How to Grow and Care For Japanese anemones

How to Grow and Care For Japanese anemones

How to Grow and Care For Japanese anemones

Image by Kasia from Pixabay 

Japanese anemone (Anemone hupehensis), also called Japanese thimbleweed, is a tall, imposing perennial that bears glossy leaves and large, saucer-shaped flowers in hues ranging from bright white to creamy pink, each of which has a green button in the centre. Throughout the summer and fall, frequently up until the first frost, watch for blooms to appear. Japanese anemone plants are simple to grow and can thrive in a variety of environments.

Autumn can be recognised by the blooming of the Japanese anemones. These tall, graceful perennials bloom in the late summer, right as other plants are beginning to lose their colour. They add drama to the border and extend summer a little bit longer with their sculpted pink or white flowers on long, slender stems.

Japanese anemones are actually Chinese in origin, despite their name. The varieties of Anemone hupehensis or Anemone x hybrida, a hybrid form that blooms a little later, that you’ll find in most gardens are among the many different species, though there are other varieties as well.

Common NameAnemone, windflower, Japanese anemone, Japanese thimbleweed
Botanical NameAnemone hupehensis
Plant TypePerennials
Mature Size6 inches – 4 feet tall, 2-3 feet wide (varies by species)
Sun ExposureSunlight, full to partial
Soil TypeRich, moist (Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand)
Soil pHAcidic, neutral
Hardiness Zones3–10 (USDA); varies by species

Growing Japanese Anemone

You might be able to find this plant at a nearby greenhouse or nursery. Otherwise, mature plants can be easily divided, or early spring is a good time to take root cuttings. Japanese anemone seeds can be planted, but germination is erratic and slow.

Although they can grow in almost any well-drained soil, Japanese anemone plants thrive in rich, loose soil. When planting, add some compost or rotted manure to the soil. Although Japanese anemone plants can tolerate full sun, they prefer a spot that is lightly shaded so that they are shielded from the sun and heat in the afternoon, especially in hotter climates.

Care instructions for Japanese anemones

Japanese anemones can take a year or two to establish themselves after planting, but once established, they are very easy to care for. A word of caution: if they are content with their surroundings, they will spread by sending out underground stems known as rhizomes, which will sprout roots and grow into new plants. Remove unwanted new shoots as they appear in the spring to keep them under control.

When their flowers fade, Japanese anemones produce small round fluffy seedheads that are popular food for small birds such as goldfinches. Cut the flower stems back to ground level once the birds have had their fill and they begin to look untidy. Remove the dead leaves in the spring. New leaves emerge early in the year, providing the plants with a long-term presence in the garden.

Anemones are generally resistant to garden pests and diseases, and they are less appealing to rabbits and deer than many other perennials, making them an excellent choice for gardens where this is an issue. Butterflies adore flowers.