Ranunculus Care and Handling

Ranunculus Care and Handling

Ranunculus Care and Handling Guide

Ranunculus is one of our favorite blooms (well, frankly we love pretty much all flowers!). They are gorgeous blooms that look great on their own, but also mix beautifully with other flowers. First off, if you are reading this so you can learn more about ranunculus, here are a few things you should know:

  • The bloom size can range, but generally a high quality ranunculus will be at least 2” wide when fully bloomed.
  • There is typically only one main bloom per stem and often several offshoot buds that do not bloom.
  • Ranunculus stems can naturally curve and bend, so don’t expect stick straight flowers!
  • Ranunculus are beautiful, but they can be a bit finicky so if you’re looking for something that is no fuss and very durable, this would not be a top choice!

That said, they are gorgeous flowers and a very popular choice for using in weddings and events as well as sending for gifts, so here are our ranunculus care and handling tips for taking the best care of them:

1. Don’t be alarmed at how ranunculus look on arrival

The blooms may appear small and look tired and even slightly wilted when they first arrive. They just need to get a nice long drink of water!

Ranunculus Care and Handling - How Ranunculus Arrive

2. Be very gentle when unwrapping your ranunculus

Ranunculus have hollow stems and so they are very susceptible to bending and crushing. Ranunculus typically arrive wrapped in a plastic sleeve or wrapped in paper (which is preferable to reduce moisture during their travel). Carefully, remove the wrap. The bunches of stems often get intertwined, so gently loosen them from each other. Sometimes it’s easier if you hold the bunch upside down and very gently shake them loose. If you try to just pull them apart you may risk pulling off a perfectly good bloom from its stem!

Ranunculus Care and Handling - Be Gentle with Stems

3. Prepare a clean vase filled with warm water

Make sure your vase or bucket is clean and fill with lukewarm (not hot) water so that the stems will be in about 3 to 4 inches of water. If you have floral food, it’s great to add into the water, but not absolutely necessary. Most important will be re-cutting and changing the water regularly. You’ll also want to make sure you’re using a vase that is tall enough to support the stems (or cut the stems down to fit your vase). A good rule of thumb is that the vase should be at least 2/3 the length of the cut stems. Since ranunculus have hollow stems they’ll need the support so they don’t bend over. You also want to make sure your vase is big enough that the flowers are not too crowded. The blooms will need a little space as they open up and crowding the stems can allow condensation to form which can cause moldy stems and foliage.

4. Clean and trim stems

You’ll want to remove any foliage that will fall below the water line. This will help keep the water clean. Cut at least 1 inch off each stem at a diagonal and quickly place in water. Make sure you’re using sharp shears to get a nice clean cut. Dull cutters tend to smash stems which will make it harder for them to hydrate.

Ranunculus Care and Handling - Remove lower foliage

Ranunculus Care and Handling - Cut stems at diagonal

5. Allow the ranunculus to drink!

The ranunculus will start to drink up and after a few hours in water, you should see them perk up. If they are particularly droopy on arrival, you can loosely wrap paper around the blooms for the just the first 3-4 hours while they are in water. This will help support the stems upright as they get their initial drink of water. Just make sure there is no moisture on the blooms or else it could cause some premature molding. After a full day, you should notice blooms opening up more. You’ll want to make sure to keep them in a cool spot away from direct sunlight and heat.

Ranunculus Care and Handling - Wrap stems to give more support

Ranunculus Care and Handling - Flowers Hydrating

6. Change water frequently!

For the best vase life, you’ll want to re-cut and change the water every 1-2 days. Ranunculus can really dirty up the water quickly and so if you don’t change the water regularly, you’ll soon see the water get cloudy and murky which will not be good for the blooms!

Ranunculus Care and Handling - Change and re-cut stems daily

If you’re ordering ranunculus for a wedding or event, we typically recommend you have them delivered 2 days before your event date so they have time to hydrate and open up. They are not the longest lasting of flowers, but with proper care, you should get at least 4-5 days of vase life.

When arranging with ranunculus, you’ll want to make sure you’re using flowers that have been hydrating for at least 4-6 hours (preferably overnight). You’ll want to be careful as you arrange with them because of those delicate stems we mentioned. If you don’t like the look of the buds, you can just trim these off. Ranunculus can be used in designs that use floral foam, but they’ll do best in water.

Some common ranunculus mishaps and how to fix them:

Droopy ranunculus:

This usually means the flowers are not getting enough water. You can try to revive them by giving them a fresh cut and placing them in clean slightly warm water. Loosely wrap paper to hold the blooms upright and let the flowers sit in a cool place out of sunlight. You should hopefully see the blooms start to perk back up in a few hours.

Bent ranunculus stems:

Sometimes you accidentally bend a stem, it happens! If it’s in a spot low enough, just trim right above the bend and put the ranunculus in water. If the bend is by the bloom, you may be able to keep the bloom going by either wrapping floral wire or tape around the bent section to keep it straight. Give the ranunculus a fresh cut and let it continue to drink. There are some bends that crush the stems and sometimes these may be past the point of no return, so this trick may not always work! In these cases, you can trim the stem down and let the bloom sit in a small bud vase or shallow bowl so that you can still enjoy the flowers!

Of course if you have any specific questions about ranunculus, just drop us a line (info@flowermuse.com) or leave a comment below. If you want to check out all the colors and varieties that we offer, visit out our ranunculus page. We also have packages that allow you to customize your ranunculus colors. Hope you found these ranunculus care and handling tips helpful and happy arranging!



Add yours
  1. 1

    Great guide to taking care of these beautiful blooms! Ranunculus is one of my most favorite flowers – they’re very versatile. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. 2

    Thank you for all the great tips. I’ve been searching a few sites now to try and get very specific tips on flower care and handling, yours is the best! Can’t wait to read up on all the other flowers. Thank you!

    • 5
      Ellie H.

      Hi Michele, Thanks for stopping by! We typically avoid wiring flowers unless we absolutely need to since it cuts down on the vase life of the flower. I personally like the natural curves that ranunculus can have as it can give a bouquet a more organic feel!

      However, for things like floral crowns and when you need ranunculus to be stick straight, wiring will certainly help. We don’t have step-by-step images of this on our blog, but you can check out Janie’s instructions on her blog (The Bride’s Cafe): http://www.thebridescafe.com/?postID=2049&diy-floral-crown

      I hope this helps and let us know if you have any other questions!

  3. 7

    I purchased. And planted already blooming ranunculus and they did beautifully for two to three weeks. On Thursday past, I went out and they were dead and brown and all flowers gone. Any clue as to what happened?

    • 8
      Ellie H.

      Hi Jo, thanks for stopping by! I wish I had an answer for you, but our specialty is around the care of cut flowers that have been commercially grown. The ranunculus varieties for home gardens are oftentimes much different than what is grown at a commercial farm. I’d try asking a gardening forum or blog as they can give much better advice!

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