Anemone Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Anemone plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Japanese Anemone, Wind Flower, & Pasque Flower: Cultivation & Garden Use

Some of the common names for the hardy bulb or perennial Anemone plant include Japanese anemone, September charm, Pasque flower, snowdrop windflower, and windflower.

Typically Anemone flower from early spring through to the late autumn. This is dependent upon the species as Anemone is a very diverse gennus.


Description of the Anemone

Anemone is a very diverse group of plants. Different species can grow from 15 cm to 120 cm in height (6 to 48 inches).

Anemone picture
G.A. Cooper @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database. Smithsonian Institution, Department of Systematic Biology-Botany.

As a consequence of this diversity, Anemone flowers may be nearly any colour, the exception being yellow. They are often planted in groups in borders.

Commonly Grown Anemone Species

Anemone coronaria

Anemone coronaria (Poppy Anemone) is a perennial flowering plant that's highly cherished for its showy, poppy-like blooms. These range in color from red, pink, purple to white. Notable for its dark, contrasting stamens, this plant is native to the Mediterranean region.

Anemone coronaria
Anemone coronaria (Blue Poppy Anemone / Spanish Marigold / Windflower), photograph by Bernard Spragg. NZ; CC.

Best cultivated in well-drained soil under full sun or partial shade. Poppy Anemone makes an ideal choice for borders, beds, containers, and cut-flower gardens, due to its striking color and form.

Japanese Anemone / Japanese Windflower

Nb. Japanese Windflower (Anemone hupehensis)is now classed as the species Eriocapitella hupehensis.

Anemone hupehensis (Japanese Anemone) is a perennial plant known for its delicate, semi-double, rose-pink or white flowers with golden stamens/ Plants bloom from mid to late summer. Native to China, but cultivated extensively in Japan, it is appreciated for its dark green, trifoliate leaves, and attractive seed heads.

It performs best in a partly shaded location with well-drained soil. Ideal for use in borders and woodland gardens, it provides late season color and is also excellent as a cut flower.

Anemone blanda

Anemone blanda (Grecian Windflower) is a charming, low-growing perennial known for its daisy-like, vibrant blue, pink or white flowers that bloom in early spring. Native to southeastern Europe, western Asia, and Caucasus, its delicate foliage resembles that of a fern.

Anemone blanda
Anemone blanda (Balkan Anemone / Grecian windflower / Winter windflower), picture by Andreas Rockstein; CC.

Thriving in well-drained soil with dappled shade, it's perfect for rock gardens, woodland plantings, and borders. Its ability to naturalize makes it an excellent ground cover choice.

Anemone tomentosa

That said there are many members and hybrids of this genus known as Japanese Anemone, perhaps the best known being Anemone tomentosa

Anemone tomentosa, also known as the Grapeleaf Anemone, is renowned for its large, single, pink to wine-red flowers with prominent golden stamens.

The foliage is unique, with deeply lobed, grape-like leaves, giving it its common name.

Thriving in part shade to full sun and rich, well-drained soil, it's a great addition for cottage gardens, woodland gardens, and border fronts. Its tall, graceful stems make it suitable for cutting gardens as well.

How to Grow Windflower and Japanese Anemone species

It is best to initially sow windflowers and their relatives, such as September Charm Anemone, in moistened soil within a plastic bag. You will need to imbibe the Anemone flower seeds for three weeks at 4°C (39°F) in a fridge.

Next, plant the containers in a shady location under glass. Once a seedling has sprouted it should be transplanted to the desired position with a spacing of 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches) for small species, and of 30 to 40 cm (12 to 16 inches) for larger species

If planting corms, they should be planted at a depth of 10 to 12 cm (4 to 5 inches) in the middle of autumn.

Anemone prefers to be grown partly shaded area, but is able to withstand full sunlight.

The ideal soil for the wind flower plant should not be poor. So, ideally it should be fertilised with either humus or rotten manure. Bring to a pH level in the range of 6 to 7.5.

Anemone requires between two and twenty five weeks to germinate, depending on the species and the time of planting.

If starting seedlings off indoors, it is best to plant them out in either the early spring or late autumn.

Caring for Anemone in the Garden

Good care of anemones requires them to be watered regularly. Plants should be mulched in the summer to maintain cool soil temperatures.

In harsh areas, it may be necessary to bring in the plants during the winter before putting out again in the spring.

Anemone Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Windflower: Greek, Grecian, Snowdrop Riverside. Anemone: Wood, Chinese, Japanese, Carolina, Poppy, Drummond’s, Woodland. Thimbleweed, Prairie Crocus, September charm, Pasque flower.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Bulbs/Tubers.
  • Height: 6 to 40 inches (15 to 120 cm).
  • Native: Temperate regions.
  • Growing Region: Zones 4 to 9.
  • Flowers: Species dependent: early spring to late autumn.
  • Flower Details: Diverse genus with flowers in most colors, except yellow. Umbels or cymes of two to nine flowers. Up to 27 sepals, but non-existent petals in most species. Cup-shaped. Fragrant.
  • Fruit: Ovoid. Tightly clustered achenes. Feathery.
  • Foliage: Basal leaves. Long petioles. Upright or prostrate. Toothed or entire leaf margins. Maple-like. Dark-green.
  • Sowing/planting:
    Seeds: Mix seeds in a moist growing medium. Stratify by refrigeration for two or three weeks. Seeds should then be sown into flats in the spring. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist. Once seedlings emerge transplant them to their final location (early spring or late in autumn depending on species). Space at 6 to 16 inches (15—40 cm) depending on species size.
    Tubers/corms: 3 to 4 inches (7 to 10 cm). Mid-autumn. Supply mulch.
  • Requirements and care: Partial shade for best results, can tolerate full sunlight (morning sun for best results). Light soil. Loam enriched with manure (dig in below tubers). Plant close to a wall in colder regions. Regular watering. Mulch with leaf matter for the winter. Do not let soil become water saturated over the winter. May become floppy if leaves do not receive enough light. Protect from strong winds. Cut tall plants back to half size at the start of summer. Propagate: by dividing in the spring. Or the middle of summer to early autumn for spring blooming container grown plants.
  • Family: Ranunculaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Aconitum, Adonis, Clematis, Consolida, Eranthis, Helleborus, Nigella, Ranunculus, and Trollius.
  • Miscellaneous: Named from the Greek word anemōnē: Daughter of the Wind. According to Greek mythology the flower was created by Venus, who sprinkled nectar on the blood of Adonis, her dead lover.
    Harvest flowers by cutting in the morning when the bloom is still closed, once they are placed in a vase of water the flowers will open.

Common Questions

How many members does the Anemone genus have?

The Anemone genus comprises approximately 200 species of flowering plants.

Do members of Anemone make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, members of the Anemone genus are excellent for gardens and landscapes because of their vibrant flowers and resilient nature.

Which Anemone species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The Anemone hupehensis (Japanese Anemone) and Anemone coronaria (Poppy Anemone) are commonly grown species due to their vibrant colors.

Are members of the Anemone fragrant?

While some Anemone species are fragrant, the scent is often light and not all species have a noticeable aroma.

What is the perfect location to grow Anemone?

Anemone thrives in locations with well-drained soil, partial to full sun, and a relatively cool climate.

Is Anemone invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

While some species of Anemone can be invasive, they are not generally problematic in the USA. It's always best to check local regulations.

How do I remove Anemone from my garden?

To remove Anemone, carefully dig up the plant, ensuring you remove all roots to prevent regrowth.

What is a windflower?

A windflower is a flowering plant that belongs to the genus Anemone. It is known for its delicate blooms and graceful appearance.

Can you plant Anemone bulbs in the spring?

Yes, you can plant anemone bulbs in the spring.

How to plant windflower bulbs?

To plant windflower bulbs, choose a well-drained location in your garden, dig a hole slightly deeper than the bulb's height, place the bulb in the hole with the pointed end facing up, cover it with soil, and water thoroughly.

What are Japanese anemone light requirements?

Japanese anemones prefer partial shade to full sun, although they generally thrive in bright, indirect light conditions.


The Anemone genus, often referred to as anemones or windflower plants, encompasses around 200 species of flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae. These perennial herbs are native to temperate zones and exhibit a wide range of forms, from low-growing plants to tall, freestanding types. Anemones are cherished by gardeners for their charming, poppy-like flowers that bloom in a variety of vibrant colours, bringing a splash of life to gardens in spring, summer, or autumn depending on the species.

Anemones thrive best in locations with well-draining soil and varying levels of sunlight exposure depending on the species. For instance, woodland anemones, such as Anemone nemorosa, prefer shaded conditions, mimicking their native forest habitats, while others, like the Mediterranean Anemone coronaria, prefer sunnier conditions.

Careful consideration of the specific needs of your chosen anemone species, regarding sunlight exposure, soil type, and watering regimen, is crucial to successfully growing these plants. They are fairly easy to cultivate, given suitable conditions, and reward gardeners with their vibrant, long-lasting blooms.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Anemone plants. You may also enjoy the following Species specific Anemone Gardener's HQ growing guides: Anemone coronaria, Anemone sylvestris, Anemone blanda, and Anemone hupehensis.