Buttercup Flower: How to Grow and Care for Them

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Do you want to grow buttercup flowers in your home?

But don’t know much about their growing and caring process?

We can help.

But first, let’s give you a brief about this pretty bloom that is considered a weed by some!

Ranunculus spp, commonly known as a buttercup, is a big family of bright, pretty flowers. You can find them in the shades of golden, yellow, white, pink, orange, lavender, and red.

Look at it closely, and you’ll see that it look like a cup of butter. However, there’s ancient folklore in the southern regions regarding the name of buttercup. They say, if you place the buttercup flower under your chin and it becomes yellow, it means you like butter.

Buttercup is a common name given to the entire Ranunculus genus. This means they are collectively known as buttercup.

The bright yellow reflection that the buttercup flowers produce attracts loads of pollinators, including bees and butterflies, to your garden.

Buttercups are a kind of perennial. They can resist moderate cold. You can find them in Central and North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Varieties of Buttercup Flowers

The buttercup flowers consist of more than four hundred different varieties. In addition, they are available in different colors.

These five-petaled, shiny, and half-hearty beauties are mostly seen brightening up valleys, hillsides, and rock gardens.

Now let’s tell you about the most common varieties of buttercups.

1. Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus Acris)

Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus Acris)

This variety of buttercup is a much bigger one. It grows up to a height of three feet and thus, has got the name “tall buttercup.” However, the size of their bloom is nowhere near their height – only one inch. You can find the meadow buttercup in meadow areas and forest clearings.

2. Persian Buttercup (Ranunculus Asiaticus)

Persian Buttercup (Ranunculus Asiaticus)

This type of buttercup is two feet tall. When in full bloom, the flower looks like a peony blossom. You can get them in colors ranging from pink and white to red, purple, and yellow. Persian buttercup is a hot favorite at florist shops. And people use this in making wedding bouquets too!

3. Bulbous Buttercup (Ranunculus Bulbosus)

Bulbous Buttercup (Ranunculus Bulbosus)

The bulbous buttercup variety comes in average size. It has fuller flowers. This buttercup can grow up to a height of sixteen inches. It comes in bright yellow flowers. Plant them in dry and sandy areas, and they’ll survive. However, they prefer growing in rich, grassy soil.

4. Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus Ficaria)

Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus Ficaria)

Lesser Celandine hails from East Asia and Europe. It can thrive in zones between six and nine. The plant looks like a weed, and it produces yellow buttercup blooms. In the months of spring, the flowers rise above dark green, heart-shaped foliage.

5. California Buttercup (Ranunculus Californicus)

California Buttercup (Ranunculus Californicus)

You can find this variety of buttercup all over California – hence the name. They’re found in some parts of Oregon too. Their petals are glossy and lemon-yellow. California buttercups are somewhat different from other buttercups, as they have about nine to seventeen petals.

6. Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus Repens Pleniflorus)

Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus Repens Pleniflorus)

Creeping buttercups can be invasive at times. They can thrive pretty well in zones between six and nine. The flowers rise above the glossy, lush, dark green foliage. The blooms are one inch in size. They come in the shape of buttons in bright yellow color.

7. Aconite Leaf Buttercup (Ranunculus Aconitifolius)

Aconite Leaf Buttercup (Ranunculus Aconitifolius)

The height of the aconite leaf buttercup is about two feet. Their spread compliments their height. Their leaves are a bit hairy. However, they have beautiful, snow-white petals. You can find this variety of buttercup growing everywhere – from mountains and meadows to streams.

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What are the Growing Conditions for Buttercup Flowers?

What are the Growing Conditions for Buttercup Flowers

The beautiful buttercups need partial or complete shade to grow. They’re very particular about their soil requirements. You need to put them in soil that is not too hot, not too heavy, and has good water drainage capabilities.

What if you live in a hot region?

Well, in that case, you need to take special care of your buttercups. Grow taller plants around them so that they can get partial shade. And make sure to mulch at the buttercup’s base. Otherwise, the chances are that the hot soil will damage them.

Buttercup Flower: How Long Does It Take to Grow?

Generally, buttercups don’t flower in their first year. They are perennials. After their first year, they can bloom for as long as ten years. Of course, it depends on which variety of buttercup you’re planting.

When Should You Plant Buttercup Flower?

Want your buttercups to grow to their full potential?

Plant them then at the right time.

So, when is the best time?

Well, it depends on which zone you’re in. If your area falls between zone eight and eleven, plant the buttercups when it’s fall. And for regions between zone four and seven, plant the corms in the spring.

Buttercup Flower: How to Plant and Grow?

Did you know that you can grow buttercups from both roots and seeds?

Well, yes!

But, if you are a beginner gardener, you might want to grow buttercups from roots only.

Because growing buttercups from seeds is a long and tedious process.

We’ve discussed both ways here.

Read on.

Growing buttercup flowers from roots

Most gardeners use this method to grow buttercups. It is easy and takes less time compared to growing them from the seeds. Go to your local garden store and get some buttercup roots from there. You can plant this beautiful flower in your garden or a container. They are a great choice as border plants.

  • Dig holes in the soil. They should be about two inches deep. Make sure that the bulb fits into the hole perfectly.
  • Place the bulb into the hole. Their roots must face downwards
  • Now take some soil and cover the hole.
  • Between two buttercup bulbs, there should be a space of about twelve inches.
  • Water them regularly.

Growing buttercup flowers from the seeds

If you want to go the hard way and plant buttercups from seeds, follow these steps:

  • Take a nursery tray and sow the buttercup seeds. Do this in the months of fall or spring. This depends on which zone you’re in
  • Cover the seeds with soil. The layer of the soil should be thin. Don’t put too much soil and suffocate the seeds, as this can do bad to the germination process.
  • Take plastic and cover the seeds.
  • Now put them in the refrigerator. Don’t forget to water them lightly. Do this for three weeks.
  • Then take the seeds out from the refrigerator and remove the plastic. Now use glass instead of plastic. Keep them in a shaded area.
  • Once seedlings appear, transplant them to where you want to grow the buttercup plants.

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Buttercup Flower: How to Care for Them?

Buttercup Flower How to Care for Them

You don’t need to spend a lot of time on the maintenance of buttercup flowers. All they need is primary care.

So, how can you take proper care of your buttercup flower?

Keep reading.

Regular Watering

Once the leaves of the buttercup plant emerge, make sure to water them regularly. Don’t let the soil dry out.

When they bloom in the months of spring, they need water of about one inch in a week.

However, if it rains sufficiently, you don’t need to water your buttercup plant at all.

Fertilizer and Mulch

You need to fertilize your buttercup plants. Or, you can choose to spread compost around the plant. Don’t use it directly against their stems.

The tubers of the buttercup plants need to get essential nutrients. Water the soil regularly so that the nutrients can get into the ground.

Many expert gardeners suggest mulching with coco hulls, bark, or straw. This is done so that the soil retains its moisture.

No Watering Once it Blooms.

Once the blooming period is over, stop watering the buttercup plants.

This is when the leaves turn yellow, and no flowers are there on the plant.

Generally, this happens in the months of early summer or spring.

Cutting Old Blossoms

When it’s blooming season, keep an eye on the buttercups.

Remove the ones that expire.

You can do so by using your fingers and plucking them. If you use a scissor, make a point just below the flower head and cut through the stalk.

Leaving Them in the Ground or Digging them Up

Do you live in a dry area?

Then you can leave the buttercups in the ground.

Do you live in an area that receives frequent rainfall?

Then choose to dig up the buttercups once the leaves turn yellow. Go to the tip of the tubers and trim the shoots from there.

In a cool, dry place, spread the tubers and let them dry for a week. Then, take a storage container or a paper bag and place the dried buttercup tubers in it.

Now store them in a dry, cool place.

Replanting the Tubers

In early spring or late winter, when there’s no frost, you can plant the woody, dry buttercup tubers again, if applicable.

Choose to plant them in an area that receives full sunlight. Also, the soil must have excellent drainage capability.

Now, if you want, you can plant your favorite buttercup tubers at the same place every year.

While placing the tubers into the soil, make sure their root prongs face downwards. They should be about two inches deep into the ground.

Between two buttercup plants, there should be a distance of about six inches. To make the soil stay moist, water them thoroughly.

Only water them again if you can see leaves peeking through the soil.

Protecting from Diseases and Pests

You don’t want hungry birds to eat your new buttercup shoots, right?

Then arrange bird netting and cover the buttercup patch with it.

Wait till the buttercups grow about four inches tall. Then they will not attract birds anymore. After that, you can remove the netting.

If it rains much in the area, make sure that the soil you use for planting buttercups has good drainage. Otherwise, the roots of the plants can rot.

Is the soil quite heavy?

Then go for raised beds.

Apply organic matter repeatedly in the soil. Sometimes, it can take several years to prepare the soil with the necessary drainage to grow buttercups.

Frequently Asked Questions about Buttercup Flowers

Some common questions about the buttercup flower are answered! Scroll down.

Q1. Are buttercup flowers toxic?

Ans. There’s an unstable glucoside ranunculin present in all the varieties of buttercups. If you wound a buttercup anyhow, the glucoside breaks down into a toxin named protoanemonin and glucose.

If any animal consumes the flower or any other part of the plant, it can blister the mucous membrane in them. This can happen mostly to horses and cattle. There are some other effects of this poisoning. It includes diarrhea and excessive salivation.

Q2. What does this flower symbolize?

Ans. Buttercup flowers are beautiful.

They represent attractiveness, charm, neatness, humility, childishness, friendship, and simplicity.

Officially, they’re not the birth flower of any specific month.

Q3. Can I grow buttercup flowers in containers or pots?

Ans. Yes, you can grow buttercups in containers or pots.

All you have to do is make sure the pot offers excellent drainage and regular moisture. And you need to place the pot where it can receive full sun.

If you grow buttercups in containers, the chances are that they will develop a more extensive root system. So, don’t grow too many flowers in one container or pot.

Q4. Are buttercups deadheaded?

Ans. The answer is, “yes.” Deadhead is done to extend flowering in ornamental plants. This is a cultural practice.

The deadheading is done during the months of summer and spring.

How is it done?

Well, you cut the stem off at the crown of damaged flowers. If you do this regularly, it’ll promote continuous flowering.

Want to beautify your surroundings? Go for buttercup flowers. Their alluring nature, colorful blooms, and never-ending charm make them a hit among people of all ages!

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