Japanese anemones are late-season bloomers, producing their charming white or pink flowers as summer turns to autumn. Earlier in the summer these perennials appear as attractive mounds of dark green foliage, but in August and September (and even into October) they send up many slender, wiry, branched stems topped with blossoms. Individual flowers are composed of a simple ring of petal-like sepals surrounding a bright yellow center. Japanese anemones spread from creeping rhizomes and are a natural for woodland gardens or perennial beds in dappled shade. Mix them with other late-blooming perennials like tall sedum, asters and toad lilies.
Common name: Japanese anemone
Botanical name: Anemone x hybrida
Plant type: Herbaceous perennial
Zones: 4 to 8
Height: 3 to 4 feet
• Sun: Full sun (in cooler climates) or partial shade
• Soil: Loamy soil with lots of organic matter
• Moisture: Evenly moist
• Mulch: A 1-inch layer of organic mulch like compost, shredded leaves or pine needles
• Pruning: None
• Fertilizer: A light application of fertilizer or compost in spring
• Root cuttings
Pests and diseases
• No major problems
• ‘Honorine Jobert’ was introduced over 150 years ago but is still a tried-and-true garden gem with a profusion of single white flowers.
• ‘September Charm’ is a vigorous selection with single rose-pink flowers.
• ‘Max Vogel’ has single to semi-double light pink flowers.
• ‘Whirlwind’ has semi-double white flowers and is slightly shorter (24 to 30 inches).
• The flowers also make elegant cut flowers for early autumn bouquets.
• Japanese anemones are not drought-tolerant and will suffer leaf burn in overly dry sites.
• Ornamental grasses that tolerate shade, such as hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra), make good companions to Japanese anemone.
All in the family
• Japanese anemone is a member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae).
• Other popular garden plants in the buttercup family include hellebores (Helleborus spp.) and clematis (Clematis spp.).
Where to buy
• Bluestone Perennials, Madison OH; 800-852-5243; www.bluestoneperennials.com
• Forestfarm, Williams OR; 541-846-7269; www.forestfarm.com
• Avant Gardens, Dartmouth MA; 508-998-8819; www.avantgardensne.com