. Allow the flowers to dry out for a week or so in a paper bag and shake the bag to knock the seeds loose. Next, you can start the seeds indoors a few weeks before the last frost day in your region. Sow the seeds on top of moist soil and place the container in a warm, indirect-lit spot. Germination will occur in two weeks or so, but you can transplant the seedlings to their permanent location only when they have four sets of true leaves.
Persian Buttercups Common Problems
Persian buttercups are plants that can bloom profusely, and they normally do so. If your Persian buttercups do not seem to produce enough or any flowers at all, there might be a problem related to their environment. First things first, Persian buttercups should receive about one inch (2.5 cm) of water weekly. Secondly, avoid over-fertilizing your plants since high nitrogen levels can promote leaf growth and no blossoms. Lastly, mulch your Persian buttercup with bark, straw, or cocoa hulls to maintain proper moisture levels after watering it.
Ranunculus asiaticus a.k.a Persian buttercup is a bit sensitive in terms of pest infestations. Intruders like spider mites, aphids, and leaf miners will sometimes be tempted to munch on its leaves. The most common signs of infestation include yellowish-brown, withered, and splotchy foliage. If you want to get rid of leaf miners or spider mites, you must use an organic pesticide. You can wash the aphids away by spraying your plant with a mixture of water and dish soap. You might have to repeat the process a few times to ensure that all the aphids are removed.
Likewise, Persian buttercup plants can encounter some issues with fungal diseases like rust, powdery mildew, tomato spotted wilt virus, or necrotic spot. When your plant is affected by one or more of these diseases, its leaves will curl and turn yellow. The best defence against these problems is none other than prevention – make sure you provide the plants with excellent air circulation and water only the bulb, without the plant itself. Another important thing to remember is that a common cause for many different problems is getting the foliage and the flowers wet. By keeping the plant dry and watering it at the base, you reduce the chances of a pest infestation or a fungal infection.
Ranunculus asiaticus a.k.a Persian buttercups are perfect additions to any type of garden. If you live in a warm climate, you can grow these pretty flowers outdoors as annuals or perennials. If you live in a colder climate, you can still grow them, but you need to keep them in containers that you can bring inside to protect them from the cold. These gorgeous flowering plants are a must-have in every collection that requires a dash of colour this summer. What makes these flowers perfect for any garden is their overall easy-going habit. You don’t have to be an experienced gardener to enjoy their beautiful blooms, as these flowers will only require water and light.
If you do not have a Persian buttercup in your garden or home, this is a sign for you to get into action. If you already own one or more, share your experience with us in the comments!