Growing Anemones Indoors

Although the cut-flower anemone is rarely used for indoor culture, it will provide an early spring display if grown under cool, light conditions, in fact it is better suited to the warm or cool greenhouse than it is in the home. The best size corm to use is the 3-4 cm. Size, eight or nine being planted in a shallow seed pan containing a similar compost as described for seed sowing. Planting should be done during September and the pans stood in a cold frame until the year end, when they should then be taken into a slightly warm greenhouse or into a window position in the home. Though they must not be allowed to become too dry, they must never be kept in a saturated condition neither must they be placed in a darkened room as with other bulbs, unless it be for about ten days and though they may be given gentle heat they will not tolerate any degree of forcing.Growing Anemones Indoors

Several of the species will provide a more satisfactory display in a warm or cold greenhouse. The two best for indoor work are A. apennina and A. blanda, both producing their beautiful clear blue-rayed flowers on stems only 3 in. long, making them ideal plants for the pan. Established plants should be dug up during early November and placed in a cold frame, four or five to a seed pan, until the year end, when they should be transferred to a room or greenhouse. If very gentle heat is provided, they will come into bloom early in February. They should be given a soil containing plenty of peat or leaf mould and some lime rubble which must always be kept moist.

SPECIES

Anemone coronaria.

This is the old Poppy Anemone, which has been developed into such a valuable cut flower. For bedding and also for cutting it may be desired to grow individual colours which may all be separately obtained at little extra cost.

DE CAEN SPECIES (SINGLE)

  • His Excellency. Crimson-scarlet, having an extended white ring round the centre.
  • Hollandia. Brilliant scarlet.
  • Mr. Fokker. Deepest blue, tinged purple.
  • Sylphide. An attractive shade of violet-pink.
  • The Bride. Of purest white, a delightful contrasting variety.

When growing de Caen anemones for winter cutting a useful suggestion is to mix about two hundred corms of either Hollandia or His Excellency, with a thousand mixed corms. This is because during colder weather the blue and white varieties produce their bloom more freely than the red colours which are so necessary for the making up of an attractive bunch. During the dull weather, it is the red shades that are particularly appreciated. Additional red corms should ensure the necessary number of red blooms to each bunch.

ST. BRIGID SPECIES (DOUBLE)

  • Lord Lieutenant. Deepest purple-blue accentuated by the double petals.
  • The Admiral. Rich violet-blue.
  • The Governor. Brilliant crimson-scarlet.

The same remarks about the use of additional reds applies also to the St. Brigids, though they seem to be less affected by the cold than the de Caens.

Anemone apennina.

Producing their blooms of clearest blue during March and April, this is a most useful species in that it is extremely hardy and will bloom to perfection in a shaded position. It should be massed under trees or in the shrubbery where it may be left undisturbed. The pale green fern-like foliage adds to its attraction. It is a great lover of lime.

A. blanda.

In sheltered positions will bloom from February to the end of April and though the blooms are similar to Apennina in colour and size, this species likes full sun. It looks lovely planted round young standard apple and flowering trees. A. blanda has also a rooting system similar to that of Apennina, being tuberous rooted and of a creeping habit. With Apennina it should be planted in September to flower early in spring. There is a lovely bright rose-pink variety which looks lovely planted with the blue form.

A. fulgens.

Increasing rapidly if left undisturbed, this is an ideal plant for a grassy bank or rockery or for planting under trees where it may receive as much of the early summer sun as possible. The blooms are brilliant scarlet, the anthers jet black.

A. Hepatica.

A delightful small stemmed little plant which enjoys a position of full shade where it produces its lavender-blue flowers in profusion throughout the spring-time. Fifty years ago, this plant, being more fibrous than tuberous rooted and different from the other anemones, was known as the Hepatica and few associated it with the anemone. Like the snowdrop, they should be divided and planted early in April, as soon as they have finished flowering. They do not move easily at any other time.

A. nemorosa.

The true wood anemone which enjoys a soil containing plenty of leaf mould and a position of almost complete shade. The colour is a delicate pale blue. Should be given plenty of lime rubble when planted in autumn.

A. ranunculoides.

This is a delightful little species, bearing dwarf bright yellow flowers set amidst pale green foliage. A variety called Superba has attractive bronzy leaves. Plant early autumn to flower in March and April. A lovely rock garden plant.

PESTS

Mice.

Anemones suffer little from the attention of birds, but mice are frequently troublesome. Not only do they eat the corms before germination takes place, but they may nest in the dense fern-like foliage of established plants growing under glass. Though I have never experienced either trouble I have seen it occasionally happen. If the corms are sprinkled with poisonous rodent repellent before planting in the same way as peas are frequently dressed, they will remain free from the attentions of mice. Care must be taken in using the repellent – in fact, it should be used only where mice prove really troublesome. The nesting business may be overcome by correct spacing of the corms in the rows. Corms planted too closely will encourage the trouble and at the same time flowering will suffer through too restricted root growth.

Slugs.

These pests I have found more troublesome than anything with anemones, especially with plants growing under glass where the flowering stems may be especially succulent. Slugs may in a single night partly sever the stems before they have had time to reach maturity, and short-stemmed anemones are of little use to the florist except to use for wreath-making. During a wet period, when slugs may become troublesome and when the plants are under glass, a proprietary brand of slug bait should be placed between the rows at regular intervals. A peat mulch between the rows, which incidentally makes picking easier, will also help to keep the slugs at bay.

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