Anemone Planting Guide

Love the look of anemones? (Really, who doesn’t?) Great for edgings and cut flowers, these fluttery sweeties are easy, dependable spring bloomers. Just choose the right type of anemone for your region and you’re all set.

Planting Information

Choosing Anemones for Your Part of the Country

You’ll find two types of anemones on this site: the blanda or windflowers and coronaria or poppy anemones. The blanda type is ideal for cooler regions of the country and easily handle the frigid winters of zone 4. Coronaria anemones are well suited to areas with cool springs and warmer winters; these can be planted where the soil doesn’t freeze, in zones 7-10. Sadly, neither type of anemone tends to thrive in the deep south.

Choosing a Growing Site

Choose a site with full sun to partial shade for your anemones. Windflowers are happier in partial shade than are poppy anemones.

Soil Prep for Anemones

Look for a site where the soil drains well. Anemones grow well in average garden soil, and as with most bulbs, good drainage is important to help avoid bulb rot. Note: we do not recommend amending the soil with bone meal as it encourages pets and pests to dig up the bulbs you just planted.

When to Plant Anemones

The anemones sold here have been grown, harvested and conditioned for autumn planting. Plant your bulbs any time in the fall after the soil has cooled from summer’s heat.

How to Plant Anemone Bulbs

Start by soaking your bulbs for about 3 hours to soften the tough outer skins and plump up the dehydrated bulbs. Add some room temperature water to a bowl in the sink, place the bulbs in the water and let the faucet run just a little to add oxygen to the water. This increases sprouting success significantly.

Loosen the soil to 4” deep and add a handful or two of compost to the soil you removed. Place a bit of the amended soil back into the holes and plant your anemone bulbs 2 to 3 inches below the soil line. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which end is which on these bulbs, so just plant them on their sides and they’ll right themselves. Refill the hole with soil, pat to eliminate air pockets and water well to settle the soil around the bulb.

For spacing, place the bulbs 5 to 6 inches apart.

During the Growing Season

Anemone plants need about 1” of water a week from rain, irrigation or a combination of the two.

At Season’s End

After flowering, your anemone foliage will photosynthesize and create food for next year’s show. Don’t snip it off; let it do its work. As spring transitions into summer, the bulbs will go dormant and the foliage will yellow. Feel free to remove the spent leaves at this point. Anemones don’t need, nor benefit from, any extra moisture during the summer. When fall temperatures cool, the bulbs will develop new roots and will wait for spring rains and warmth to prompt the next cycle of growth and blooms.

Insider Tips

  1. Plant 5 to 6 inches apart.
  2. Windflowers are excellent for planting in perennial beds to bridge the bloom window between spring bulbs and early summer perennials. These plants also do well in dappled shade, like that found under limbed up deciduous trees.
  3. Both types of anemones here have pretty, lacy foliage.
  4. Poppy anemones look great in a vase for up to 10 days. Snip when the flowers are mostly open and add floral preservative to the vase water to ensure that petal color is retained.
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Success Snapshot

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Average soil

Depth: Plant 2-3” deep

Water: Average moisture

Uses: Garden beds and cutting gardens

Tip: Read to see which of the two types of anemones here are the best fit for your part of the country

GUIDE: Anemone Planting Guide

They Start Out looking Like This: