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  • Writer's pictureJulia Watson


Updated: Feb 5, 2021

The hardest thing about anemones is learning to spell their name—everything else is easy. They're beautiful spring-blooming flowers that you've probably seen before, even if you didn't know what they were called. Anemones are often thrown in together with ranuncs, both in actual garden space and in discussions. They’re not closely related, but they can be grown together, and they bloom at the same time. Note that Japanese anemones are a bit different - they're grown mainly from plants, they're hardy perennials, and their flowers are white or pink. They're pretty, but just between you and me, I've found them to be a bit invasive, so watch them closely if you plant any.

anemone flowers
Anemone flowers (from Wikipedia)

You can buy anemone corms at the same time as rancuncs, and you pre-sprout them the same way (read my last post about how to do that). The corms are roughly acorn shaped, with a pointed end. I often mix ranuncs and anemones, so I have a bed of mixed flower shapes and colors. Ranuncs don’t come in the blues and purples that anemones do, so they complement each other. After the corms have been pre-sprouted, plant them pointy end down, about 6" apart and about 2" deep. In the spring they'll come up and bloom slightly earlier than ranuncs.

If you cut the blooms for bouquets, you need to know a little trick. The blooms will last longer if you wait a day or two after the first time you see them open. My rule of thumb is to wait until the “collar” around the petals is about a half-inch below the petals. The photo below was taken from a helpful article on Gardening Know How, and it shows the way the stem grows away from the green "collar" of sepals under each flower. The white arrows show newer flowers; the red arrows show show flowers that are older and the stem has grown upward, leaving a gap between the bloom and the collar.

Arrows show the growing stem above anemone collars

Like tulips, anemones can grow in the vase, so be prepared for your arrangement to change a bit. But the good news is that anemones last a long time, so you’ll enjoy their color for at least a week. That's good news for me - I can keep painting them!

Flowers on my studio table, ready to be painted

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