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Q: What kind of flower is grown here?
A: It is called the Tecolote® Giant Ranunculus, which is one of the finest strains of ranunculus plants in the world. The ranunculus flower is native to Asia Minor and is a member of the buttercup family. This unique blossom also is known as a Persian Buttercup or Ranunculus Asiatic.
Q: How large are the fields?
A: Over 50 acres are devoted to raising the ranunculus bulb crop; approximately five acres are used for other specialty flowers.
Q: How much longer will the fields stay as they are today?
A: Thanks to cooperative efforts between the land's owner, the grower, The City of Carlsbad, The Carlsbad Agricultural Improvement Fund and the California Coastal Conservancy, this colorful hillside will continue to welcome visitors for years to come.
Q: Do you sell all flowers grown here?
A: A portion of the flower crop is sold as cut flowers. The remainder of these flowers are grown to provide the ranunculus bulbs. Fresh cut flowers are sold at the Armstrong Garden Center.
Q: Will we be able to purchase fresh cut flowers?
A: Fresh cut flowers are available for purchase along with potted plants, bulbs and a variety of other items in the Armstrong Garden Center Gift Shop.
Q: Are the flowers left to die?
A: The flowers die back and produce seed for re-planting in these same fields for the next season. We feel that by allowing the plant to complete its life cycle, it helps to produce a more superior bulb crop.
Q: How are the bulbs harvested and where are they sold?
A: Mostly machines harvest the bulbs - actually tuberous roots, corns or rhizomes. We sell the bulbs here at the Armstrong Garden Center and they are also available at other garden centers after the fields have closed for the season. And of course, every fall the bulbs are sold at nurseries and garden centers across the country. These bulbs also are sold online through EasytoGrowBulbs.com.
Q: When is the "peak" season?
A: The best time to view the flowers is usually mid-March through Mid-April. However, these dates may change if the bloom is either early or late due to weather conditions, etc.
Q: May we drive our vehicles through the fields?
A: No, vehicles are not allowed in the fields -- just service and farming equipment. However, you may walk along the designated paths. Tractor Wagon rides are available for a nominal fee for those who would like a trip around the fields and/or for those who may have trouble walking. Wagon rides are wheelchair accessible.
Q: Are pets allowed in the fields?
A: Due to safety concerns for our guests, only certified support animals are allowed to enter the fields. Your understanding is greatly appreciated.
Q: If it rains will the fields be open?
A: Yes, The Flower Fields® will remain open on rainy days as long as it is safe for visitors to walk along the pathways. If the weather conditions cause the pathways to be considered unsafe, we will close.
Q: Are there benches/chairs available at The Flower Fields?
A: Benches, picnic tables and chairs are available throughout The Flower Fields site.
Q: What kind of attire is appropriate to wear to the fields?
A: Please bring a sweater or light jacket, as it may get breezy walking up the hill. Comfortable shoes, sunglasses, and a hat also are good ideas. Do not forget your cameras!
Q: Is the walking path to the top of the hill steep?
A: No, but it is a hillside so walk carefully. Take your time and enjoy your walk.
Q: Are The Flower Fields handicapped accessible?
A: Yes, but we do not recommend pushing a wheelchair up or down the pathways between the flowers on the hillside. There is a pathway along the bottom of the fields that is made up of hard-packed dirt and decomposed granite that offers a spectacular view of the fields and access to the Color Project Artist Gardens, themed gardens, AARS Rose Test Garden, AARS Walk of Fame Rose Garden, restrooms and concessions facility.
Q: How much is parking?
A: Parking is free.
Q: Does The Flower Fields offer handicapped parking?
A: There are a limited number of handicapped parking spaces available in front of the Armstrong Garden Center, which is located just north of The Flower Fields entrance gate.
Q: Does The Flower Fields rent wheelchairs or strollers to guests?
A: No. Guests are required to bring their own wheelchairs and strollers.
Q: What are the buildings up on the hillside?
A: Grand Pacific Palisades Resort, Karl Strauss Restaurant & Brewery, Gemological Institute of America, the National Association of Making Music, and various corporate offices.
Q: Is there a telephone number I may call for more information?
A: The Flower Fields information hotline telephone number is (760) 431-0352.
Q: Who grows the ranunculus at the fields, and who owns the land?
A: Mellano & Company of San Luis Rey is the production arm and onsite grower. The Ecke family owns the land.
Q: Is there food available at The Flower Fields?
A: There are food vendors on the weekends and vending machines available during the weekdays. There also are many nearby restaurants and fast food outlets.
Q: Will this year's weather have any effect on the blooming season?
A: If we do not repeat the weather conditions of last year - rainy followed by periods of heat - the bloom should be a little brighter and longer than an average year at The Flower Fields. Check out our homepage for current weather conditions.
Q: Where can I find information on public transportation to The Flower Fields?
A: To find information on public transportation to The Flower Fields, please call 1-800-COMMUTE (1-800-266-6883) if calling from within San Diego County, or (619) 233-3004 if calling from outside the San Diego County area.
Q: Should I put anything special in my vase water for my cut flowers?
A: Changing the vase water regularly will extend the beauty of any fresh cut flower. You can add the following to a medium sized vase:
Teaspoon of sugar
1/2 can of lemon-lime soda (non-diet)
Commercial (packaged) floral extender
****We do not recommend adding bleach to your water mix for ranunculus!
Q: How long will the bulbs last if I don't plant them this season?
A: The package of bulbs purchased this season will last for up to two years if stored in a cool, dry place (40°-80° F).
Q: Can the bulbs be grown in colder climates?
A: Yes, but it is best to plant your bulbs after the last freeze because the bulbs will freeze if planted too early.
Q: Will the bulbs grow in my garden - or in patio planter pots?
A: Yes to both questions. Prized for their unique blossoms, ranunculus come in a broad range of colors including yellow, white, orange, pink, red and picotee (mix). Ranunculus plants complement any sunny garden or patio area with their striking spring colors.
The plants can tolerate sunny areas and partial shade. The best outdoor climate range is 40°-85° F with a decent amount of humidity. The plants need to be kept moist so they do not dry out.
Indoors is best for exposing the plant to a good natural light source but away from direct and intense windows ill light. Be sure to maintain an even temperature; 50°-70° is ideal. Make certain the plants are kept moist at all times. Never allow the plants to dry out or sit in water.
Q: When and how do I plant my bulbs?
A: For best results plant your bulbs:
Warm climates: September through January.
Cold climates: Early spring, after the last frost. The bulbs or tubers should be planted toes down in a well-drained medium soil mix (in the ground or garden pot). Space the bulbs 6-8 inches apart and cover with 1/2-1 inch of soil. The bulbs do not need to be soaked prior to planting.
Watering your plants: Keep your soil moist at all times. After bulbs have sprouted, water 2-3 times weekly. Never allow the plant to dry out. If in a container, do not allow the plants to sit in standing water.
Fertilizing your plants: Use a good, balanced yard fertilizer. We suggest a 10-10-10 formula once a month.
Fall planting - blooms February through May (16"-24" plants)
Spring planting - blooms April through June (16"-24" plants)
Pest Protection: Ranunculus, like other spring plants attract all kinds of garden pests, including: whiteflies, aphids, worms and other soil born pests. We suggest consulting your local garden center for help with any of these possible infestations.
Q: After my plants die back, should I remove the bulbs or leave them planted?
A: We feel it is always a good idea to remove your bulbs from the soil after the blooming season. You can always ensure a better yield of flowers for the following season.