How & Why To Grow The Buttercup flower (5 Types & Care Tips)

You might have searched this flower considering it would be yellow.

And it is!

Which other colors could it possibly be? After all, butter is yellow.

But let us tell you in advance that you will be more triggered to grow the “un-yellow” varieties of this flower after reading this blog.

It is a complete guide with the discussion of the flower, its different types and growing tips.

So let’s begin.

What is a buttercup flower?

What is a buttercup flower

Buttercups belong to the genus Ranunculus which has about 600 species according to Wikipedia. It consists of glowing, yellow petals with plenty of stamens sprouting out of the central green structure.

The general buttercup has five petals and can grow both in the wild and your gardens and is poisonous to humans and animals.

But there are many different types as well with vibrant colors and a large number of petals.


Normal buttercups can grow till 14 inches; however, some types can reach up to 2 feet. The flowers generally have a diameter of three to four centimeters.


They have little to no scent and are perfect for people with scent allergies.

Native to:

It is native to Europe, Asia, and parts of Northern America. But can be grown anywhere provided it is planted at the right time of the year.

When to plant:

It can be considered as both annual and perennial.

For warmer regions like Gulf states and US Hardiness zones 8-11 (California and Texas), fall is the best time (months of Oct-Dec).

For colder regions, spring is the most suitable time of the year, after the last danger of frost has passed.

Other names:

Coyote’s eyes: On part of the legend in which a coyote tossed his eyes into the air and the eagle took them away. He made new eyes with the buttercup flower.

Water crowfoots


Buttercup flower meaning:

Flowers are a universal sign of love and care. They are given as bouquets or gifts to your loved ones on different occasions.

But different flowers have different symbolizations.

Buttercups are a symbol of neatness (because of their organized petals), childishness (because of the small size and bright colors), and humility (because it can attract humans and bees without being too lavished).

Why you should have it in your garden:

1. For attractive landscaping and stunning flowerbeds

For attractive landscaping and stunning flowerbeds

Making combinations of orange, purple, yellow and white buttercups with beautiful blue flowers can help you achieve stunning landscapes.

Not only can they be a pleasing part of your flower beds, but they can also be used for garden borders and edges as well.

If you are looking to “spice up” a dull corner of your garden, they could just be the right option.

2. Meadow buttercup is used for medical purposes

Meadow buttercup is used for medical purposes

A popular type of buttercups, the Meadow Buttercup, is used as a poultice to alleviate chest pains, inflammations and cold. Of course, you can use lymphatic oils as well.

The petals and the leaves of this flower are crushed and sniffed as a treatment of headaches.

Additionally, its poultice roots are used as a rubefacient to treat abscesses and boils on the skin.

3. Give them as a gift

Give them as a gift
Image Sources Pinterest

Buttercups are available in different colors and used as gift flowers. You can give them in bouquets to your newly wed friends or acquaintances at their anniversaries or yearly celebrations.

Attach a card with a nice quote on it and you are good to go.

Most popular types of buttercup flowers

Now, we move on to the most colorful section of the blog, the varieties of these flowers.

1. Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus Repens)

Creeping Buttercup
Image Sources Flickr

These are low-lying plants with bright, yellow, 5-petalled flowers and dark green leaves which are divided into three leaflets.

Referred to as a weed in many countries because it can spread quickly especially in wet soils, it can be used as a ground cover but only if you have the guts to control it.

Size 1 foot with flowers having a diameter of 2-3cm
Bloom time March-August
Preferred conditions Wet soil, low pH

2. Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus Acris)

Meadow Buttercup

One of the most known wildflowers, the Meadow Buttercup has waxy, yellow petals and light green, hairy leaves. The flowers grow in an arc on the thin stalks.

The central stamens and carpels are a great attraction for bees, so it is common to see several of them hovering above these flowers.

Size 2-3 feet with flower having a diameter of 1 inch
Bloom time May-Sep
Preferred conditions Clay soil, full sun with partial shade

3. Persian Buttercup (Ranunculus Asiaticus)

Persian Buttercup
Image Sources Flickr

They look nothing like the general Buttercups because they have frilled, storeyed, paper-thin petals that are clustered together to give it an outstanding round shape.

This is the type usually grown in gardens because:

A: they come in different colors

B: they don’t spread like weeds (as in the case of Creeping Buttercup)

Orange, pink, white, red; you name it and they have it. These are often used as cut flowers for decorations on different occasions like marriages or a bouquet as a sight gift for your loved ones.

Size 1-2 feet with flower having a diameter of 3-5 inch
Bloom time Early summers (cold regions), early spring (mild regions)
Preferred conditions Well-drained soil, full sun

These are brilliant flower option for preservation. You can make colorful combinations out of these and keep them looking fresh in your rooms for a long time.

There is a plethora of online material on how to preserve the flowers.

Or if it is a lot of work and effort, you can simply buy flowers made of silk.

4. Kidneyleaf Buttercup (Ranunculus Abortivus)

Kidneyleaf Buttercup
Image Sources Flickr

You get the idea, right?

Their leaves are shaped up as kidneys, otherwise, the flowers are typically the same as general buttercups; yellow and 5-petalled.

There is a big, green bulbous center that bears the stamens, carpels and petals sprout out from the underside of it.

Size 8-20 inches with flower having a diameter of 0.25 inches
Bloom time April-June
Preferred conditions Rich, moist soil

5. Aconite Leaf Buttercup (Ranunculus Aconitifolius)

Aconite Leaf Buttercup
Image Sources Pinterest

They have the same anatomy as the quintessential buttercup flower but is white in color. The leaves are bright green and small in size.

Size 12-30 inches with flower having a diameter of 1-3cm
Bloom time May-June
Preferred conditions Moist soil, full sun

Buttercup Flower Care Guide

We will be discussing the growing tips for garden buttercups, not the wildflowers.

Soil requirement:

They grow the best in medium moisture soils which are well-drained. It will be best if they are slightly acidic.

You can add sphagnum peat in the soil to make it acidic.

Well-drained soil means it doesn’t puddle after a rain or heavy watering.

The procedure of planting:

The procedure of planting
Image Sources Pinterest

They are planted either by seeds or corms (tubers) but the latter is more common. Corms are available in nurseries abundantly. As a general rule, the larger they are, the more the flowers will grow out of them.

You need to place the claw part of the corm in the ground and the fibery, white portion towards the sky.

Space them about 6-8 inches from each other to provide ample space for the growth of roots. Roots of buttercups are fibrous and spread widely under the ground.

They need to be planted 2 inches deep in the ground.

Use a spiral drill planter to create holes speedily and then cover them up with the soil, using a trowel.

If you don’t have a trowel, don’t worry, although we highly doubt a gardener without a trowel! You can wear your claw gardening gloves to prevent any hand injuries.

Water them in abundance after the planting.

Light needs:

Light needs

Buttercups require full sun like daisies and lavender. They need about 6 hours of daily sun to grow to their full spark.

Wild species can grow in all types of light intensities but garden buttercups like Persian Buttercups need to have good light.

Avoid planting them where the sun is very hot because then, the fresh flowers may fall off from the stems.


Image Sources Flickr

You need to keep the soil moist for the first couple of weeks after the initial planting so that they can root perfectly. After that, watering every week would suffice.

If you see the leaves wilting, you should increase the watering but don’t overwater it. The soil should not feel soggy.


High-nitrogen water-soluble fertilizers are the best for these flowers. You can apply them through a sprayer after every week in the starting three weeks and then according to the growing rate.


Aphids, mildews and leaf miners can attack these species and make the leaves dried and yellow-brown. There could be spots occurring on the leaves as well.

This needs to be avoided:

One way is to remove the plant debris from the soil surrounding the flowers as it is home to the insects.

Another way is to spray the leaves with neem oil as it forces the insects to disperse. It hinders their ability to eat and lay eggs as well.

Any side effects of buttercup flowers?

Yes, there are.

We mentioned at the start that they are poisonous.

If you or your pets ingest them, it will cause irritations in the bladder and urinary tract. This can also lead to diarrhea.

The juice coming out of its leaves and stems can irritate the skin.

Secondly, wild varieties like the creeping buttercup need to be taken care of as they love to spread sideways.

They have been called invasive species and you need to limit their growth to prevent the same from happening with you.

Summary – Buttercup flower facts

In the end, let’s summarize what we stated:

  • The scientific name of the buttercup genus is Ranunculus.
  • General buttercups are yellow and have five petals.
  • They have about 600 species of flowers.
  • All parts of the buttercup flower are poisonous to animals and humans.
  • Their petals have a reflective, waxy coat which makes them shine in the sunlight.
  • They are heliotropic which means they follow the sun.


We highly recommend growing this flower, if you haven’t already. If you have, we would definitely like to see their pictures in our comment section.


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  1. As a garden lover i love to read different blogs on flowers today i just read your blog and got useful information about buttercup flower very well written.
    Waiting for the next blog on flowers.

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