How to grow: Japanese anemones

February 21, 2013 – 12:23 pm

Japanese anemones make a beautiful addition to autumn borders but they can be invasive. Follow our top tips and grow them with confidence

  • Plant in late spring when the soil is moist and warm
  • Choose a site that’s in partial or light shade
  • Grow in soil that’s rich in organic matter and moist – but not wet
  • Water your new plants in well, but if the soil is too wet, they may die during their first winter. Once that hurdle is safely passed they should start making good-sized clumps
  • Keep an eye on any that do exhibit thuggish behaviour and dig out the parts that are spreading out of control, in spring before any new shoots start sprouting
  • They can be attacked by leaf and bud eelworm: pick off infected leaves and buds and destroy them


‘Hadspen Abundance’
Unusual and beautiful two-tone pink anemone with a darkish bronze foliage. 3ft (1m)
‘Honorine Jobert’
Well-known and well-loved variety with neat pure white flowers from round pink-flushed buds. It’s one of the tallest at 4-5ft (1.3-1.8m)
‘Bowles’s Pink’
Selected by plantsman E A Bowles, this has regular petals of a deep-pink and flowers at around 3ft (1m)
A pretty, double-white form that will continue flowering through the first frosts. Eventual height of 3-4ft (1-1.3m)
Newish variety with double flowers with reddish-purple petals and very pretty. Compact at just under 3ft (80cm) and clumps quite slowly


The better-known varieties are widely available from garden centres. Or try the following nurseries
(mail order):

Beeches Nursery, Essex
Tel: 62,

World’s End Nursery, Worcestershire
Tel: 77,

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I learn the hard way, unfortunately

I don't just go to class, I test and learn in the field. Because I though I knew better, I figured I could bend the rules.
In fall four years ago I sheet-mulched over a bed full of Agapanthus and Japanese Anemones. I spread a 5 inch layer of compost (two strikes) over newspaper. We'd spread compost (in a one to two inch layer) over a client's soil for years as a sort-of "mulch." What could go wrong?
Although I carefully covered the soil, the Anemone had already reached the bed's perimeter and enmeshed itself amongst the Box edging. I cut down and dug out as much of the Agapanthus as I could before I sheeted

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  3. Caring for Japanese anemones
  4. Growing Japanese anemones in pots
  5. Planting Japanese anemones