Anemone Information – Care and Maintenance

Basic information about Anemone.  Includes Origin, Growing & Cultivation, Common Pests & Diseases, Interesting Facts & Uses,  and Garden Design Tips.

Anemone Origin

anemone madonna
Anemone ‘Madonna’

The botanical name, Anemone, is taken from the Greek for ‘daughter of the wind’.

The common name of ‘windflower’ also references the idea that this flower delicately dances in any breeze that appears!

This is a large genus of about 120 species, all native to temperate zones around the world.

Growing and Cultivation

There are two distinct types of Anemone; one group of spring-flowering, with tuberous/rhizome roots, and another group of summer-to-fall flowering, fibrous root plants.

All Anemones prefer partial shade (can tolerate full sun in cool, northern climates) and moist, well-drained and fertile soils.

As a woodland plant, most species naturalize easily (though not quickly) and spread via root runners under the soil.  It’s recommended to cut back windflower stems to the ground prior to new growth in the spring.

Spring is the best time to divide rhizomatous varieties; for fibrous ones, it’s best to do in summer during their more dormant period.  Do not divide too often! Many gardeners only divide Anemone every 2 to 3 years.

The varieties we at HostasDirect focus on are spring-flowering, rhizomatous plants.

Common Pests and Diseases

anemone pamina
Anemone ‘Pamina’

These plants can be susceptible fungal or viral infections – any strangely contorted or colored leaves should be investigated.  Anemones can also see cutworm damage,  the work of the larvae of a few moth species.  There are commercially available treatments for fungal problems and preventatives for cutworms.  Viral infections are incurable, and usually result in the loss of the plant, unfortunately.

Interesting Facts and Uses

Anemone has it’s own origin myth!  In Greek mythology, anemone flowers were created when the goddess Venus sprinkled nectar on the blood of her fallen lover, Adonis, according to Ovid.

These blooms make excellent cut flowers, lasting up to 9 days in a vase! It’s recommended to cut them in the morning, while it’s still cool and the flower is closed.  When you bring it inside, fill the vase with room-temperature water and keep out of direct sunlight and it will open up!


Garden Design Tips

anemone garden by H. Zell
Anemone in a garden by H. Zell

Anemone’s compact mounds of finely-cut foliage complement any wide-leaved shade perennial, such as Hostas, Heucheras, and Brunneras.

They prefer woodland settings, and look great in drifts around trees and shady beds – Anemones work well for mass planting, since they spread slowly.

Purchasing Anemone

To purchase varieties of this plant, please visit our Shade Companion Plants Page.