Storing Ranunculus: When And How To Store Ranunculus Bulbs
The following are some tips on how to store your runnunculi bulbs for next year’s planting season. You may want to start preparing now if you have not done so already. Some of these ideas will make it easier for you when you actually need them, while others may just keep them from rotting out completely.
1) Keep Your Runnunculi Bulbs Dry!
If you plan to store your bulbs in a dry place, such as a closet or cupboard, then you might want to consider putting them into plastic bags. If they are going to be kept outside where there is no moisture, then put them in Tupperware containers with air holes. You can use paper towels (or other absorbent material) to line the inside of the container.
2) Don’t Put Them Into A Plastic Bag!
Plastic bags are terrible for storage purposes. They don’t allow enough room for the bulb and they tend to trap mold and mildew spores. Instead, put your runnunculi bulbs into a glass jar or similar container. Make sure that the lid fits tightly around the bulb so that it doesn’t fall off during transport. If it does fall off, then it probably means that the container is not air-tight and would allow moisture to enter.
3) Keep Them Somewhere Warm
Bulbs don’t like extreme changes in temperature, so keep them where they will not freeze or get too hot. If you have more than one bulb, you can stuff one of the shirt boxes with newspapers and crush the box up to provide some extra warmth for the bulbs.
4) Keep The Lights On
This one is pretty simple. If you want to keep your bulbs alive for as long as possible, then keep the lights on (or leave them on 24 hours a day)
5) Re-pot Your Bulbs Before You Store Them
If you are taking good care of your bulbs then they might be growing larger than the pot that they are currently in. This is great, except when it comes to storage. You wouldn’t want your bulbs to be in a container that they are too big for, otherwise they might get “stunted” and not grow back as well after being taken out of storage.
Make sure that the bulbs that you are storing are not larger than the containers that you are putting them in. If they happen to be larger, then buy some new containers or use plastic pots (for mini-tubers) and carefully re-pot the bulbs into them. This will help keep them from rotting or growing mold while in storage.
6) Do Not Store Near Heat Or Open Flames
While it might be convenient to store your bulbs near a fireplace, furnace, or some other heat generating device, don’t do it! The same goes for open flames such as candlelight. This is a sure fire way to kill your bulbs and you probably don’t want that to happen.
7) Watch For Signs Of Mold While In Storage
Mold and mildew are your worst enemies when it comes to storing bulbs. If you see even one spot of mold anywhere on your bulbs, then throw them away and start over again. The best thing you can do is to make sure that the storage area is free of airborne mold spores or other sources of moisture. Also make sure that you check on them from time to time to make sure that nothing has changed.
8) Watch For Signs Of Rot While In Storage
While mold is bad, rot can be even worse. It can destroy your bulbs in a very short period of time. The best way to tell if a bulb has rotting inside of it is whether or not it smells bad. If it does smell bad, then throw it away and get yourself some new bulbs.
9) Take Care Of Your Other Garden Needs While You Are At It!
Since you are already putting in the work, you might as well do some weeding, grooming, and other caretaking that your garden may need. This will save time if you do it while the bulbs are resting.
10) Add A Little Extra Water And Nutrients While They Are Resting
If you really want to “prime” your bulbs for the next growing season, then you can always water them and give them some liquid plant food. This will give them a little extra boost that will help them grow better. Just make sure that you do not over water them or give them so much food that they start growing shoots and leaves. The key is “just enough”.
With these tips you should have no problems with getting your bulbs to re-grow next year. As long as you gave the good care that they need, then you will have success and be able to enjoy them for many years to come.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effect of dry and wet storage at cool temperatures on the post-harvest performance of Ranunculus asiaticus L. flowers by W Shahri, I Tahir, ST Islam, MA Bhat – Frontiers of Agriculture in China, 2011 – Springer
Growth and flowering of Ranunculus asiaticus by K Ohkawa – IV International Symposium on Flower Bulbs 177, 1985 – actahort.org
Ranunculus by M Beruto, M Rabaglio, S Viglione, MC Van Labeke… – Ornamental Crops, 2018 – Springer
Tissue Blot Immunoassay for Detection of Tomato spotted wilt virus in Ranunculus asiaticus and Other Ornamentals by AE Whitfield, LR Campbell, JL Sherwood… – Plant …, 2003 – Am Phytopath Society
Effect of Storage Temperature on Cut by NJ Natarella, SJ Kays – HortScience, 1979 – researchgate.net
Seasonal adaptations of the tuberous roots of Ranunculus asiaticus to desiccation and resurrection by changes in cell structure and protein content by R Kamenetsky, RL Peterson, LH Melville… – New …, 2005 – Wiley Online Library
Mycorrhizal infection, phosphorus uptake, and phenology in Ranunculus adoneus: implications for the functioning of mycorrhizae in alpine systems by RB Mullen, SK Schmidt – Oecologia, 1993 – Springer