General gardening topics

How to grow Japanese Anemones

Last updated on April 3rd, 2022

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If you want to have a late summer flowering garden, Japanese Anemones are a great addition. The flowers are held up on wiry stems and can be found in a variety of colours including pink, lavender, and white. You can find single or double flowers, all of which have yellow centres. They’ve been nicknamed the ‘Windflower’ because of how easily they dance in the wind.

These particular flowers differ from bulbing Anemones that otherwise bloom in spring. The Japanese Anemone is a perennial that flowers in the autumn so you can enjoy a range of colour at the end of summer, as long as you have an area that has moist soil with partial sun.

Native to China, these flowers were heavily cultivated in Japanese Gardens where they were seen first by European explorers during the 17th century. The late summer flowers and the dark green foliage that danced with the wind made them particularly attractive. They grow well in full sun or partial shade and can be quite tall so they will fill up the back of a layered space effectively. They spread via rhizomes but, you can remove errant plants easily in the spring.

Anemone WILD SWAN 'Macane001': garden tested, hardy perennial plant supplied in a half litre pot Anemone Wild Swan – Available from Amazon.co.uk


Where to Plant Japanese Anemones

If you live in a colder area, you should plant your Japanese Anemones close to a structure such as a fence or a wall, or a house so that they have extra protection against the winter weather. They make great perennials to plant along the border of your home or outdoor shed. If you don’t have such a space available you can grow them in a large container suitable to the size of the root system (once fully established) and place them in areas like patios or balconies where they still get that added protection thanks to the structures around the containers. 

Anemone Japonica Queen Charlotte Plant in 17cm Pot. WindflowerAnemone Japonica Queen Charlotte


When to Plant

You should plant new Japanese Anemones in the spring once there is no longer a risk of frost. The roots don’t like to dry out so you need to make sure wherever you plant them they will be able to stay moist, something you can provide with a little extra mulch. They do best with humus-rich soil and a mixture of compost. If you are planting more than one, space them out approximately 1/2 metre from one another because they do quickly fill out and area.

They prefer moist well-drained soil

As long as the soil is well-drained and stays moist, Japanese Anemones are quite forgiving. This means you don’t need to go out of your way to test the pH level or amend slightly sandy or clay-like soil. However, you still need to give them some regular care no matter the soil type. 


Maintaining Japanese Anemones

Firstly, they will need compost in the spring. Secondly, to help with moisture retention and to prevent weeds from taking over you should add bark mulch every season around the base of the plant.

Image credit – shutterstock.com

Support taller varieties with canes

Some varieties of Japanese Anemones can grow to over one metre in height and if you have the double-flowered varieties you might need to add some canes or some sort of support to prevent them from falling over.

Dividing plants

They will spread runners underground so after the first few years, you can divide an existing plant and transplant them elsewhere. To do this dig up the entire plant at the beginning of spring, divide them into fist-sized new plants, and replant them in similar conditions.

Learn more about dividing Japanese Anemones in this guide here

Winter care

In the winter, when the frost has killed the plants, you can cut them back to ground level and add compost over the top. Rest assured, they will come back in the spring just fine.

They do best when you grow them in groups and give them room to spread. They will also attract butterflies so you can add them to a wildlife garden or other woodland area where they can be allowed to spread naturally. If you need to pair them with other plants to fill the garden space, you can choose from ornamental grasses, hosta, and even monkshood, just to name a few.


Recommended Varieties

  • If you want a white coloured variety that is an heirloom flower, “Honorine Jobert” is best. 
  • If you want a double, rose-pink variety, choose “Bressingham Glow”.
  • For more limited space, there is a white variety that is slightly smaller called “Whirlwind”.
  • If you want a touch of lavender, you can grow the “Kriemhilde”.
  • For pink, semi-double flowers, try “Max Vogel”.
Bestseller No. 1
Hardy Japanese Anemone Perennial Plant Collection 3 Colours in 9cm Pots
  • These stunning plants will light up your garden with breath-taking late displays!
  • Perfect for beds and borders, they'll produce an abundance of large, pretty flowers.
  • Each will rise up from the attractive foliage and open up to show elegant, satin-like petals.
  • Varieties included 1 each of : Whirlwind, Prinz Heinrich AGM & Queen Charlotte AGM.
  • Supplied as a pack of 3 potted plants in 9cm pots. Flowers: August-October Height/Spread: 1.2m (4ft)
Bestseller No. 2
Anemone hupehensis 'Japanese Anemone' 15 Seeds, Japanese Windflower
  • Tall-growing Japanese Anemone with rose or mauve flowers. 3-4 ft tall
  • Easy to grow plants bloom from August to October and are winter hardy to zone 4.
  • Sow seeds in cell packs or 2 in. pots, press into soil and barely cover. Kept at 60-65° F., germination is usually within 4-5 weeks. If not, put pot inside a zip-lock bag and place in refrigerator for 3 weeks. Remove container and return to 60-65°F. to germinate.
Bestseller No. 3
Anemone x hybrida Serenade - Japanese Anemone Plant in 9 cm Pot
  • Japanese Anemone Serenade. Lovely colour in autumn when most other plants have finished.
  • Large, soft lavender pink semi-double flowers with a ring of yellow stamens in the centre appear on long, wiry-but-graceful, branching stems over an attractive foliage mound of usually trifoliate, dark green, basal leaves.
  • Easy to grow in most sun or semi shade locations in most moist fertile soils.
  • Can be planted in a pot or other container.
  • Uk Plant Passport Number 6400
Bestseller No. 4
Vervaco Japanese Anemones I Cross Stitch Cushion, Multi-Colour
  • Hand painted large-hole canvas
  • 100% cotton
  • 18 holes/10cm, 4.5 stitches/inch
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Bestseller No. 5
Anemone Dreaming Swan Windflower Tall Perennial White Blooming Garden Shrub (10-30cm (Incl. Pot))
  • Characteristics: Clump-forming herbaceous perennial shrub with glossy, incised dark green foliage and upright stems bearing white flowers with purple-blue reverse side from Summer.
  • Growth & Spread: Ultimate height and spread of 0.5 – 1m.
  • Period of Interest: Summer and Autumn interest. Tall stems carrying single to semi-double white flowers with purple-blue banding on the reverse side of the petals from early Summer through to Autumn.
  • Water & Maintenance: Plant in moist, fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soils. Keep in full or partial sun in any position. Avoid heavy, retentive soils and waterlogging, especially during Winter. Wind and frost protection advised.
Bestseller No. 6
Anemone Prinz Heinrich Windflower Upright Perennial Outdoor Pink Flowering Shrub (15-30cm Incl. Pot)
  • Characteristics: Clump-forming herbaceous perennial shrub with incised, divided, dark green leaves and upright stems carrying semi-double pink flowers in Summer.
  • Growth & Spread: Ultimate height and spread of 0.5 – 1m.
  • Period of Interest: Summer to Autumn interest. Slender, upright stems bearing semi-double flowers of rich pink which softens slightly with age. Blooms from mid-Summer to early Autumn.
  • Water & Maintenance: Plant in any moist, fertile, well-drained soil. Keep in full or partial sun in an open or sheltered position. Avoid retentive soils and waterlogging, which may cause damage to the roots and cause flagging or drooping.
Bestseller No. 7
20x Anemone Coronaria The Bride White Spring Summer Flowering Corms Garden De Caen Perennial Flower Plant Bulbs Size 5/6
  • Pack of 20 corms that produces beautiful white single stemmed Poppy like flowers
  • Perfect for planting in the borders or as part of a rockery display. Hardy perennial. Excellent naturalising plant, easy to grow, will multiply well and back each year
  • Can be planted in autumn for flowering in April-June or in spring for flowering in June-August. Prefers a sunny position and look great in large groups.
  • Also known as the Poppy Anemone. Full grown height 20-25cm.
  • You will receive pack of 20 quality corms size 5/6 in recyclable packaging with detailed instructions included
Bestseller No. 8
Anemone St Brigid x 30 Flower Bulbs / Corms. Pretty Mixed Flowers.
  • Always buy directly from Humphreys Garden
  • Colour: Mixed
  • Height: 10cm
Bestseller No. 9
'Japanese Anemone' Passport Cover & Luggage Tag Travel Set (PA00009823)
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  • Soft touch lining
Bestseller No. 10
20x Anemone Coronaria Mr Fokker Blue Spring Summer Flowering Corms Garden Perennial Flower by Oliwier's Bulbs Size 4/5
  • Pack of 20 corms that produces beautiful blue single stemmed Poppy like flowers. Perfect for planting in the border or as part of a rockery display
  • Very popular cut-flower, excellent naturalising plant, easy to grow and will flower each year
  • Can be planted through the year - in spring for blooming in early summer, in early summer for autumn flowers and in autumn for spring bloom
  • Full grown height: 10-25cm
  • You will receive pack of 20 quality corms size 4/5 in recyclable packaging with detailed instructions included

Image credits – shutterstock.com

Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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