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Help! Why Is My Ranunculus Sprout Wilting?

Ask The Plant Expert:

I planted 4 ranunculus bulbs, in a 3 inch plastic pot 10 weeks ago. I had germination signs after 3 weeks; leaves are getting taller, now 4-5 inches tall. Only a couple of days ago they started to wilt, and now they are completely hanging from the sides of the container. I keep the pot in a sunny room, and I water them once weekly from beneath!!!!!!! -Amjad

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

Flower Arrangement With Ranunculus'Sounds like you’re doing a good job. Let’s go over the basic ranunculus care and growing information and see if there is a step you may be missing.

Your new ranunculus plant should be placed in a sunny location with well-drained soil. This plant likes to live in slightly cooler temperatures. Although they can be planted in containers, the ranunculus produces a large root system.

I would say the problem is either:

  • It’s possible your plant has already out-grown it’s container.
  • It is too warm.

Try adjusting these and see if it helps! Let us know if you have any more questions.

Garden Reminder: It’s Spring Bulb Planting Time

Fall Is The Time To Plant Your Spring Bulbs

As we move into the cooler seasons of winter and fall, we all will miss the beauty of nature’s colorful canvas, painting our landscapes and gardens. Yes, flowers will be gone soon, but by acting now, you can ensure your garden flowers will be first to show their flashy heads next spring!

So this is a reminder for those of you looking to enhance your garden for 2012 or are just starting from scratch, now is the time to get to planting your spring bulb plants. These include: daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses, and many more! To learn more about bulb flowers, check out our article about planting spring bulbs.

Of course, colder months don’t have to be totally bleak. Order a cheery bouquet of colorful flowers from your favorite florist to enjoy inside while we wait for our bulbs to spring up next year!

If you have any questions, don’t forget our wonderful Ask The Plant Expert resource.


Spruce Up Your Spring: It’s Bulb-Planting Season!

Now’s the time to spruce up your spring! If you want more spring color in your garden, plant spring bulbs today! It may sound strange… planting in fall for spring flowers, but bulbous plants need the winter dormant season to grow roots to support their big, beautiful blooms in the spring.

Popular Bulbs For Spring:

  • Daffodils
  • Hyacinths
  • Crocus
  • Ornamental Alliums
  • Tulips
  • Grape Hyacinths
  • Amaryllis
  • Fritillaria
  • Scilla

There are lots of other spring bulbs that you could also plant, but these are the most popular and available ones. Select bulbs that are firm and free of mold. Generally the bigger the bulb, the bigger the flowers.

The best time to plant bulbs is just before the first frost, or just before you know it’s going to turn cold. This really depends on the climate zone you live in and can be different for different plants. Check with your local nursery or garden center for exact planting times for your specific location.

Planting Spring Bulbs

When planting spring bulbs, make sure you have carefully chosen your planting location. Consider the needs of your plants: full or partial sun? (Tip: Remember, for early spring bloomers, your trees will still be bare and you may have more sun than you have now.)

Select rich, well-drained soil for your new bulbs. You will need to talk to your garden center or nursery about the exactly planting requirements for your bulbs, but as a general rule, a depth of about 2-3 times the width of your bulb will suffice.

Add fertilizer into the bottom of your hole and mix it in with the returning soil. Be sure to plant your bulb with the roots down. Push on your soil to ensure the bulb is firmly in place and that there are no air pockets. Water thoroughly. Plant your bulbs the recommended distances from each other to allow them enough room to grow.

Tip: If you live in an area where the temperature regularly drops below zero, pile a layer of mulch on top, about a foot high. Then, in the spring, remove this layer. Otherwise, spring flowers are fairly hardy and can take regularly cold, winter temperatures.

Planting Indoor Spring Bulbs

If you can’t wait until spring for a dose spring color, plant amaryllis or paperwhite daffodils in containers now! Both are great, blooming plants for indoors. Select a decorative container and cover your bulbs about half way with soil. Keep them watered and soon you will see tiny shoots of green peeping out of the top of the bulb and will have gorgeous blooms by Christmas! (*fingers crossed*)

Planting bulbs differs from location to location. Before planting your bulbs, consult your local garden store or nursery for exact planting instructions.

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Surprise Lily Makes An Appearance

Ask the Expert: I may have old world day lily. The plant foliage comes up in spring and looks similar to daffodil, but larger. Leaves die back during July. After the leaves die, stem grows out of ground to the height of 3 ft. Each stem produces lily-like flowers 6 to each stem at the top of the stem in a circle.  They are white at edges pink at center. Six petals to each flower and delicate day lily look. If you have a clue let me know i will give more info. Donna

Plant Expert Reply:

Surprise Lily (Lycoris squamigera)

Surprise Lily (Lycoris squamigera)

I believe you have, what we call in the mid-south, a surprise lily.  So named because it seems overnight to pop up a bloom stalk with blooms and no appearance of leaves.  Surprise lilies (Lycoris squamigera) are sometimes called naked lily, resurrection lily, magic lily, mystery lily, hardy amaryllis, or Guernsey lily.  They come from a bulb and can be planted right under sod.

Nerine Bowdenii Spider Lily

Nerine Bowdenii Spider Lily

Another possibility is the Spider Lily (Nerine bowdenii) which is in the same family, Amaryllidaceae, as Lycoris.

In fact, the common names for each are often assigned to the other one as well.  For example Nerine is sometimes called surprise lily, Guernsey lily and are produced from a bulb just like Lycoris.

Each type of lily comes in a range of colors from white to purple and even a reddish color. They like full sun to partial shade, but full sun produces the best blooming.  Once planted they will come up year after year without much care.

In my area, we call this a homestead plant.  Many old homesteads have this flowering blooming in their yards.

For more information about the Lycoris squamigera, check out Floridata surprise lily page.

For more information about the Nerine bowdenii, check out Pacific Bulb Society Nerine page.

If your flower looks different, send me a picture and we will try to make a different identification.

Looks Like A Purple Crinum Lily

Crinum Lily

Crinum Lily

Ask the Expert: id a mexican flowering plant
If found this flowering plant in Matzaclan, Mexico. It maybe from a buld.  There was no one to ask what it was, so I took a picture of it. Maybe you can id it or let me know where I can go to get identified.

Plant Expert Reply:

It looks like a Crinum Lily – maybe a Crinum strictum or Crinum americanum.  Crinum strictum are native to Mexico and is sometimes referred to as Texas Swamplily.   It is a bulb which reproduces very slowly.  If left undisturbed will bloom with out fail for many years.

Let the Daffodils Go Free

Ask the Expert: tie off daffodils?
After 27 years in Florida we moved to mid Georgia where gardening is a whole different game. My neighbor told me she was told that after the daffodil blooms die to tie the green in a bundle by knotting it together. I thought it needed the greenery to develop new bulbs. What is correct?  Kathy

Is The Flower An African Lily or Sweet Garlic?

Ask the Expert: Identify the flower bulbs

Please tell us the name of these purple flowering bulb plant. The flower emerges in early spring and the leaves are similar to the Agapanthus leaves. The flowers are a bigger version to the wild garlic flower plant. Elzet

Possible African Lily or Sweet Garlic

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