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Have you always wanted to grow Anemones or Ranunculus, but you’ve been scared of the amount of work it takes? The nice thing about growing these flowers is that the process for both is exactly the same. That means you can start them at the same time, and they will most likely bloom at the same time, too!

If you’re new to growing cut flowers or you’re an experienced flower farmer new to the soaking and pre-sprouting process required to grow Ranunculus and Anemones, this one’s for you!

In this post, we’ll go over what to look for at the different stages of an Anemone’s growing process, including step-by-step instructions on soaking and pre-sprouting with photos of the various stages along the way.

child holding a red anemone

If you’d rather watch than read, check out this video on my YouTube channel:


The first week of March is the perfect time to start your Ranunculus and Anemone corms if you have a last frost date of approximately May 21st. I’m gardening in Zone 3 (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) and have found that early March is the best time to start these beautiful flowers to ensure the most success.

Unfortunately, you can’t plant Anemone corms directly into the dirt, even if you’re seed starting. You have to do a little bit of work first!


To soak your Anemone or Ranunculus corms, place them in a container of water for 4-6 hours or overnight. Depending on your particular circumstances one of these methods might suit you better than the other. I prefer to place my corms in water before I go to bed, let them soak overnight, and then deal with them in the morning after the kids have all left the house.



Now that you’ve soaked your corms overnight (or for 4-6 hours), it’s time to take them and put them in a tray so you can start the pre-sprouting stage!

A lot of people have asked me if it’s necessary to pre-sprout. My answer is no, but you might get better results. It’s really completely up to you. If you have a cool, dark location in your house where you can pre-sprout your Anemones and Ranunculus, fantastic! If not, you can still grow these flowers with a lot of success! Just put the soaked corms in the soil, pop the tray under grow lights, and do the best you can.

This year, I made a couple of small changes to my pre-sprouting process. For previous year’s successions, I pre-sprouted my corms in a flat tray and then transferred them into a seedling tray afterward. I found the extra energy and time it took to stuff the pre-sprouted roots into the tiny cells was unnecessary, so I decided to plant them directly into the seedling tray this year.

To begin the pre-sprouting process, fill your tray approximately halfway with soil. I just use a general potting soil, but you can use coconut coir, peat moss, or whatever you have available that is appropriate for seed starting. Next, cover the corms with soil and place the trays in a cool, dark place.

After approximately two weeks, they should look like this:

Now your Ranunculus and Anemones are ready to go under the grow lights!

I was able to start a succession of Ranunculus and Anemones this February in preparation for a wedding I am doing flowers for on May 7th. About a month after soaking and pre-sprouting my corms, they now look like this:

Growing Anemones and Ranunculus isn’t super difficult, but it does require a few extra steps that some beginner gardeners might not want to do. So, if you’re not up for the challenge this year, don’t worry about it! You might be ready next year or the year after that!

And, if you do decide to grow Anemones or Ranunculus this year, feel free to share your process with me over on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube! I always love to hear from you.

purple anemone with green leaves in background

If you need more help with your cut flower garden and putting everything together, you’ll love Cut Flowers Made Simple. It’s the cheapest and easiest way to start a cut flower garden in your backyard or use it as a way to dip your toes into flower farming.

Learn more here.

Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!