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Also known as windflower, anemones are grown for their beautiful, nodding blooms on long, wiry stems. The foliage looks similar between varieties, but size and bloom times vary between spring, summer, or fall. Fall-blooming Japanese anemones are particularly noteworthy because they fill the midsummer-to-fall gap in gardens.
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Part Sun, Sun
1 to 3 feet
1 to 3 feet
Anemones' timeless grace enhances any garden. Depending on species, anemones can be some of the earliest perennials up. Those spring plants typically cover woodland floors with delicate, nodding blooms in soft shades—often white, rarely tinged pink or purple. The showstoppers are fall-blooming anemones. These larger plants come in many shades of whites and pinks with petals ranging from single rows to double. Their larger foliage acts as a sharp contrast to the dainty blooms, but looks nice just the same.
Anemone Care Must-Knows
Perennial anemones are easy to grow, and once established can create large colonies of plants for grand displays. Anemones spread by underground rhizomes that multiply readily; in some cases they can be almost aggressive spreaders. Luckily, shallow roots make them easy to dig up.
For best results, plant anemones in well-drained soils rich in organic matter. The extra organic matter keeps a consistent moisture in soil. Many spring-blooming anemones are ephemeral, meaning the foliage will die back in summer and plants will go dormant. This can happen quickly if the soil is allowed to dry too much or too often. Keeping the soil evenly moist is also important for fall bloomers because the foliage can dry up and leaf edges brown and crisp especially in warm Southern climates.
Planting anemones in part sun protects foliage from drying out too much, but don't plant fall-blooming varieties in too much shade otherwise plants become leggy and flop. More shade than necessary also reduces the number of flowers. (And no one wants that.)
Anemones don't require much maintenance to put on a spectacular display of blooms. While not necessary, you can divide anemones in spring as plants emerge. In shadier plantings, keep an eye out for powdery mildew, which can be a mild nuisance.