When spring starts to show its colors, we cannot stop but think about the warmth and happiness that await us just around the corner. And what better way to begin this journey than by filling our garden or home with cute flowers? These plants are among our favorites and they will surely find a place on your “to buy” list of this year!
Anemone, otherwise known as windflower, is a genus that contains exactly 63 species of perennial flowering plants. The delicate companions from this genus are native to all subtropical and temperate regions worldwide, except Antarctica and Australia. Due to their lovely appearance and easy-going style, Anemones make for excellent ornamental houseplants both indoors and outdoors. They can bring a warm dash of color to any landscape decoration and they are also a popular element in many wedding bouquets.
Curious to learn more about growing, watering, and propagating Anemones a.k.a. Windflowers? Keep reading our article.
About Anemone Flowers
- The most common varieties of Anemones in cultivation include A. blanda, A. coronaria, A. hupehensis var. japonica, and A. sylvestris.
- Although Anemones have different negative connotations in the Eastern world, such as illness and death, they are more appreciated in other regions. In Western culture, it is believed that these plants protect people from bad luck and evil.
- Besides their ornamental purposes, Anemone plants played a big part in various traditions and cultures and still have several different meanings worldwide. In Christianity, for example, red Anemone flowers represent Christ’s blood after he was crucified. In the Victorian language of flowers, however, these beauties were a symbol of any kind of forsaken love.
- Another interesting fact about these plants is their connection with the Greek language and mythology. Their name is derived from the word “anemos”, which is the Greek for “the wind” (hence the “windflower” common name). But this does not end here! Anemones have a symbolic relationship with unfading or undying love, coming from the well-known myth about Aphrodite and Adonis.
- According to the legend, Adonis was attacked in the forest by Aphrodite’s former lover, Ares, in a jealous rage. Aphrodite tried to save Adonis, covering his wound with nectar and rushing him out of the forest, but his soul left the body eventually and descended into the underworld. When returning into the forest, Aphrodite noticed a path full of crimson Anemones sprouted in every spot where drops of nectar or Adonis’s blood fell.
- In traditional medicine, many herbalists used Anemone plants as a treatment for headaches and gout. They are no longer used as herbal remedies due to their toxicity.
- Some Anemone varieties that have purple flowers can be boiled to prepare a light green dye. This product is used as a colorful fixative for yarns, textiles, or even Easter eggs.
- Anemone plants do well in well-lit areas, but can also have a great time when exposed to partial shade. Although not very frost-tolerant, they thrive in mid-cool temperatures.
- Spring-bloomers have insignificant foliage and will look fantastic without any extra pruning. Taller fall-blooming varieties, however, will require pruning after the first frost to give them a neat overall look.
- Dogs and cats are curious by nature and are most likely to ingest parts of these plants. Anemones are more poisonous to pets than humans, so you should grow these flowers in a location where your furry companions cannot reach them.
Anemones Features: An Overview
- Anemones belong to the buttercup or crowfoot Ranunculaceae family, among other delicate members including Aconitum, Clematis, Delphinium, and Thalictrum.
- Depending on the species and variety, Anemone plants can reach from 6 inches to 4 feet (15 cm to 1.2 m) in height. If you grow anemones in pots, they will remain pretty small.
- Their foliage consists of long and upright or prostrate stems that come with simple or compound leaves, having undivided, parted, or lobed leaf blades. The plants also have a pair of slender basal leaves.
- During their blooming period, in spring or autumn, Anemone plants produce slightly large, poppy-like flowers that can appear individually or in pairs of two.
- Their beautiful blossoms have a generous color palette and stunning colorful mixes. Anemones exhibit various shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, purple, blue, white, and even green.
- When the flowering season comes to an end, Anemone bloomings are followed by tight clusters of fruits. They are ovoid to obovoid achenes and some species can also have feathery hairs attached.
- Thanks to their wide range of tints, Anemones can be great companions to species like Tulip, Lily of the Valley, Bleeding Heart, Narcissus, and other flowering plants that bloom in spring or fall.
Anemone plants grow at their best when they receive at least half a day of bright and direct light both indoors and outdoors. However, some varieties like Japanese Anemone will be more vigorous and bloom sporadically if you grow them in locations with partial shade. If you live in a region with hot and dry climates, it is best to grow these plants in a spot where they can be protected from harsh afternoon sunlight.
Temperature-wise, Anemones can be a little picky, but you should not worry too much about it! These flowers do well in daytime temperatures that range from 58 to 65 °F (14-18 °C) and 42 to 50 °F (6-10 °C) at night. The optimal temperatures for some Anemone species to bloom nicely can be lower than 54 °F (12 °C). Be careful with cooler temperatures, though, because these plants are not so frost-tolerant!
Anemones are mostly pest-free, but they can be occasionally bothered by foliar nematodes that feed on their leaves. These intruders can cause distorted foliage and blossoms, so this is usually the first sign of infection. You can treat your plants by removing them and all plant material from the soil, then allow the substrate to heat on its own under the sun for a long time. The heat can help you get rid of nematodes and transplant your healthy plants back into the soil.
Many gardeners have a secret trick for thriving Anemone plants − the dried roots (bulbs or tubers) must be soaked in lukewarm water overnight before planting. This process will soften them, ensuring better growth and even blooming. And if you live in a region with cooler temperatures or harsh winters, it is recommended you plant these flowers in the spring after the danger of frost has passed.
Although Anemone plants are not very fussy when it comes to the soil pH, they will have the time of their life in any slightly acidic soil. Moreover, as long as the soil has excellent drainage, these beauties can grow just fine in any type of commercial potting mix. Before planting, you can add some leaf mold, compost, or any other organic matter to improve the quality of the substrate.
- Pink Anemone grows as a perennial in USDA Zones: 4 - 8. It can be planted in full sun to partial shade areas.
- Anemone Pink Saucer or Anemone Hupehensis Japonica has rose-pink flowers with yellow stamens that will bloom from summer to autumn.
- This 28 inch tall flower is used as a cut flower and is perfect for gardens, borders, and can be used as a container plant.
- Sow these heirloom seeds at 3 - 4 seeds per plant and keep moist until germination occurs.
- Our seeds are always Non-GMO and packaged for the current year.
- What to Expect: These beautiful anemone perennial bulbs are the freshest in the industry and will produce lavender, deep purple and pink cut flowers with dark centers that can last over a week. They’re deer resistant and will attract pollinators. Anemones are easy to grow and will perform well in a cut flower garden, container garden, as a ground cover, or in other sunny locations. This Rainbow Pastel Mix has fern-like foliage and will grow 10 to 12 inches tall with large poppy-like blooms.
- When to Plant: For colder regions, it's best to plant De Caen Rainbow Pastel anemones in the spring when the danger of frost has passed. While container-grown anemones can be planted anytime during the growing season, they will do best when planted in the spring. You’ll see different shades of pink and purple blooms in late spring or early summer depending on weather and soil conditions and exactly when the bulbs were planted.
- How to Plant: Before planting, soak your bulbs for a few hours in lukewarm water. This helps them develop strong roots. For container planting, make sure to use good quality, well-draining soil.
- Where to Plant: Choose well-draining soil with full sun exposure, and dig holes that allow you to plant the anemones 1-2 inches deep, and 1-2 inches apart. Don't worry about which side of the bulb needs to point toward the surface. Regardless of how the bulbs are positioned, they will still grow. If planting indoors, it is important to make sure there are adequate drainage holes in your containers; your De Caen anemones bulbs will rot if they sit in waterlogged soil.
- Caring for Anemones: After planting, gently soak the soil. Roots will form in the autumn and in warmer zones. Some foliage may also develop in the fall. Buds and flowers are produced in the spring. Leave the foliage in place once blooming has ended for the season; do not cut it off. The leaves will continue to gather sunlight and strengthen the bulbs for future. Leaves will yellow and die back as the plant goes dormant. Foliage may be removed at this point.
In general, Anemones are ‘independent grown-ups’ that do not need extra fertilizers to show nice results. But if you want to give your adorable plants a nutrient boost, you can surely do so! For optimal results, feed your spring-bloomers in autumn or fall-bloomers in spring with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer once every year.
If you plan on growing Anemone plants outdoors, in regions with frequent rainfalls, they will do just fine without extra irrigation. These babies love moisture and soil that is constantly damp but will not appreciate any soggy conditions or waterlogging. In hot or dry climates, however, your plants may need more frequent watering than usual and over-watering is not an option.
To adopt a suitable watering routine for your plants, make sure you always check the soil in-between waterings. When the growing medium feels dry to the touch, water your thirsty Anemones slowly, allowing the substrate to absorb as much water as needed.
Some Anemone varieties, such as A. nemorosa, come along with particular water demands. In midsummer, these plants end their growth cycle and die. Over the next months, they will not require supplemental water until they regrow in autumn.
What can be more relaxing than spending a nice day in the warm and friendly presence of your beloved flowers? And, as usual, every experience is better when shared with family and friends! Anemone plants can make for companions for you or your beloved ones and, luckily, you can propagate them very easily through division.
Although various Anemone species come along with different root structures, we have great news! This method works the same for all and all you have to do is digging up your plants, divide their roots into as many pieces as possible, then replant them wherever you want in spring.
Many gardeners also prefer to divide the roots in autumn and store them over winter before replanting in spring. This is a good idea if you are growing your Anemones in a garden that tends to experience moist soil during the winter. If you choose this method, do not forget to soak the roots overnight before planting!
For optimal results, make sure you inspect each piece of root and discard those that are soft, rotten, or diseased. Plant the tiny roots in a sunny location and provide them with water regularly to maintain the soil damp. Anemones grow at a pretty fast pace, so they will show signs of growth after a few weeks without any trouble on the way.
Plants with eye-catching flowers and cultural importance, Anemones are exactly what all respectable gardeners need in their collection. When it comes to their growing requirements, these plants come with very few demands and can be a nice choice for beginner growers. And with their vast color palette, you will find the perfect variety in the blink of an eye!