Growing Guide: Anemone – Windflower

The anemone genus is by no means restricted to the attractive little flowers available from florists in their season. It also includes valuable spring-flowering garden species, not to mention the magnificent perennial anemones which flower in autumn. Briefly, the following groups may be distinguished:

Spring-flowering anemones, which do not develop tubers (A. nemorosa and A. sylvestris).

Tuberous anemones (A. apennina, A. blanda, A. coro-naria, A. X fulgens and A. pavonina).

Autumn-flowering anemones (A. japonica hybrids, A. hupehensis, A. tomentosa and A. vitifolia).


A. nemorosa, the wood anemone, will thrive under trees and shrubs. A. sylvestris, the snowdrop anemone of Europe, must be grown in calcereous soil in a rock garden. The tuberous-rooted anemones are fine spring-flowering species; the blue anemone in particular is very popular in combination with many bulbous plants. The strains of A. coronaria are not easy to grow. The autumn-flowering anemones are the most useful garden plants, even though they are not entirely winter-hardy. They are very suitable for borders and among groups of shrubs, as they tolerate shade.


Anemone apennina and A. blanda prefer acid soil, the other species require nutritious garden soil with good drainage, otherwise the roots will rot in winter.


All pure species can be raised from seed. In addition it is nearly always possible to increase by division. Anemone japonica can be grown from root cuttings.

Anemone apennina: Height 15-20 cm; blue, pink or white flowers from mid to late spring. Grow in partial shade in the rock garden.

Anemone coronaria: Height 25-35 cm; large radial flowers in shades of, red, white or blue, single or double; flowering season spring or summer. The best known groups are single-flowered Caen, double-flowered Caen and St Brigid anemones. The corms are planted in spring and carefully covered in winter. As a rule they only last one season.

Anemone hupehensis: Height 60-100 cm; flowering season early autumn, colours wine red or rose red. A beautiful, dwarf species.

Anemone japonica hybrids, Japanese anemone: Height 50-100 cm; autumn-flowering with single or double, white, rose-red or pale-pink flowers from late summer to mid-autumn: ‘Honorine Jobert’, single, white; ‘Queen Charlotte’, semi-double, white tinged with lilac pink; ‘Coupe d’Argent’, semi-double, white. If possible provide some protection in winter.

Anemone nemorosa, wood anemone: Height 15 cm; white, slightly bluish or pinkish flowers throughout spring.

Anemone pavonina: Height 20-30 cm; large flowers in various shades in late spring and early summer. The tubers are planted in the autumn; the best known variety being ‘St Bavo’.

Anemone sylvestris: Height 20-40 cm; the matt white flowers appear in mid to late spring, the reverse of the petals being covered in silky hairs. Not very easy to cultivate.

Anemone tomentosa: Height 30-50 cm; lilac-pink flowers in late summer and early autumn. ‘Robustissima’ is the strongest variety, but should nevertheless be covered in winter.

Anemone vitifolia: Height 40-40 cm; white flowers in mid to late summer. Makes an excellent border plant.


Anemone - Windflower


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