Late summer and early fall often represent a challenge to gardeners as summer-blooming plants begin to fade while fall bloomers have not quite reached their apex. Fall-blooming anemones, commonly called Japanese Anemones or Windflowers, are fabulous perennials, helping with this transition from one season to the next.
- Native to China, Anemones have been cultivated in Japan for hundreds of years. They consist of the species Anemone hupehensis, Anemone hybrida, Anemone tomentosa and Anemone vitifolia, as well as their subspecies and cultivars. Most of current cultivars are attributed to Anemone hupehensis and Anemone hybrida.
- With one of the longest-blooming seasons, up to 6-8 weeks, Japanese Anemones add brilliant color in the landscape when many other perennials are starting to fade. Well suited for borders, cottage gardens, coastal gardens or naturalized areas such as prairies or meadows, these fabulous perennial plants put on a spectacular show in the late summer garden and persist to contribute to the crescendo of fall.
- Floating above the border, they produce masses of 2- to 3-inch flowers that are held on slender, graceful stems and sway delicately in the breeze. Flower colors range from snow white to dark pink and purple. They may be single (with 4-6 broad tepals), semi-double or double with 30 or more tepals.
- Japanese Anemones enjoy a clumping habit and spread by rhizomes once established in the garden. They will happily naturalize to form colonies. While their rhizomatous habit may be desirable in larger landscapes, they may out-compete other surrounding herbaceous plants. Fortunately, removing any unwanted sprouts is easy.
- Full sun or part sun lovers, they enjoy rich, humusy, evenly moist, well-drained soils. Do not let the soil dry out! Provide some wind protection.
- Though they may appear delicate, these long-lived perennials can survive with minimal maintenance once they are established. Very attractive as cut flowers, Japanese Anemones enjoy a good resistance to most insects and diseases and are salt tolerant. They attract butterflies, but are deer and rabbit resistant.
- There is a wide range of companion plants that will bring out the best qualities of your Japanese Anemones and share their space with a serene balance. Make sure you select any ornamental grasses, perennials, annuals or shrubs that have the same growing requirements as your Anemones.
- Eating may cause stomach upset and skin contact may cause mild irritation.