Welcome to week five of our column entitled Pretty Petals. Each week we will introduce you to a flower that we are working with here in the studio as well as flowers that we absolutely adore. Please join us every Thursday for some floral eye-candy where you will learn about a variety of very special blooms. This week we are featuring ranunculus.
Ranunculus is a highly sought after bridal flower this season. It has become a wedding bouquet staple for our 2013/2014 brides at Living Fresh. The delicate tissue-like petals are plentiful in this outstanding bloom, allowing the flower to swell up to 8cm in diameter when fully open. It is available in a myriad of colours: white, cream, pink, peach, yellow, eggplant, red – all in varying shades. The soft texture and delicate hues of the ranunculus is what makes this flower at the top of bridal trends this year – brides are seeking out flowers that exude femininity. It doesn’t get more girly than this! You can purchase ranunculus from your florist from late fall to early summer. They range in price from $3 to $10 per stem, depending on where they are grown (Italian grown ranunculus is the most expensive).
Ranunculus is also a flower that can be enjoyed in your summer garden. Although it grows from a tuber that can survive from year to year in regions that have mild winters, here in Ontario, the ranunculus is strictly an annual. It will bloom throughout the spring and early summer – the cooler you can keep these beauties, the longer their blooming period will last. Ranunculus do not like the heat. Once they exhaust their blooming period, you will enjoy a pretty, celery-like curly foliage in your planter or garden bed.
Ranunculus lasts about 7 days after cutting. Cut them when the flower first shows colour. A caution about this special little flower: ranunculus has a hollow stem which can be quite fragile. Handle them with care, especially if you are arranging them in a handtied bouquet where they can get squished easily. Also, exercise caution when inserting ranunculus in to floral foam. Wwe suggest that you always keep a few short little single-bloom vases on hand because often a ranunculus bloom swells to the point that its heaviness bends the top few inches of the stem. If this is the case, then simply cut the stem good and short and place it in a tiny vase that will support the neck of the flower – it will continue to thrive this way.
While the weather continues to be optimal for growing ranunculus here in Ontario we suggest calling on your local flower shop, farmers market, or country flower farm to stock up on theses beauties before they fall dormant for the heat of the summer. As our 30 degree celcius weather takes over, do not despair – our hot season is a short lived one here on Ontario; ranunculus will be available again before you know it!