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I know this is controversial, but ranunculus are probably my favorite flowers. Sorry, hydrangeas. I absolutely love their papery petals– and their Dr. Seuss-like stems add so much natural texture and dimension to arrangements. They can be tough to find this time of year (they’re definitely a spring flower), but they still pop in and out of stock at Sam’s Club during the summer months. Anyway, since my love runs so deep, I thought it’d be fun to share some ranunculus flower arrangement tips, along with an easy pink centerpiece tutorial, in today’s post. Keep reading to learn about all things ranunculus!
Ranunculus Care Tips
Ranunculus are seasonal flowers, and they’re particularly pricey ones at that. If you order them in bulk in peak season, they may still cost $2-3 per stem. So, here are some tips on how to get the most out of them–
1. Snip stems at a 45 degree angle.
This is more of a general floral care rule than it is a ranunculus centerpiece tip. Still, it’s worth noting that ranunculus are particularly thirsty flowers, so be sure to cut stems at a 45 degree angle to maximize water intake.
Also, I touch on this more in #5, but be sure to give them a fresh cut every few days, as well.
2. Fill your vase with lukewarm water.
Not only does lukewarm water help flower food dissolve faster, but ranunculus stems also absorb it quicker. Why is that important? Because that means warm water can help revive wilted blooms and add some extra color to your arrangement.
Don’t go too hot, though, otherwise you may destroy stem tissue, which consequently promotes bacteria growth.
3. Keep water levels low.
Ranunculus have delicate hollow stems that are prone to rot, so keep the water level in the vase low. For example, if I’m creating an all ranunculus flower arrangement, I only add 2-3 inches of water to the vase.
4. Keep them away from harsh direct sunlight.
Ranunculus are particularly delicate flowers, and they don’t like direct sunlight or extreme temperatures (hot or cold). It’s best to keep your ranunculus flower arrangements in a nice cool room where they won’t be baked by the sun.
5. Change the water every other day.
This is one of the best floral tips I learned from Full Bloom (highly recommend if you have HBO Max). To keep the water as clean and bacteria-free as possible, give your flowers a fresh cut and change the water every other day at minimum.
Also, if you decide to keep foliage on the stems, make sure nothing rests below the adjusted water line. Wet rotting foliage is one of the fastest (and most harmful ways) to introduce bacteria to the water, no matter how fresh it is.
6. Invest in the right flower care essentials.
If you love ranunculus, peonies, and all those other “premium” blooms as much as I do, I recommend investing in certain flower care essentials. Here are some things to keep in your floral care toolbox–
- Cutting tools– I absolutely love my Chikamasa floral shears. They’re pricey, but I pretty much idolize the designers over at Farmgirl Flowers, and they use Chikamasa. You probably also want to have some garden shears on hand, too, for thicker stems and branches.
- Floral tape (and other supporters)– Floral tape is great because it’s waterproof. Still, if you don’t have any on hand, regular tape works fine, too. I also like to keep chicken wire, flower frogs, and extra wide clear straws (for stem support) in my toolkit, as well.
- Flower food– Flower food is a great (and cheap!) way to keep flowers happy. Most grocery bouquets come with flower food, but if yours doesn’t, ask the florist for a few packets. I’ve literally never had anyone tell me no.
- Spray bottle– I recommend investing in an actual floral spray to keep blooms hydrated, but regular water works fine, too. Put some in a spray bottle (I love this one) and spritz blooms once a day. Spritz more frequently if they start to wilt prematurely.
Ranunculus Flower Arrangement Tips
Again, ranunculus are pricey– there’s no way around it. Still, they make wonderful statement flowers. If you only have a few to work with, you definitely want to highlight them as much as possible. Their blooms aren’t as large as peonies or hydrangeas, though, so it can take a little bit of finesse to make them stand out. That being said, here are a few of my favorite tried-and-true ranunculus flower arranging tips–
1. Always support the stems.
Ranunculus are about as long and gangly as flowers get. They’re top-heavy, too, so the stems need to be supported in whatever vase or vessel you choose. The easiest ways to do this are:
- Choose a vase(s) with a long thin neck that offers natural stem support, like a whiskey bottle. This is one of the main reasons why ranunculus work so perfectly in clustered bud vase centerpieces!
- Use the tape-grid, chicken wire, and/or mason jar methodology to keep the buds propped up. I prefer the mason jar technique because it’s much easier to change the water– and clean water is particularly important for ranunculus.
- Slip the stems into thick plastic straws, such as boba tea straws, to keep them from drooping. This method is extremely effective, but it’s also (unfortunately) not very pretty to look at. So, I recommend only doing this if you’re able to hide the plastic in an arrangement with lots of other flowers.
2. Remove the leaves.
This is just my opinion, but ranunculus leaves aren’t all that attractive. They’re often discolored and wilted, and unlike other foliage, they don’t really add volume to flower arrangements (and can also detract from the overall beauty of ranunculus). So, I recommend removing all the leaves from the stems before getting started.
3. Cut stems at varying heights to create dimension.
To create natural dimension and texture, set aside a few stems and trim them longer than the rest of the flowers. Then, position them on the sides of the arrangement to create a wider composition.
4. Highlight interesting shapes.
Many ranunculus stems naturally arc up or down, so use those to keep your arrangement interesting. Turn a few stems so that they bend in different directions. Similarly to #3, this creates a wider composition and adds natural texture to your centerpiece.
5. Pair them with complimentary greenery and filler flowers.
Ranunculus are the definition of a standout flower. Not only are they stunning to look at, they’re a great base to build a bouquet or arrangement around. Still, and I know I’m sounding like a broken record at this point, they’re expensive. if you’re limited by budget, choose some affordable filler flowers to compliment them. Fortunately, ranunculus pair well with almost any other flowers or greenery because of their unique texture. Stock, Queen Anne’s lace, carnations, spray roses, and bright greenery, like ferns and Italian Ruscus, are great places to start.
DIY Pink Centerpiece Tutorial
Finally, on to my favorite part of this post– the pink centerpiece tutorial!
This all-pink ranunculus flower arrangement exclusively uses repetition, which is one of my favorite floral techniques. It’s a foolproof way to add a big splash of color to your table– and it’s a great way to play with geometry and balance. Assuming you can find ranunculus in bulk for around $2-3 per stem (or, even better, pick them from your own garden), it’ll cost you no more than a professionally-designed arrangement either.
Here’s everything I used to create this pink ranunculus centerpiece–
- 60 stems pink ranunculus– I ordered mine in bulk from Sam’s Club. When they’re in season, they’re about $1.75/stem… so yes, this is very much a “premium” ranunculus centerpiece to make! If $105 for flowers isn’t in your budget, consider adding some greenery and affordable filler flowers into the mix. Stock, Queen Anne’s lace, carnations, spray roses, and bright greenery, like ferns and Italian Ruscus, are all great options.
- 5-6 mason jars– I can normally only fit 5 in this basket, but 6 would be even better. Similarly to the tape grid method, the more mason jars you have, the more support the stems have.
- Small hyacinth basket– I found this one at Home Goods a few years back, but I’m linking near identical basket here.
I also used my handy Chikamasa curved scissors to cut the stems at the right angle. They’re pricey (just under $40), but so worth it if you enjoy floral design! Another product I highly recommend is Crowning Glory Flower Spray. It’s totally clear, leaves no residue, and will extend the life of your ranunculus flower arrangement significantly!
Ranunculus Flower Arrangement Tutorial
Fill five or six mason jars about a third of the way full with water and then nestle them in a small basket. Ranunculus stems are prone to root rot, so the water level in any vase you use should be low.
Since the mason jars are all the same size– and there’s little to no variety in color, you need to cut your stems at varying heights to create dimension among the ranunculus. Here’s how to do that step-by-step–
Start off by grabbing 10-12 stems of pink ranunculus and holding them next to the basket. Trim the stems slightly shorter than the height of the basket and arrange them so that the blooms rest on the rim. Remember, be conservative with your cuts– you can always cut them shorter later.
Next, grab another cluster of stems and trim them slightly longer than the previous batch. Repeat this process 3-4 times, adjusting the height of the stems each time. Position the pink ranunculus stems so that the blossoms sit at slightly different heights above the base layer and arc in different directions.
Grab all your remaining stems and use them to fill in any gaps. Leave some stems long and position them on the sides to give the left and right sides more dimension and create a wider overall composition.
Step back and give your ranunculus flower arrangement a final look from all sides. Check to see if there are still any holes or if anything needs to be moved around for balance. Adjust the blooms as needed.
Ranunculus are delicate (and expensive) flowers, so daily maintenance is highly encouraged. I recommend spraying your pink centerpiece with flower spray and changing the water in each mason jar daily to keep the blooms healthy and hydrated. If you do, your pink centerpiece will stay in tip-top shape for at least one week.
Pink Ranunculus Centerpiece
This pink ranunculus centerpiece is guaranteed to add a big splash of color to any table! Broken down into simple steps, this pink centerpiece tutorial is easy enough for even the least experienced florists to recreate.
- 60 stems pink ranunculus
- 5-6 mason jars
- Small hyacinth basket
- Chikamasa floral shears
- Crowning Glory flower spray
- Floralife cut flower food
- Fill five or six mason jars about a third of the way full with water and then nestle them in a small basket. Ranunculus stems are prone to root rot, so the water level in any vase you use should be low.
- Since the mason jars are all the same size– and there’s little to no variety in color, you need to cut your stems at varying heights to create dimension among the ranunculus. To do this, grab bunches of 10-12 stems of pink ranunculus and hold them next to the basket. Trim the stems slightly shorter than the height of the basket and arrange them so that the blooms rest on the rim. Remember, be conservative with your cuts– you can always cut them shorter later.
- Next, grab another cluster of stems and trim them slightly longer than the previous batch. Repeat this process 3-4 times, adjusting the height of the stems each time. Position the pink ranunculus stems so that the blossoms sit at slightly different heights above the base layer and arc in different directions.
- Grab all your remaining stems and use them to fill in any gaps. Leave some stems long and position them on the sides to give the left and right sides more dimension and create a wider overall composition.
- Step back and give your ranunculus flower arrangement a final look from all sides. Check to see if there are still any holes or if anything needs to be moved around for balance. Adjust the blooms as needed.
- Spray your pink ranunculus centerpiece with Crowning Glory flower spray (or mist it with water if you don't have flower spray on hand)-- and enjoy!
Ranunculus are delicate (and expensive) flowers, so daily maintenance is highly encouraged. I recommend spraying your pink centerpiece with flower spray and changing the water in each mason jar daily to keep the blooms healthy and hydrated. I also like to re-trim the stems and add new Floralife cut flower food every other day. If you follow these ranunculus care tips, your pink centerpiece will stay in tip-top shape for at least one week.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for y’all today! As always, please let me know if you have any questions about this ranunculus flower arrangement tutorial or any of these flower care tips. I love hearing from y’all, and I’m happy to help. Thanks so much for reading!
Those are so freaking pretty