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A quick guide to Anemones

Anemones are a stalwart of garden plants - with varieties that can add interest from early spring right through to autumn. Anemones include both early-flowering bulbs and late-flowering perennials. Both types have open, usually cup-shaped flowers, sometimes double or daisy-like with many petals.

Depending on the type, they can be grown in borders, around trees and shrubs, or in containers.

Here we're talking about the perennial variety - a variety that is really easy to grow - and for that reason alone I love them!

They typically have pink or white flowers from the late summer and into autumn and can grow to a height of between 50-150cm (20in–5ft). They love rich soil and plenty of water, and look great in borders that are in sun or partial shade.

Here's one of my absolute favourites - Frilly Knickers!

Plants sold by Plant a Border Frome
Anemone Frilly Knickers

They look great in most styles of garden, including city and courtyard gardens, and cottage and informal gardens, and in containers flower borders and beds. They look great everywhere!

For now we're talking about Japanese Anemones. These are a variety of perennial that is that is easy to grow and that will reward you with an abundance of pink or white flowers from late summer and into the autumn. The flower stems stand 50–150cm (20in–5ft) tall.

Looking resplendent in all types of garden, anemones thrive in both sun or partial shade, They love rich soil and need a fair degree of watering or rainfall. You can get free plants from taking root cuttings and as they have a tendency to spread you get a lot of plant for your money.

Planting and care:

Japanese anemones are best planted in spring or autumn, when the ground is moist and warm. This means they settle in well.

However they can be planted at other times too - especially when they are in full flower. That way you get instant colour, but bear in mind that they may be slower to get established, and will need regular watering. As with most perennials it's best to avoid planting when the weather is particularly hot or dry.

They're vigorous plants that do best in rich, fertile soil. So before planting, dig plenty of compost into the planting area.

Anemones like partial shade but they will also grow in sun, as long as they don’t dry out. They like plenty of rain, but don't let them get waterlogged.

They have a tendency to spread, so keep an eye on them and don’t plant them in areas where that might cause a problem.


  1. Space your plants about 0.5m apart.

  2. Dig a planting hole the same depth as the root ball and twice as wide.

  3. Add back the soil and gently heal it in around the plant.

  4. Water in to settle the soil and continue watering regularly, especially in dry weather. During the first summer mulch them with well-rotted organic matter to conserve moisture.

Ongoing care


Water regularly in dry spells during the first year to help them get established, especially if planted in spring or summer.


If your soil is rich then anemones shouldn't require feeding. A mulch with a layer of garden compost or well-rotted manure to conserve moisture and suppress weeds should be sufficient.

Keeping them tidy

Snip out the dead foliage and old flower stems in early spring, right at the base. Do this before new growth starts, so you don’t accidentally damage any emerging new shoots.

If possible, resist the temptation to tidy up faded growth in autumn, after flowering, as it provides valuable shelter for insects over the winter.

Even though the flower stems grow quite tall, they are sturdy and shouldn't need staking.


We have two options - both are quite straightforward, but are undertaken at different times of the year - one in the spring, the other in the autumn.


This is the easiest way to propagate well-established Japanese anemones and is best done in spring. The resulting plants will be exactly the same as the parent plant.

However, plants can be slow to recover and may take a year to start flowering again.

Taking root cuttings;

Anemones also grow readily from root cuttings taken in autumn. It’s best not to dig up the clump though, as this can cause growth to slow down. Instead, simply dig down beside it to find a fleshy root, and snip it off.

Short lengths of root should be laid horizontally onto trays of damp, free-draining potting compost.

The resulting plants should establish well and flower in a couple of years. They will be exactly the same as the parent.

Where can I buy them?

I’m so glad you asked that. We've been selling them at The Station Approach in Frome over the past few years and you can now, of course, buy them through Plant a Border.

We're planning to be at The Station Approach every first Saturday of the month from 8am until 1pm.

Use the Contact page to get in touch and we'll be happy to let you know what we're upto.

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