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  • Writer's pictureLynn

Growing Japanese Anemones

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

"Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light, and dark which that thing provides.” ~Junichiro Tanizaki

A wonderful patch of white Japanese Anemones catching the morning light in our garden.
Japanese Anemones, 'Honorine Jobert,' catching the morning light in our garden.

Cathing the Day's First Light

Japanese Anemone, 'Honorine Jobert'
Japanese Anemone, 'Honorine Jobert'

A sea of delicate Japanese Anemones catching the day’s first sunlight in our garden. This little southwest corner of our garden is the first to catch the morning sunlight in the summer months. It first sets the pink Catchfly on fire, then a patch of Winecups and Mexican Sunflowers, and finally the grand finale, the Japanese Anemones on their tall elegant stems. The sunlight catches their already fiery yellow centers making them almost a shimmering blur. This is the third year for this patch and the tallest they have ever gotten having fully established themselves.

What's to Love

Japanese Anemones, also called windflowers for the way they sway in the wind atop their long beautiful stems, are a must-have favorite in my garden, even more so because they thrive in both part shade to full sun. They are a long-blooming perennial, though they take a few years to get established, are deer and rabbit resistant, and a magnet for butterflies. They are also free of any major pests or diseases and their foliage is beautiful even before they bloom.

Japanese Anemone buds just before bloom.
Japanese Anemone buds just before bloom.

How to Grow

Japanese Anemones are a perennial that grows to 3-4 feet tall. They come in several species and subspecies in both pink and white. My favorite is this wonderful white Honorine Jobert. They do well in both part shade and full sun. They like rich, well-drained soil, so top-up your garden compost and mulch each spring. Plant them in bunches of three or more as they take 1-2 years to really come in strong. Once established, they are long-lived perennials that spread through rhizomes and form colonies. Cut all of the stems back to the base leaves in late fall.

Macro photo of the stunning green center of a Japanese Anemone flower in a circle of gold and white.
Macro photo of a Japanese Anemone flower.

Where's Home

Japanese Anemones have been cultivated and naturalized in Japan for hundreds of years, but are actually a wildflower native to central China.

Photo Flower Pick

If you love garden photography, Japanese Anemones are one of the most beautiful flowers to photograph. They are so complex and at the same time elegantly direct.

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