Last year, my friend Chantelle of City Girl Flower Farm told me that she found some really cheap Ranunculus at a local Dollar Tree: 5 corms for $1.25! So, naturally, I drove over there as quickly as I could, scooped up what I needed, and brought them home to experiment with.
The question on my mind was “Do Dollar Store Ranunculus actually work?”
Of course, you are going to get what you pay for. I wasn’t expecting these to be as good as the regular Ranunculus corms that I purchase from reputable companies like West Coast Seeds, but you know what? The price was right, and it felt worth experimenting with.
In this post, we’ll see if the stuff you get at the Dollar Store is actually worth your time and money. Let’s get into it!
DOLLAR STORE RANUNCULUS EXPERIMENT: PART ONE
When I took the Dollar Store corms out of their packages, I noticed immediately that they were much smaller than I was used to. Regardless, I soaked them for 24 hours, planted the corms in a large, lined crate filled with all-purpose potting soil, put them under grow lights, and waited.
After about 13 days, only one Ranunculus corm had sprouted:
I wasn’t too concerned at this point, as I felt certain that the other Ranunculus would follow suit shortly afterward. Unfortunately, I was sorely mistaken.
Another 10 days passed, and only 2 out of the 50 corms (yes, you read that correctly!) had poked their way through the soil. Even though those two Ranunculus looked beautiful and exactly as they should at that stage of growing, 2 out of 50 corms was only a germination rate of 4%.
I was not impressed.
At this stage in my Dollar Store Ranunculus journey, I absolutely would not have recommended to any flower farmer to buy these for their cut flower garden. If you’d like to see more, check out my video about my experience with Dollar Store Ranunculus up on my YouTube channel:
If you want to learn more about growing Ranunculus in a cold climate, check out this post: HOW TO GROW RANUNCULUS IN ZONE 3 (SO THEY DON’T DIE!)
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WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
After my failed experiment, many of my readers told me that I might have made some crucial mistakes and encouraged me to try again. So, that’s what I did! Because the Dollar Store corms were so small, I may have oversoaked them.
In my second experiment with the cheap Ranunculus corms, I soaked them for less time and put less soil on top of them. I also intended to be more careful about pre-sprouting them in a dark, cool place, but life got in the way, and I mostly just kept them under grow lights like the first time.
About two weeks after I planted the corms in compostable newspaper pots, these were my results: 1 corm out of 5 sprouted. Not quite what I was hoping for, though better than nothing.
If you want to watch part two of my Dollarstore Ranunculus experiment, check it out here:
WOULD I RECOMMEND DOLLAR STORE RANUNCULUS?
Now, even though my two experiments were not successful as I would’ve liked, a lot of my subscribers shared that Dollar Store Ranunculus worked perfectly well for them. Ranunculus are demanding flowers to grow, so I would chalk my experience up to where I was in life and some user failure. (My youngest two were around 10 months and newly 2–so life was very chaotic!)
It takes a lot of time and energy to nurture Dollar Store Ranunculis corms, and with my attention being pulled between my 3 kids, my son, household duties, etc., I don’t think I was in the best place to care for my Ranunculus corms.
Let me know in the comments if you have tried Dollar Store Ranunculus. Did it work for you? What words of wisdom would you have to share?
And, if you live in a cold climate with a short growing season like me, then subscribe to my YouTube channel, where I post vegetable gardening and cut flower content regularly! On Instagram and Facebook, I share exactly what I’m doing in the garden in real-time, so if you’re a gardener in Zone 3 or with a similar timeline, follow me there!
I also have a pre-done plan that involves direct sowing and things you can easily find at a gardening center in my ebook Cut Flowers Made Simple. If you need a little bit of help taking the confusion out of cut flowers, you’ll definitely want to check that out.