The word “anemone” is translated from Greek as “daughter of the wind” because anemone flowers tremble from the slightest gust of the wind. The flower is part of Ranunculaceae family (aka buttercup) and is a perennial herbaceous plant. It can be found in temperate climates of flatlands and hilly regions of both hemispheres. Anemone plant has over 160 species blooming in different seasons and very diversely in colors and types, which may confuse even an experienced gardener. This article will tell you all about growing anemones.
- 1. Audio article (coming soon)
- 2. Anemone cultivation and its peculiarities
- 3. Anemone species
- 4. Preparation for planting anemone
- 5. Anemone planting
- 6. Anemone care
- 7. Anemone after flowering
Anemone cultivation and its peculiarities
In the abundance of anemones there are some that need little to no care at all and some that demand special care. This difference roots in the fact that some flowers have rhizomes while others have tubers. Rhizome anemones are easily cultivated but mistakes in caring for tuberous anemones may lead to serious consequences.
There are a few features you need to take into account if you want to grow anemones.
- First of all these flowers demand compulsory watering in dry hot weather.
- Secondly, autumn top-dressing has to be done with compound chemical fertilizers, but before planting and during growing and blooming of the plant soil needs to be organically fertilized.
- Thirdly, protect your anemones from cold in winter by covering them with dry leaves.
- Lastly, anemone reproduction is best by means of root sprouts in spring or seeds planted closer to the winter. All these peculiarities will be addressed later in the article.
Due to the fact that anemone flowers are widely represented both in culture and nature and various species demand different care, let’s introduce a few of the most widespread representatives of anemone genus.
Anemone species and caring features. There are two groups of anemones differentiating in the time of its flowering. Spring-flowering species are delicate and have a wide gamma of pastel shades: snow-white, creamy, pink, light-blue, lilac etc. There are even some polypetalous flowers. Spring-flowering anemones are ephemeroids, meaning their flowering cycle is short: waking up in April they all mutually bloom in May and go to back sleep in July even though some of the species stay leaved till fall. This group also differs in bulbs types. For example, Anemone ranunculoides (aka yellow wood anemome) and Anemone nemorosa (aka thimbleweed) have articulate rhizomes while Anemone blanda has tuberous bulbs, which spreads slower.
is a miniature plant, only 5-10 cm (6 in) tall. The most popular sorts are Blue Shades (blue), Charmer (pink), White Splendour (white).
is more popular in Europe, its bush height is 20-30 cm (8-12 in) and the blossom is 2-4 cm (1-2 in) wide with usually white colored flowers, though there are some blue, lilac and pink sorts cultivated, including even some polypetalous types. Its main advantage is unpretentiousness.
is similar in features, has bushes of 20-25 cm (8-10 in) high and flowers of bright yellow color and a bit smaller size than Anemone nemorosa. It may grow practically in any kind of soil.
Summer and autumn-flowering anemones are represented with Anemone japonica (aka as Japanese anemone), Anemone x hybrida and Anemone coronaria also called poppy anemone. Generally, these are large perennials, which strong root system is well branched. They bloom from the end of summer and until the middle of autumn.
blossoms twice a year, in the beginning of summer and in the fall. Fall plants have strong flower spikes of height up to 1.5 m (60 in) and a few dozens of simple or polypetalous flowers of various shades. The most popular sorts are Anemone De Caen with simple single flowers of different colors, dark blue Mister Fokker and polypetalous flowered Don Juan and Lord Jim of bright red and light blue colors respectively.
has also a few popular sorts, such as Honorine Jobert (flowers are white and slightly pink from underneath), polypetalous dark-purple Anemone Profusion, and Queen Charlottе with juicy pink coloring. Anemone japonica is usually represented in culture with Pamina (large dark pink, almost burgundy polypetalous blossoms), Hadspen Abundance (high anemone with creamy flowers and Prinz Heinrich (half- polypetalous bright pink blossoms).
Soil preparation для анемоны
Before anemone planting you need to choose a place and prepare the soil. The plot has to be spacious, shaded and protected from drafts. Anemone bulbs grow vastly during the season but are very delicate and may break easily from a simple touch, which should also be considered. Besides, anemones badly tolerate extreme heat or drafts. Best place for planting should have friable, drained and fertile soil such as clay loam or leaved soil with peat. In order to create ideal conditions add some sand to the soil, and to lower harmful for anemones excessive acidity add a bit of dolomite flour or wood ash.
Seed preparation анемоны
If you decided to grow anemones with help of seeds you need to know that it has a low germination rate with less than a quarter of freshly collected seeds sprouting. But if you affect the seed with stratification – a method of keeping seeds in cold for a 1-2 months, you may increase germination. In order to do that you will need to mix the seeds with coarse sand or peat the ratio of 1 to 3, moisten it and spray some water on it daily to keep its humidity. As soon as seeds get swelled, add some substratum, mix and water it and leave it in a ventilated room with 5ºС (41ºF). When the sprouts hatch in a few days you should to put them outside into the snow or soil and cover with sawdust or straw. In early spring the seeds get transplanted into boxes for germination. To rid yourself of all this trouble you may plant the seeds into boxes with friable soil in the fall and put those boxes into the ground in your garden, covering them with branches. During the winter they will undergo natural freezing so you could dig them up and plant them in spring.
Bulbs preparation анемоны
Before planting, anemone bulbs should be awaken by putting them in warm water for a few hours for swelling purposes and then planting them in pots with a mixture of moist peat and sand for germination, 5 cm (2-3 in) deep. Moisten the soil in pots moderately but regularly. Some gardeners recommend "soaking" anemone bulbs by wrapping them in cloth, well moistened with a solution of Alpin and keeping them for about six hours in a plastic bag. After that anemones can be directly planted in the ground.
Anemone bulbs planting
There no particular difficulties with planting anemones: all you need to do is determine the point of growth. Pretreated swollen bulbs should have visible bud hills so it's clear how to plant it. But if you have some doubts, remember that anemone bulbs have flat upper side, therefore you need to seed it with sharp end downwards. If the form of the bulb bothers you, plant it sideways. The hole for anemone should be 30-40 cm (12-15 in) wide and 15 cm (6 in deep). Don’t forget to put some humus and ash on the bottom, then put the bulb in and cover it with soil, trample it slightly. Water the anemone plant plot sufficiently.
Anemone seeds planting
By the time of planting anemones must have at least two leaves. Seedlings are planted in the ground in a slightly shaded place in the second year of growth. If you plant in autumn, you should cover the plot with leaves or branches to save it from the frosts. Remember: anemones plants raised from seeds may blossom only in three years period!
As for timing of anemone bulbs or seeds planting, you may reach the desired effect of blossoming from April till November non-stop if you buy different sorts of anemones and plant them in periods, optimum for each of them.
Anemone care is quite easy and not burdensome. Main problem is to keep humidity at an appropriate level during the whole cycle of vegetation. The danger is that if overwetting the root system occurs, the plants can die from rotting, and lack of humidity, especially during the formation of buds, is not conducive for growth and flowering of anemones. To balance out humidity level you need to plant it on a hill with well drainaged plot. After planting it is highly desirable to mulch the site with 5 cm (2 in) layer of fruit trees foliage or turf. As for anemone watering, it’s sufficient to wet the soil once a week in spring; if the summer is moderate, anemone does not need additional watering, unless it’s Anemone coronaria during blossoming. During hot dry summer, water the plants every morning and after sunset.
Feeding of anemones is desirable in the time of flowering with liquid organics (with the exception of fresh manure) and in autumn with compound chemical fertilizers. But if you fertilized the plot before planting, there’s no need for additional feeding whatsoever. Soil loosening and weeding are recommended, but weed it out with your hands only, because you can harm the roots with instruments.
Anemones are resistant to diseases but slugs and snails can damage them. Gather them by hand and use metaldehyde solution to eliminate those threats. Some anemones suffer from turnip moth larvae or foliar nematode. If the plants are contaminated with nematode, it’s better to destroy them completely and change the soil where they had grown.
Anemone reproduction can be achieved through seeds, bulbs, division of the bush or rhizome. We have described the bulbs and unpromising seeds reproduction before. During the division of the rhizomes they get undug in spring, cut in pieces 5 cm (2 in) long with an obligatory bud on each piece, and are planted horizontally into loose soil to a 5 cm (2 in) depth. Such a plant will reach its maturity in three years. Transplantation with division of the bush can be performed only with four or five year old plants.
In the middle zone climate with autumn onset anemones should be extracted from the ground and prepared for winter storage: the bulbs should be dried, tops of the plant cut and the plant kept in cool and dark place such as dry basement. It’s better to put the bulbs in sand or peat.
If you decided to keep anemones in the ground in hopes of a warm winter you’d better cover the plot with fallen leaves or branches in order to keep it from a probable sudden frost.