Updated: Jan 13
My dream when starting a cut flower farm was to grow anemone and ranunculus. I lived in California when I was younger and they grow very easily in the winter in that climate. I grew them in pots and in the ground and they were a beautiful early spring flower. We visited the flower fields in Calabasas every spring where acres of ranunculus grow in a rainbow of colors on the edge of the Pacific ocean. theflowerfields.com
I wasn't really sure how to grow them in the climate here in Maryland and this was the first thing I set out to learn. The first year I was too late to order them through commercial channels, and only got my hands on a few at premium prices. I planted them too late and they all rotted. Never mind; on to the next spring.
In the fall of 2019 I ordered in plenty of time and got the panda white anemone with the black center that I had hoped for along with salmon and pink ranunculus. Over the winter I took the Floret flower farming course which is offered yearly at floret.com and learned just what I needed to do to get these precious beauties growing. Since we finished the high tunnel last year I now had the perfect location for growing them. My only problem was that we were going away in the late winter and I was afraid to plant when there would be no one there to care for them. The corms had been soaked and were waiting in crates, ready to go in the ground when we returned in early March, which was really too late plant. But I got lucky and we had a long, long cool spring. I won't press my luck like that again. This year they will be planted in the fall!
As with many things in gardening or farming, where big things come from tiny seeds, ranunculus come from small, gnarled corms. The corms look like they could never produce anything beautiful, and even when they are planted there is nothing much to see. Then you wait and wait and suddenly they start producing and the pump out flowers like nobody's business. I cannot wait to grow them again next year and will dedicate a large part of the high tunnel to them over the winter. Along with the anemones, I expect to have quite a crop. They are absolutely worth the effort.