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Low strike rate for Ranunculus

In recent years I have had very low strike rates with ranunculus — sometimes none have come up at all! This year, my success rate looks like it will be only about 30 per cent. I usually plant them in April, claws pointing downwards, after soaking them in water for a few hours. I plant them at about 4-5 cm deep, either in a planter box or in pots. What am I doing wrong?


It seems you are doing everything correctly by soaking the "claws" and planting them 4-5 cm deep. It is very important that the "claws" be kept moist at all times once planted. Plant ranunculus in full sun.

Use a quality potting mix which contains a controlled release fertiliser. Avoid planting into garden soil or compost, as over time they compact down and do not give enough aeration to the roots.

Once potted, place the pot in the shade until they sprout — keep the potting mix moist, but not wet. When the claws sprout move them into full sun and keep moist.

Ranunculus are frost tender, so plant after frosts have passed.

Slugs and snails enjoy new shoots; protect with Blitzem or Baysol.

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

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