Anemone – Christmas 2016

Anemones, also known as windflowers, are a diverse group, with various species blooming in spring and fall. Some have fibrous roots and are found in the perennials section of nurseries and garden centers. Others grow from tubers that are sold and planted in the fall along with spring-flowering bulbs like tulips. I first planted these blue anemones in December 2015.

The anemone are often mistaken for icelandic poppies. Both are members of the Ranunculae family but are different genera. Key differences are: the anemone bloom earlier in the year and the anemone has a band of leaves halfway up the flower stalk.

Spring blooming anemones are low growing plants that are good choices for woodland and rock gardens.

Site Selection

Spring blooming anemones do best in part shade. Fall bloomers thrive in full sun to part shade. All appreciate soil that is moist, but well-drained- never soggy and on the acid side.

Planting Instructions

Container grown plants can be set out throughout the growing season, but spring is preferred for fall bloomers. Divide the spring bloomers in midsummer or early fall. Space wood anemones 10 inches apart, snowdrop anemones 12-24 inches apart and fall bloomers 18 inches apart. Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.

If growing in a container, I recommend a depth of at least 8 inches.


Divide or move plants in the garden only in the spring. Fall anemones may be slow to establish, but once they are settled in they have a tendency to spread, as do the spring bloomers. Deadheading won’t prolong bloom, but will make plants look neater

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