Getting your first batch of Ranunculus seeds can be pretty exciting, especially since they grow out to be a beautiful collection of buttercup flowers. The question here, though, is how long can you store Ranunculus corms?
Typically, Ranunculus corms are good to be planted even after three or four weeks of storing them. Proper storage and choosing the right time to put the corms back in the ground are the factors that determine whether or not the seeds will sprout again.
With those facts in mind, we’ll go through how to correctly store your Ranunculus corms and the best times in the year to put aside Ranunculus bulbs.
How Long Can You Store Ranunculus Corms?
Ranunculus bulbs belong to the Ranunculaceae family of flowers that you can only find near water bodies and swamps. Fun fact: this contributed to the plant’s Latin name, which means ‘little frog.’
To put it simply, the Ranunculus species are considered cool-season flowers due to their natural habitat. Since they originated from the shores of the Mediterranean, this Persian buttercup grows best in chilly weather, away from the heat.
In other words, the Ranunculus plant prefers the cold and dislikes sunny spots. So, it stands to reason that their corms prefer to be stored in similar conditions. This way, the seeds can still grow to be colorful Ranunculus flowers.
If you’ve purchased the corms outside of the Ranunculus’ growing season, namely autumn, your seeds will stay good for three to four weeks. Longer than that, the corms will dry out and probably disintegrate, rendering them unable to sprout even if planted in the right soil.
Do Ranunculus Corms Expire?
Since corms are seeds, they already don’t do well outside of dirt. However, corms are a vital part of a plant’s anatomy due to the fact that they act as underground food storage. If they go without fertilizer, water, and proper soil for longer than the average month, their insides dry out.
Simply put, Ranunculus corms will expire if they’re misplaced or otherwise stored incorrectly. Keeping your corms in a moist environment where water can reach them or where the humidity is high increases the chances of killing them.
Not just that, but warm weather and exposure to sunlight will undoubtedly speed up the rotting of your Ranunculus corms. Ideal temperatures for storage and growth range between 40°F and 60°F.
How Do You Store Ranunculus Corms?
Moisture levels and surrounding temperatures are the two factors that you should keep in mind when picking out a space to safely store your Ranunculus corms. Some great storage options can include the pantry, garden shed, basement, or garage.
Additionally, make sure that you keep your Ranunculus seeds in an open tray or in a breathable piece of cloth, such as cotton. You can also opt to put them inside a paper bag.
A mistake most people make is they choose to store their Ranunculus seeds in plastic. Unfortunately, this material sweats and in turn creates moisture over time. In other words, it will cause the corms to gradually become wet and then slowly rot.
If you’re feeling extra cautious, you can slip in some dry sphagnum moss next to your Ranunculus corms. Due to this soil’s fibrous nature, they can absorb any excess water like a sponge. As an added plus, you can easily squeeze the moisture out and reuse the moss branch if the need arises.
When Can You Store Ranunculus Corms?
Choosing the right time to store your Ranunculus corms is critical. Otherwise, you end up putting them aside for longer than they can stay without soil. As a result, you’ll unintentionally kill them.
A golden rule is to put your Ranunculus seeds over the winter. Wait until the weather is ideal again, usually when spring comes, before you plant your corms again. This way, your Ranunculus is sure to survive until fall, when you’ll need to dig it up and restore it.
When storing your Ranunculus corms after they’ve already flowered, the best time to pull the plant’s bulb out is when the leaves have completely turned yellow. After that, you’ll need to wait till the corms have turned fully crisp before packing them in mesh bags.
Should You Store Ranunculus Corms after Flowering?
When the temperatures drop below 40°F, or alternatively, when summer comes around, your Ranunculus plants will start to wither and dry up. At this point, you may want to consider digging up the corms to store and replant them later.
That said, knowing the correct time to take Ranunculus corms out of the soil is pretty important. After all, you’ll also be pulling out the dried-up bulb, plus parts of the plant’s tuber. These are vital organs that your Ranunculus uses to store carbohydrates and nutrients during dormant periods.
If you’re in a climate zone that’s fortunate enough not to experience snowy winters, you don’t need to bother with digging up your Ranunculus corms. As mentioned above, the plants might wither, but they put aside enough food to keep them going through hibernation and until spring comes again.
On the other hand, areas with heavy snowfall aren’t so lucky. Ranunculus plants may prefer cool temperatures, but they can’t survive more than a light frost at best. That’s why we recommend pulling your corms out and putting them away until the winter passes.
Remember then to postpone this task until the threatening weather is just around the corner. This way, you’re allowing the buried plant organs to absorb as much solar energy as needed to carry out photosynthesis. This process will, in turn, help them create enough food to sustain the Ranunculus corms in storage.
How Do You Store Ranunculus Corms after Flowering?
As a rule of thumb, you should always wait until the foliage of your Ranunculus plant has completely dried before digging it up. A ‘dead’ plant won’t collect moisture while stored, meaning, a lesser chance of it rotting through the winter.
Go the extra mile and put out the tubers to dry out in the sun fully. You may place them in a room with low humidity too. Carry out this step for several days and then cut off any remaining leaves.
Pack the dried tubers, bulbs, and corms together in a mesh bag. Add to them a few handfuls of sphagnum peat moss since this dead fibrous compost will slow down the decomposition process. This should help your Ranunculus seed last through the cold weather.
Other Reasons to Store Your Ranunculus Corms
Unfortunately, harsh winters and strong sunlight are just a few of the reasons that cause your Ranunculus corms stress. In warm regions, some mammals, pests, and insects are another hazard that may force you to store your Ranunculus corms away.
Squirrels, chipmunks, mice, rats, and voles are among the few animals that’ll try to dig up your Ranunculus seeds for a quick meal to munch on. If that’s the case, we suggest following the steps mentioned above and putting your prized Ranunculus corms aside until you’ve handled your pest problem.
Otherwise, you may opt for an alternative method to deter rodents away. For instance, you can put up chicken wire cages to shield off your Ranunculus bulbs or even spray chili pepper around the plant.
Summary: How Long Can You Store Ranunculus Corms?
In this article, our primary purpose was to answer the question: how long can you store Ranunculus corms?
Putting it simply, you can store Ranunculus corms for three to four weeks; no problem, provided that the proper storage conditions are met. In short, you should put away Ranunculus corms in a dry space, away from moisture and sunlight.
With that, you’ll be able to replant those stored seeds during the growing season, in other words, when fall starts approaching. So, don’t throw away dried-out Ranunculus plants just yet! There’s always time to make use of them in the next flowering cycle.
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