Asian buttercups are a favorite flowering plant for many gardeners, florists and landscapers. All this thanks to the stunning appearance and pleasant aroma. Ranunculus flowers vaguely resemble miniature peonies. And numerous color variations allow this plant to be widely used to decorate almost any garden plot. In this article, we will tell you all about growing the Asian Buttercup, which is easy to care for and a lot of fun.
Asian ranunculus, or ranunculus as it is also called, is a world famous flowering plant that can be either annual or perennial. Low-growing flower varieties reach 20 centimeters in height, higher ones - 80 centimeters. The flowering period begins in late spring or early summer and continues throughout the summer.
Ranunculus flowers are fully or half-double, as well as simple. A variety of colors include almost all shades except blue and blue. The flowers are shaped like poppies, peonies or roses, depending on the species and variety.
Ranunculusbelongs to the Ranunculaceae family, and its stems, leaves and root system are identical with the dahlia. Despite the stunning appearance of these flowers, it is worth remembering that the juice of the plant is very poisonous, and therefore it should not be allowed to get on open wounds and mucous membranes.
The natural habitat of the Asian buttercup is Africa, Asia Minor and southeastern Europe. The cultivation of this flower culture began already in the 16th century, and to this day the plant is incredibly popular around the world.
Types and varieties
The main types of ranunculus can be divided into 4 groups:
- Persian - tall varieties with single or semi-double flowers;
- chalmoid - distinguished by large leaves and double flowers;
- French buttercups - characterized by semi-double flowers;
- peony buttercups - varieties with very large double flowers.
In this section, we suggest you familiarize yourself with the most popular varieties, which, by the way, are often sold in a mixture:
- Asian ranunculus Aviv. Large double flowers of this variety reach a diameter of about 8 centimeters. At the bud stage, the flowers resemble a rose; when blooming, they become like terry poppies. Asian Buttercup Aviv colors: yellow, white, red, pink. Also on sale you can easily find a mixture of all four colors at the same time.
- Asian ranunculus (ranunculus) Mix - a mixture of 10 lush flowers of different colors with a double structure. The mixture consists ofsnow-white, orange, ruby, pink and other pure shades. The height of the bush does not exceed 45 centimeters.
- Ranunculus Double Pink Buttercup attracts attention with its double flowers of special splendor. This variety prefers well-drained soil and sunny areas. The height of the bush reaches almost half a meter. On sale there are also mixtures of various colors of this variety.
- Asian Buttercup Purple Picotee. The main difference of this variety from others is the presence of the original color of the tips of the petals - bright purple accents give the flower a special sophistication and originality. The main color of the petals is snow-white.
Propagation by tubers: features of planting and care
Asian ranunculus is preferably grown in a tuber way. This is due to the better survival of planting material and accelerated flowering time, compared with seed propagation. As the practice of experienced gardeners has shown, for 10 purchased tubers, no more than seven have the ability to successfully germinate, and only half of the specimens can fully develop and bloom.
The main problem is the accelerated loss of moisture and the weakened state of the tubers in the first two weeks after planting. Therefore, it is important to consider the main features of planting and plant care, which we will share in the following sections.
Time and place of landing
When planting tubers in a greenhouse, the planting process begins in March. Deciding to plant ranunculus immediately in open ground, givepreference for warm May days. Both tubers and seedlings prepared in advance are transferred to open ground only after the onset of constantly favorable weather, without the threat of sudden night frosts.
It is advisable to choose a slightly shaded place for planting an Asian buttercup, although the plant perceives sunlight quite normally. However, when there is little shade, it produces larger, brighter flowers that last longer. It is also important to find a site that will be protected from wind and drafts.
The preparation of planting material begins with the selection of tubers. It is worth giving preference to the largest specimens that have a dense and hard texture. Each tuber must have at least four generative buds.
Presowing preparation consists in saturating the tuber with moisture. To do this, it is placed in a humid environment, for example, in moistened sawdust and a sponge saturated with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. It is also acceptable to add a growth stimulant to a moisturizing medium. Experienced gardeners use the drug "Epin", which moisten a rag and wrap the tuber. This procedure should take at least six hours. During this period, the tubers will be sufficiently saturated with moisture, without gaining excess fluid, leading to their decay.
When choosing soil, you should give preference to light and fertile, with neutral acidity. The best combination would be black soil with sand or a mixture of garden soil, peat anda small amount of chalk. Only loam does not tolerate ranunculus, as moisture is retained in it.
The main quality of the soil should be easy penetration, but not moisture retention. You can enrich the soil by adding a small amount of humus to it. An unfavorable factor for planting an Asian buttercup is considered to be too close groundwater. The optimal distance is one and a half meters or more.
Mandatory is the presence of a drainage layer, which is used as sand or fine expanded clay. It is drainage that will not allow excess moisture to linger near the roots of the plant.
Despite the general unpretentiousness of the plant, it is worth noting its weakening after transplantation. To avoid transferring the plant, choose a permanent place to grow it right away.
For planting tubers, dig holes 5 to 8 centimeters deep, which are located at a distance of at least 10 centimeters from each other. When planting, it is important to pay attention to the kidneys, which should be located strictly vertically in relation to the soil. The fulfillment of this condition will not at all complicate even a novice grower, since the buds are quite noticeable in size.
The tuber itself is placed with the fingers down. After planting, the tuber is sprinkled with a layer of sand or loose soil. If a cold snap is likely, it is better to cover the ranunculus with straw or fresh grass. The first watering is carried out carefully, trying not to overdo it with the amount of water. The first flower stalks appear after twomonths after planting tubers in open ground.
Water and fertilize
Asian buttercups prefer regular and moderate watering. Excessive moisture leads to rotting of tubers and stopping the development of the plant. You can determine the stagnation of water in the soil by dropping buds and the appearance of mold on the surface of the soil and on the leaves. The fight against high soil moisture is done by reducing watering and more frequent loosening in order to increase ventilation.
Feed buttercups every two weeks, but not more often. Since an excess of fertilizer leads to a weakening of the plant and even to its death. For abundant and lush flowering, potash preparations are added to the soil in an amount of about 40 grams per square meter. To enrich the soil with other nutrients, ash, potassium s alt and superphosphate preparations are alternately added. Once a month, Asian buttercups are fed with mullein or humus. The use of complex preparations is also quite acceptable.
Weeding and loosening
In general, the care of Asian buttercups is not much different from the process of growing other ornamental perennials. In addition to regular watering, fertilizing and removing faded inflorescences, it is important to constantly loosen the soil and mulch the area around the bushes. Such procedures saturate the root system with oxygen, facilitate the entry of moisture and nutrients and get rid of weeds.
It is very important to timely remove faded, withered inflorescences, which not only spoil the appearancebush, but also interfere with the development of fresh flowers. Pruning of the Asian ranunculus (ranunculus) is mandatory, since this plant is characterized by dense and abundant flowering. Fresh cut flowers will last up to two weeks in a vase of water. In addition, they can be used to create various bouquets.
Dig up and store tubers
Despite the fact that this plant is considered a perennial, if the soil temperature is too low (below -7 ° C), the tubers simply die. That is why you should dig them up and move them to the basement or cellar for the winter.
After the end of flowering and a slight drying, the tubers of the garden buttercup are dug up, planting and caring for which will continue next season. The flowering of this plant lasts throughout the summer, however, tubers should be dug up regardless of the calendar month, only after the leaves have completely dried.
The stems and leaves of the plant are removed, and the tubers are dug up very carefully. After that, they are placed for half an hour in a solution of potassium permanganate or foundationazole, dried for 3 days and prepared for storage. To do this, the tubers are wrapped in paper or dry moss and laid out in ventilated boxes. During a warm winter, it is enough to simply transplant the plant to a shady place and cover it with spruce branches or dry leaves. You can plant an Asian buttercup in a pot, where it will survive the cold remarkably and does not require special care.
Another way to grow Asian buttercups is by sowingseeds. This method is rarely used by gardeners, since the germination of seeds is too small. However, if you decide to propagate the plant in this way, then you need to collect the seeds from the first faded buds. To preserve the planting material, the buds are wrapped in gauze, carefully removed from the bush and sent for storage. During the ripening process, the seeds do not require special care.
Asian buttercup is planted at the end of winter or at the beginning of March. Seeds are sown on the prepared soil, which are then covered with a thin layer of soil, well watered and covered with a film or glass. In this form, future seedlings are sent to a well-lit place, with an air temperature in the room of at least 15 ° C.
After 2-3 weeks after planting, the first sprouts begin to appear. At this point, it is necessary to remove the film and continue care until full leaves appear. After that, the seedlings are picked, followed by transplanting into open ground (after the onset of favorable weather). Seed propagation allows the plant to bloom the next year after planting.
Disease and pest control
In addition to proper planting and care, Asian buttercup needs protection from various diseases and harmful insects. Most often, the plant is affected by fungal infections - powdery mildew and late blight. Detecting them is quite simple: when a plant is infected with powdery mildew, a white coating appears on the leaves, and with late blight, the leaves become covered with brown spots. Mainthe cause of the development of fungal infections is increased soil moisture due to abundant watering or prolonged rains. The most affected plants are destroyed, and the rest are treated with fungicides.
Of the harmful insects that infect the root system, one can note the nematode. But the leaves, stems and flowers are most threatened by cabbage butterflies, mites, aphids and thrips. Their appearance is given out by spots of white or silver color on leaves and stems. They should be de alt with with insecticides. Preventive spraying with a weak solution of mercaptophos is carried out every two weeks.