Pre-Sprouting Ranunculus and Anemone Corms for the Spring Flower Garden

Ranunculus corms have arrived! To say that I’m excited may possibly be one of the biggest understatements of the century. This year, I was able to purchase some really beautiful varieties of both ranunculus and anemones. I was so thankful to have been able to place an order from Italian Ranunculus with the help of some flower farming friends. I also ended up buying a bunch of “traditional” colors from retailers online.

Here in my garden, it is imperative that I start both ranunculus and anemone corms in the fall and let them overwinter. If I plant them in the spring, my summer temperatures simply get much too hot too quickly for them to really bloom and do well. I usually like to start my corms around the first week of October. This ensures that I can start them in trays (outside) while the weather is ideal for sprouting – around 60-70F during the day and 50-60F at night. But, before I can place the corms into seed starting trays, I will need them to “wake up” through a quick soaking.

This year, each of the varieties got their own jar to soak in. This is a big organizational step for me, as I’m know to just throw everything together. This season, I’m working to keep everything together with their own label.

After placing the corms in the jars, I simply fill the jars with room temperature tap water.

How long each jar will soak will depend upon what you’re growing. In general, anemones can soak longer than ranunculus. I like to soak ranunculus for no longer than four hours and anemones for no longer than 6-8 hours. There is definitely some variance in suggested soaking time online. I personally like to err on the side of caution. Many resources suggest soaking the corms with the use of an old fish tank bubbler that will help to aerate the  water.

I have used a bubbler in the past, and it definitely worked. However, I’m not sure why it’s necessary. I’ve used the short-soak method above for three years now, and have yet to have a problem with the corms or with the success rate of sprouting. I’m sure that there’s a reason that it’s suggested. However, I just don’t have access to a fish tank bubbler – and I’m not going to go buy one for my small yard garden.

After about four hours of soaking, the ranunculus corms have noticeably swelled. This is another reason I don’t soak for long. Too long in the water and the ranunculus become more delicate and can even start to fall apart. When the corms start looking plump, it’s generally time to get them into a tray and outdoors.

To sprout, I just use a regular soilless potting mix. I’m sure there are fancier options out there, but this is just what is readily available. While it will be important to make sure that the corms are staying consistently moist, we will need to make sure that they are not TOO WET. Both anemones and ranunculus do not respond well to excess moisture. They can definitely rot.

With a little attention to detail, it is easy to successfully start your anemone and ranunculus corms. I sincerely hope that this post was helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time to read it! I hope you’re having an amazing day!

4 thoughts on “Pre-Sprouting Ranunculus and Anemone Corms for the Spring Flower Garden

    1. Once the corms are in the trays, I simply move them outside. In October, our weather is perfect for the corms to start sprouting on their own without any help from me. Usually about 60-70F during the day and 40-50F at night. After the corms begin to sprout, I then transplant them into the unheated hoop house – usually by the beginning of November. Hope that helps! 🙂

  1. So, in your zone…when is it too late to do this with raunuclous? I just ordered more….I think I have a problem…lol. 🤣🤣

    1. I’m still starting ranunculus now, some of the suppliers ship a little on the late side. It should be fine as long as I get them into the ground by mid November. It really just depends on the season.

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