How to Grow Japanese Anemones

Japanese anemones are a late summer flowering perennial. They have saucer like flowers in shades of pink, white and cream and many varieties offered for sale are tall, 75cms plus ideal for planting towards the back of a boarder. Once established, Japanese anemones are easy to grow and maintenance free. Their leaves are almost silky in appearance, and they are long flowering from August through to October.

 Despite being on the tall side, Japanese anemones do not need staking unless grown in an exposed spot. Not unsurprisingly, its common name is windflower. They require no pruning, and it is not even necessary (although it may be preferable from the aesthetic point of view,) to deadhead them. Japanese anemones are a low maintenance plant and tagged green wheelbarrow.

Where to plant Japanese Anemones

The ideal growing conditions for Japanese anemones is in a sunny spot with partial shade so that plants do not get too hot. Grow in soil which is well-drained soil and which does not become water-logged. This is important as plants which are too wet over winter may not survive. If your garden is on the cold side, a winter mulch may help. They will tolerate some shade and also dry shade, which makes them a useful plant for difficult areas.

Once established, Japanese anemones can be a little invasive, although not seriously so in most UK growing conditions. Once planted, it is preferable not to move them as they dislike being disturbed. It can take a little time to get Japanese anemones established, but once they start flowering, they will do so reliably every year, and for a long flowering season. Japanese anemones are ideal for late colour in the border. They are one of the longest flowering perennials and also a long living perennials, which can be left undisturbed in your garden for many years. 

When the first frosts do come, it turns the foliage black, and at this stage the plants can be cut back for the winter.

If planted in partial shade, Japanese anemones look good with tall ferns and the larger varieties of Hosta. They will also mix well with other late flowering perennials such as Asters, Sedum, and the tall Verbena bonariensis. Illustrated below is a lovely planting combination with grasses.

Which varieties of Japanese Anemones to plant

It is often best to start with plants which have the RHS award of garden merit which is a guide to getting plant which is a good all round performer.

Anemone × hybrida 'Elegans' is a tall pale pink variety illustrated in the centre image. 

Anemone Japenese anenome hupehensis Pamina is a darker pink and illustrated on the left.

Anemone Honorine Jobert is a lovely white variety illustrated left all three have the RHS award.

Also with the RHS award not illustrated is Anemone hupehensis 'Bowles's Pink', Anemone hupehensis 'Hadspen Abundance' also pink,

Anemone × hybrida 'Königin Charlotte', a delicate light pink.

There are a number of Japanese anemones for sale on the crocus web site ( affiliate link) including a collection of lovely soft pink, magenta and cream blooms.

last updated 19.10.2021