After almost three decades of exclusively growing roses and becoming Ecuador's largest premium rose grower, Rosaprima is stepping into a new chapter: growing ranunculus. "After two years of hard work, we are excited to launch our new collection", says María José Sotomayor, Rosaprima's Marketing Coordinator. The farm has over 140 ha (346 acres) of production under the greenhouse and will have a total of 5 ha (12 acres) of ranunculus. The first flowers have been harvested already, mostly exported to the US, and, according to Sotomayor, reactions are extremely positive. "They are very excited to get their hands on more during the wedding season."
Click here to see all varieties in the collection.
You might be wondering, “why to decide to grow ranunculus?” Sotomayor: "A few factors lead them to this decision, namely: year-round seasonality, demand, and, plainly, the fact that we love them!"
Like roses, they can grow all year long, she explains. "Generally, ranunculus is known to be a spring flower that blooms the best under cooler temperatures. Because our farm is located at such a high altitude in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, cooler weather, clear skies, and sunshine are typically consistent year-round, making for an ideal setting for these blossoms to thrive. Ensuring that we can cultivate ranunculus throughout the entire year is an essential factor to consider."
"We aim to have consistent availability for our customers to access, especially given that the demand for these flowers has grown significantly over the last several years. In fact, ranunculus has become one of the most desirable wedding flowers in the world, trending just below roses. According to a 2021 article published by The Knot, ranunculus flowers are the number two most popular wedding flower, trending above peonies and dahlias."
"Ultimately, Rosaprima desires to produce the most reliable and high-quality products – whether it’s a rose or a ranunculus – we aim to set forth the very best. One of our core values is characterized by a passion for beauty. Every action we take towards any endeavor is first considered through a lens of intentionality and care. Plus, the delicacy and subtle beauty of the ranunculus flower is so dreamy that we were eager to dive into this new venture."
Cultivating Elegance Ranunculus
Cultivating Ranunculus takes on quite a different trajectory than that of roses, she explains. "Roses are born out of a mother stem that grows shoots that will eventually be cut to produce more roses. The first step to growing a Ranunculus starts with a “corm.” A corm is an organ (similar to seeds) out of which the stems, foliage, and buds grow. Planting these corms entails a strict routine demanding considerable attention to ensure a successful harvest. First, the corms are hydrated before going into the soil. This soaking process allows the corms to germinate (or activate), thereby stimulating growth. Once the corms have been “activated,” they are transferred into soil that has been prepared and enriched with appropriate drainage to encourage healthy ranunculus growth. After successfully planting the corms, it will take approximately 10 weeks for the first stems to emerge, which means their production cycle has finally begun. At this stage, ranunculus will be available for harvest over the next twelve weeks. After twelve weeks, the plants have finished their life cycle. The plants are removed from their beds to prepare the soil again for replanting new corms, starting the process all over again from the beginning."
Establishing robust procedures and methods in their planting and harvesting process is one of the most critical factors contributing to their ranunculus flowers’ overall quality. However, just as important is attention to improving the actual varieties themselves. "Italian ranunculus breeder Biancheri is committed to strengthening the qualities of existing varieties and testing for newer, more beautiful, and more productive varieties. Biancheri produces corms for several distinct types of ranunculi, one of them being the Elegance collection, the luxury line that Rosaprima will grow."
What to expect
Biancheri’s Elegance collection carries some of the industry’s most beloved varieties, and Rosaprima will now be proudly growing them on the same estate farm as our roses." They will have eight different colors in their collection, ranging from go-to wedding shades like white, peach, and pink to the fall favorites, including red and purple (Click here to see all varieties in the collection). The Elegance ranunculus carries a unique flair in its bloom: while their stems are shorter (30cm-50cm), their buds make up for their height, made up of over a hundred paper-thin petals nestled into a swirly bud perched onto a flexible, bright green stem, these blooms are altogether stunning. These look so intricate they are reminiscent of a papier-mâché."
"While their appearance alone is whimsical enough to draw you in, there’s more to these blooms than what meets the eye. It’s almost as if these flowers have a mind of their own, even after cutting them. They are susceptible to the atmosphere around them, especially sensing the weather within their surroundings. When the environment is cooler than usual, typically early in the morning or later in the evening, they close and tighten a bit – the opposite is true when the temperature is milder. If adequately cared for, these small but mighty flowers can last for more than 12 days in a vase. While in a vase, it is fascinating to watch them react and grow into the environment they are placed in, making these blooms that much more special."
"Iconic Roses for Life’s Extraordinary Moments,” has been Rosaprima’s slogan since its inception in 1995 and "we will always strive to set forth the very best because we understand that it is a privilege to present our products in some of the most meaningful moments in people’s lives", she concludes.