How to Grow Pulsatilla Plants

Guide to Growing Pasque flower, Wind flower, and Anemone

Pulsatilla bloom in either spring or at the start of summer, and carry bell or cup shaped flowers, which may be red, yellow, white, purple or bronze in colour.

Their size makes Pulsatilla ideal plants for use in rock gardens or in dry stone wall gaps.

Some common names for Pulsatilla include Pasque Flower, Alpine Anemone and Spring Anemone.

Pulsatilla vulgaris
Pulsatilla vulgaris (Pasque Flower 'Papageno') by cliff1066™.

Pulsatilla Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Pasque flower, Wind flower, Anemone (Alpine; Spring), Easter Flower.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
  • Height: 6 to 12 inches (15—30 cm).
  • Native: North America, Europe, and Asia.
  • Growing Region: Zones 4 to 8.
  • Flowers: Species dependent: Spring, early summer.
  • Flower Details: Cream, white, yellow, purple, red, bronze. Drooping. Bell-shaped.
  • Foliage: Evergreen. Herbaceous. Feathery. Plumed seed-heads.
  • Sow Outside: Cover seed. Use fresh seeds. Summer. Germination time: one to six months. Seeds should first be sown into flats. 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 and to check if seedlings have emerged. Over-winter inside at Temperature: 60 to 70°F (15—21°C).
  • Sow Inside: No.
  • Requirements and care: Full sunlight or partial shade in hot areas. Good drainage. Alkaline pH. Rich, moist soil. Regular watering during dry periods. Water during prolonged dry spells. Regular watering during periods of growth. Do not disturb once established. Propagate: by taking cuttings from shoot tips.
  • Family: Ranunculaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Buttercups family: Aconitum, Adonis, Clematis, Consolida, Eranthis, Helleborus, Nigella, Ranunculus, and Trollius.
  • Miscellaneous: Highly toxic plant, used by native Americans to induce abortions. Can induce vomiting and diarrhea. Extracts are used in cough medicines and as sedatives.

How to Grow Pasque Flower and Other Pulsatilla

It is best to sow the seeds of Pulsatilla species such as Pasque Flower and Anemone outdoors (It is probably easier to grow them from cuttings). They should be sown in the summer time from fresh seeds into flats. These flats should be sank into the ground in a completely shaded part of the garden. The flats should then be covered in glass.

The germination of seeds should take from one to six months. At the end of autumn bring the flat indoors for the winter. If seedlings have emerged transplant them into the garden in the spring; if not replace the flat to its previous location and transplant any seedlings that emerge in the autumn.

Once ready transplant the seedlings (or perhaps use a plant bought from a garden center) at a distance of 20 to 30 cm apart into a sunny or afternoon shaded part of the garden. The soil that the plants grow in should be rich and slightly alkaline.

Caring for Pulsatilla

It is important that Pulsatilla plants grow in moist soil, so water them regularly. If you require more plants, then propagate by taking cuttings from shoot tips.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Pulsatilla plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Anemone hupehensis and Trollius plants.