Did you know that buttercups stay fresh when cut for up to two weeks? And the fact that they have poisonous juice? In Shakespeare's tragedy, the potion that put Juliet into a death-like sleep was made from a buttercup.
Garden buttercups no longer resemble their wild relatives: breeders have created cultivars, densely double flowers that resemble rosebuds more than species flowers. That is why ranunculus is so in demand among landscape designers and florists.
Read more about growing buttercups below.
Ranunculus ranunculus (lat. Ranunculus, from the word rana - frog) is a genus of herbaceous perennials of the Buttercup family. Representatives of the genus differ in caustic sap, which makes all parts of the plant poisonous. The similarity with frogs in these plants is manifested in the fact that many species of buttercups in nature live in water or near water bodies, like the aforementioned amphibians. About 360 species of buttercups are widespread in the world, growing in the Northern Hemisphere in areas with a temperate and cold climate, but the cultivated mainly garden buttercup, or Asian buttercup, its numerous varieties and varieties that adorn our gardens with flowering in the middle of summer for a month.
These products of the arduous work of breeders, stunning the imagination with a variety of colors and beauty of forms, are no longer similar to their wild relatives - creeping buttercup or field buttercup, which littered the crops of our ancestors. And all because in the middle of the 16th century, some species of this plant interested florists, and at the end of the 17th century, the buttercup plant, as well as its hybrids by that time, became as popular as tulips or carnations.
The garden buttercup flower is a herbaceous perennial plant with an average height of up to 65 cm.Its rhizome is tuberous, fleshy, leafy stem, branched, leaves are trifolded, similar to dahlia leaves, flowers 8-10 cm in diameter are simple, double or densely double bright colors: purple, white, salmon, pink, red, orange, cream, yellow - many shades, besides blues and blues, there are bicolor varieties. Keep freshness for a long time in cut - at least a week. But, despite all these advantages, the buttercup is a poisonous flower, so keep it away from children and pets.
Flowers of buttercups propagate by dividing the rhizome or by seed. If you decide to grow buttercup from seeds, you should know that planting material is best purchased in specialized stores or departments, since it is difficult to collect seeds of your own plants, and their viability is low. Buttercup seeds are sown in late February or early March in loose light soil, consisting of peat soil (one part), leafy soil (one part) and sand (half part). From above, the seeds are lightly sprinkled with soil, which is then moistened with a spray bottle. The container with crops is covered with glass and kept at a temperature of 10-12 ºC, regularly ventilating and removing condensation from the glass.
Seedlings usually appear in 2-3 weeks, and then the container needs to be moved to a warmer and brighter place (about 20 ºC), and the most suitable for this is a southern window shaded from direct sunlight. If necessary, arrange additional lighting for the seedlings. In the phase of 4-5 true leaves, young plants dive into peat-humus pots.
In mid-May, when the last night frosts are left behind, the garden buttercup is planted. The best place for buttercups in the garden is in sunny or semi-shady areas, protected from drafts and harsh gusts of wind. Buttercup soil prefer neutral or slightly acidic (pH 5.5-6.6), nutritious, permeable and light, as well as moderately moist, because in too moist soil, buttercup roots can rot.
At the bottom of each hole, dug at a distance of 15-20 cm from each other, pour a little drainage material - sand or expanded clay crumbs, then place a seedling in the hole along with a peat-humus pot, and if you grew seedlings in plastic or ceramic pots, then transfer the seedling into the hole along with the earthen clod, fill the hole with garden soil, compact it and water the area. This year, unfortunately, seed buttercups are unlikely to bloom, but next year they will for sure.
Caring for buttercups in the garden includes properly organized watering, loosening the soil, weeding, fertilizing, timely removal of wilted flowers and controlling pests or diseases, if the need arises. You will also have to make sure that the buttercup does not grow beyond the limits that you set for it, and does not displace other, not so aggressive plants from the garden or flower bed. It is necessary to moisten the area with buttercups regularly, without skipping watering and avoiding waterlogging of the soil, since buttercups are very sensitive in this matter. As you can see, planting buttercups and caring for them in the garden is a simple matter that even a novice gardener can do.
During the period of growing leaf mass, buttercup is fed every two weeks with fertilizers containing nitrogen, for example, Kemiroi-universal, and when the process of bud formation begins, potassium-phosphorus fertilization must be applied with the same frequency.
Growing buttercups has another advantage: with proper watering, you will not have to fight either insects or diseases, since buttercups are very resistant to both diseases and pests. But if you overdo it with wetting the site, the plants can be attacked by root rot, which is why it is so important to place a layer of drainage in each hole when planting. In fairness, it must be said that sometimes, in a very damp summer, buttercups are affected by powdery mildew, the leaves of the plant can attract cabbage butterflies, and the roots - nematodes. If you find pests, use bioinsecticides to control them.
When the buttercups fade, their watering is gradually reduced, and when the leaves turn yellow, watering is stopped altogether. In August-September, buttercup tubers are dug up, dried to remove the garden soil, laid out in a single layer in boxes and dried at 20 ºC, then laid out in perforated paper bags and stored until spring planting. All manipulations are carried out very carefully, since the buttercups are very fragile tubers.
In garden culture, it is most often grown garden buttercup, or hybrid, or buttercup asiatic, or Asian ranunculus (Ranunculus asiaticus). This popularity is caused by the variety of forms and the richness of the color palette of varieties and hybrids of this species. In addition, the Asiatic buttercup stands well in the cut.
All varieties and forms of this species are divided according to the shape of the flowers into four groups:
Popular varieties: Bloomingdale Rose Bicolor - white terry buttercup with pink edges of petals; Pearl Pikoti - white buttercups with a purple coating on the tips of the petals; Double Pink Buttercup is a dense double variety with tight-fitting pink petals.
The culture also grows:
Up to a meter high, blooming with white flowers. There is a double variety and a variety with flowers with a golden yellow color;
Yellow buttercup up to 30 cm tall, there is a white-flowered form;
In culture, only terry forms of the species with large flowers of different shades of yellow are grown.
Of the wild species, attention is drawn to Kamchatka buttercup, Illyrian buttercup, sulfur-yellow buttercup, Haast buttercup, Alpine buttercup, Altai buttercup, Pyrenean buttercup and Gray buttercup.
Sections: Garden plants Perennials Herbaceous Flowering Weed Honey plants Plants on L Buttercup
The garden buttercup flower is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows on average up to 65 cm. The rhizome of the culture has the appearance of tubers and a fleshy structure. The stem is branched, there are many leaves, the shape of the leaves is tripartite. The leaves of the garden buttercup have a tripartite shape, like that of a dahlia.
Flowers are 8-10 cm in diameter, can be simple, double and densely double. Colors - pink, white, purple, red, orange, yellow, cream, salmon. There are bicolor varieties. When cut, the plant retains its freshness for a long time - at least a week.
Garden buttercup flowers can be of almost any color except blue and light blue. A flower bed with buttercups can be diluted with a scabiosa flower.
Information about Asiatic Buttercup:
The main varieties of Ranunculus:
Popular varieties of Ranunculus:
It is no coincidence that florists use Ranunculus to create exquisite and delicate compositions. A photo of spectacular buds helps to understand why the plant is in the TOP-20 of the most beautiful flowers on the planet.
A scattering of rounded flower heads, similar to multi-colored bright pompons ... You may be surprised, but this is what garden buttercups look like - close relatives of the famous field weed. Among florists, transliteration of the Latin name has taken root, and many elegant flowers are known as ranunculus.
Such an intricate name ("rana" - frog) was given to the plants by the ancient scientist Pliny for their love of marshlands. Italian fans of buttercups call them more romantic - "golden meadow buttons".
Among Catholics, there is also a legend that Jesus turned small stars into ranunculus and presented a luxurious bouquet as a gift to a loving mother.
Miracle buttercups arrived in the gardens of Europe at the end of the 16th century from Turkey and for a long time enjoyed great popularity among lovers of plant exoticism, competing with handsome tulips.
In the 19th century, gardeners suddenly lost their former interest in ranunculus and forgot about them for almost a century.
Today, garden buttercups are again in demand and loved in the West, but, unfortunately, they are rarely found in Russian flower beds. It's time to fix this oversight!
More than 600 species of buttercups are known in nature, but the most famous cultural representative of the genus is Asiatic ranunculus - a beautiful plant with deeply dissected leaves and strong shoots. The color of its double, semi-double and densely double flowers can be very diverse: white, red, yellow, lilac, pink, crimson, purple.
Among this multicolor, there are not only varieties with blue and blue petals. It is interesting that garden buttercups are simultaneously similar to several ornamental crops at once - their flowers in buds resemble miniature roses or peonies, and when they bloom, they look like fluffy multi-petaled poppies.
Examining the leaves and stocky rhizomes of plants, you can easily guess the similarity of ranunculus to dahlias.
Experts classify all varieties of Asian buttercup by flower shape:
The best varieties of culture are: Bloomingdale (variety series known among domestic gardeners under the name "Blossoming Valley), Rebecca (mix of colors), Purple Picotee (lilac-white), Double Pink Buttercup (thick double, hot pink).
Less commonly, other types of buttercups are found in flower beds:
Read more Clarkia: planting and care in the open field
Passionate florists are also showing interest in wild-growing buttercups - Altai, Alpine, Kamchatka, Gray, Haast, Pyrenean, sulfur-yellow.
Most often, ranunculus are propagated by rhizomes, which are planted in open ground after the end of return frosts, that is, in late April - early May.
Seed cultivation is carried out in seedlings. Sowing is carried out in February-March, and the seedlings are transferred to a permanent place in the second decade of May.
The place for ranunculus should be sunny or semi-shaded, closed from strong drafts. By the way, a light breeze blowing over the foliage will even be useful for plants.Garden buttercups prefer aerated, nutritious and neutral soil.
Black soil filled with humus and diluted with sand, or peaty soil neutralized with chalk, is well suited, but ranunculus will not grow on dense loam.
Note! The place should be chosen thoroughly, since the transplant of buttercups is not very well tolerated, and it is undesirable to disturb them unnecessarily.
In the spring, the thawed soil on the site is dug up with the introduction of long-acting flower fertilizers (Royal Mix, Agricola) or mature garden compost. In order to avoid the development of pathogenic flora, it is recommended to shed the seat with a solution of "Fundazol".
The most convenient way to breed ranunculus is with nodules that look like funny octopuses or spiders. Considering some important points, the procedure is very simple:
Seedlings will appear on the tenth day, after 2-3 months each tuber will release 3-4 peduncles, on which long-awaited large (4-7 cm in diameter) flowers will bloom a little later, collected in lush bouquets. Ranunculus bloom from May to August, sequentially opening new buds.
Generative (seed) reproduction of garden buttercups is unreliable and laborious. Firstly, the planting material of the culture has an extremely low percentage of germination, and secondly, the seedlings will bloom only in the next season. If you are patient and like experimenting, you can try this challenging method. Observe the following procedure:
Read more Cineraria: planting and care in the open field
The first green sprouts of buttercups will break out of the ground after 2-3 weeks, then the shelter from them will need to be removed and the container with the seedlings moved to a very warm, light windowsill. In cloudy weather, be sure to turn on a fluorescent lamp over the landings.
Bright lighting is the key to high-quality ranunculus flowering in the future. The plants that have received less light during the seedling period will stretch out, and instead of a gorgeous bouquet you will get a stunted bunch of 2-3 flowers.
In the phase of 4–5 leaves, cut the mature bushes into peat-baked pots.
When the weather is finally warm outside, dig shallow holes in the prepared area, keeping a distance of 15–20 cm between them. Pour sand for drainage at the bottom of each hole, plant the seedlings directly in peat pots, dig in and water. Bushes growing in plastic or ceramic dishes are transferred into the holes without disturbing the earthy coma.
By nature, ranunculus is very demanding and capricious, but creating conditions favorable for its growth will not take much of your time:
In addition to performing a simple "mandatory program" of caring activities, you will have to restrain the rapid growth of garden buttercups, since they are very aggressive and often, getting out of their beds, "occupy" neighboring areas and oppress other flowers.
The resistance of garden buttercups to diseases and attacks of harmful insects is beyond praise, but they still have health problems. In high humidity conditions, plants can become infected with gray mold or powdery mildew.
In the first case, it makes no sense to use chemicals, leaves and shoots affected by rot are simply cut out and sent to the fire. Powdery mildew is successfully treated with fungicides (Fundazol, Fitosporin-M).
In order to prevent fungal infections, planting is recommended to be sprayed weekly with a solution of green soap.
Read more Levisia: planting and care
Of the pests, garden buttercups are bothered by thrips, aphids and spider mites. You can determine the presence of parasites by the silvery and whitish dots on the leaves of plants. Systemic insecticides ("Akarin", "Biotlin", "Agravertin", "Karbofos") will help to eliminate parasites.
After the ranunculus finish flowering, their watering is gradually reduced, and with the yellowing of the foliage, the water supply is completely canceled. In late August - early September, dried leaves and plant stems are cut off, and the bulbs are dug out of the ground.
In this case, one should act very carefully - the "spider" rhizomes break very easily.
The collected material is disinfected in a solution of "Fundazole" for half an hour, after which it is dried and packaged in packages of thick perforated paper or laid out in one layer in shallow boxes.
Until spring, ranunculus rhizomes are stored in a dry, cool (from +4 to +6 ° C), well-ventilated place.
If you live in a region where the temperature does not drop below -7 ° C in winter, digging buttercups in autumn is not necessary - just cover the flower garden with fallen leaves or spruce branches.
By the way, few growers are trying to collect and save planting material for garden buttercups, because it is troublesome and long to do this, and old specimens bloom rather poorly. It is much more convenient to buy fresh bulbs every year, their cost is not too high.
Experts recommend growing garden buttercups in a small dense curtain, which against the background of a bright green lawn will look like a bright floral fireworks. In a mixed flower garden, the best companions for ranunculus are arabis, anemones, alyssum, scabiosa. Tall hybrids are ideal for decorating the background of a mixborder.
Ranunculus are also good in cut. Florists use pink and white “pompons” to create wedding compositions and bouquets for brides of fabulous beauty. In spring, bright and fresh, garden buttercups look in combination with tulips and muscari. Cut flowers stand in water for 6-8 days.
Keep in mind that there should be no daffodils in the same vase with ranunculus; from such a neighborhood, charming buttercups quickly lose their freshness and attractiveness.
Be careful when drawing up bouquets - ranunculus juice is poisonous, so at the end of work wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and put your "piece" higher so that children or pets do not get to it.
It is not worth expecting flowering from garden buttercups obtained from seeds already in the first year. But the plants are still planted in the ground in the first year of cultivation and adhere to agricultural techniques typical for adult buttercups - with planting in late spring and digging for the winter.
It is possible to plant young buttercups obtained from seeds only when the spring frosts pass, not earlier than May. Much more difficult is the question of where to plant buttercups - in garden soil or containers, which will then be displayed in the garden. Ideally, buttercups need a low temperature for active development and flowering, about 15-20 degrees, they are sensitive to the vagaries of the weather, they require stable humidity, which is easy to control by watering. And that is why in the first year it is easier to grow them in separate containers, and not in the ground. When grown on an industrial scale, buttercups are sown and grown in boxes, simply taking them out into the garden for the summer. This approach is very effective, it allows not only to control the conditions, but also not to lose plants as a result of unexpected cold snaps or extreme heat, transferring them from place to place. But caring for buttercups in a container culture will require complex, constant attention, the plants will depend on you in everything. When planted in soil, caring for the plants is much easier. So the choice is really not so straightforward. Of course, some of the plants can be left as indoor, and those growing in greenhouses can be further grown there.
It will not be so easy to find the perfect place for buttercups. Buttercups are surprisingly moisture-loving plants; they like moderately moist soil, but not waterlogging. And the place for their planting should be chosen very carefully.
But at the same time, dampness leads to decay of plants and we are talking precisely about the need for fresh, moist soil.
Buttercups can also be planted in ordinary flower beds, borders, on a flower bed for summer houses, but then watering will have to be carried out regularly.
The quality of the soil is of no less importance. The soil should have a light, porous texture and high nutritional value.
The reaction of the soil should be neutral. And one more nuance: buttercups should be grown in protected, comfortable areas, without drafts and cold winds.
Buttercup is planted in spacious, deep pits with drainage laid on the bottom. Buttercups are transferred along with peat pots or a large clod of earth, being careful not to disturb the soil clod around the rhizome.
After installing the plant, while maintaining the same level of deepening, fill up the soil, slightly compact it and immediately carry out deep watering, after which, if necessary, fill up the soil again.
At first after planting, to protect against possible night frost, buttercups can be covered with non-woven materials. This is how plants adapt better and bloom earlier.
During the entire stage of active vegetation and flowering, buttercups require enhanced care:
Alternative breeding methods for buttercups:
For the winter period, it is recommended to dig the tubers out of the soil, and cut the stems to the ground. Using a garden shovel, the tubers are carefully removed from the soil, avoiding mechanical damage. Plants should be stored by pretreating the seed with a fungicide, a special chemical composition, which helps in the fight against fungal diseases and dried thoroughly.
Attention must be paid to the storage room for the tubers. It must meet a number of conditions:
In warm regions, gardeners leave tubers in the ground. When the air temperature is at least minus five degrees in winter. Before the onset of cold weather, the garden bed with seedlings is insulated, covered with foil, straw, spruce branches and dry foliage.
To grow ranunculus with seeds through seedlings, you need to work hard. And it is not a fact that it will be viable and ready to bloom.
This method is interesting in that you can observe the process of plant development from start to finish... The main condition is strict adherence to the rules for growing seeds through seedlings.
Interesting! Unfortunately, not all planting material of this culture has the same germination capacity, and therefore you should not be surprised or upset if some part of the seeds does not germinate.
When composing or selecting a soil, pay attention to the following factors:
All these requirements must be met by the prepared soil. If you don't want to bother, then you can limit yourself to buying universal mixture for flower seedlings... But in this situation, it is better to add a small amount of sand, perlite or vermiculite, in a ratio of 3: 1.
Consider the option of self-preparation of soil for a garden buttercup: