I have finally found a little time to write this post! The ranunculus and anemones are in full bloom right now (early April). Many sources said that these flowers would not survive the winter here, and I thought they might be right several times over the past 6 months but they pulled through!
If you remember back in November we pre-sprouted the corms and planted them in a hoophouse to slowly grow during the winter months. Once it started getting really cold in December and January they basically stopped growing above ground, however they were still growing roots during this time. It is these roots that allow the plants to put on a great show in early spring.
We got our first anemone flower right after Valentines Day and they have produced more and more blooms each week since then. The stems started out really short, like 6 inches tall but the more we cut them the longer they continue to grow. We have also noticed that some colors are better producers than others. The blue is the strongest, tallest and most prolifically flowering color. The white and bourdeaux are tied for second, they produce medium height stems and are fairly prolific. The hot pink and the red produce a fair amount of flowers, but the stems are weaker and not as tall. In the future I think that we will focus on growing a lot more white, because that is what everyone wants, as well as more blue and bordeaux.
Our first ranunculus bloomed in early March, but we did not get a steady supply of flowers until late March. All of our ranunculus are of the La Belle variety, but each color has a unique plant shape, height and vigor. The white flowering plants are the strongest and earliest bloomers. Our hoophouse was full of white ranunculus while all the other colors were only just starting to create buds. The deep red variety have the tallest stems, but their flowers are very sensitive to excess heat. One day we forgot to open the doors and sidewalls and the temperature in the hoop house climbed to over 100* F. All of the plants were wilted and unhappy but the red took it especially hard. The red petals scorched and went crispy while the others were able to recover. The pinks are all fairly strong and vigorous bloomers. By far the weakest of the La Belles are the salmon and peach colored flowers which is a huge shame because that is the color that everyone seems to want 😦 My only theory behind this is that the plant breeders have selected the salmon and peach for their color rather than their health and vigor which results in beautiful flowers on scrawny little plants.
We fertilize with diluted fish emulsion every week or two which gives them a big nutritional boost. Now that the weather is warm outside (approximately 70*F on warm days) we are having to water nearly every day. We open the doors and the side walls of the hoop house every day to ensure that the temperature doesn’t get to hot for them. We anticipate that the anemones and ranunculus will start to go dormant around the middle of May. When that happens their foliage will start to turn brown and they will go to sleep for the summer until we sprout them again in October and the process will start all over.
We are vary happy with the way our ranunculus and anemones have performed for us this spring. We plant to fill the entire hoophouse with ranunculus this fall and put the anemones in low tunnels because they can withstand lower temperatures. If you have any questions for us please feel free to leave us a comment below.