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Article: How to Grow Anemones

How to Grow Anemones

How to store corms

Anemones do not need pre-chilling. To replicate their natural warm dry Mediterranean dormant summer, store corms dry in your house until you're ready to plant.

When to plant

Anemones can be started from Autumn through to early Winter (early March–late June), depending on when you'd like to time their peak flush. They typically start flowering roughly 3–4 months from planting. Earlier plantings bloom for longer with longer stems than later plantings.


Where to plant

Anemones need a nice mostly sunny spot, with decent drainage. If you'd like to extend your season in spring—a little afternoon shade goes a long way to keeping them cool and happy for as long as possible. 



I typically space my anemones pretty tight together (about 10-15cm apart in the row and 20cm between rows). You could possibly space them further apart if in your general garden (vs cutting garden), but I do prefer their effect en mass planted tight in groups.



Anemones are pretty disease free, the only thing to watch for is in wet spells, old spent flowers can become a breeding ground for botrytis, which can then damage younger buds & flowers. This however can easily be avoided by regularly deadheading before old petals drop, and keeping plants well harvested/deadheaded especially before rain.


Aphids are very, very fond of aphids! So you will need to have a plan on how you're going to keep on top of them ready to go, as their population will explode out of control fast! The first flower buds are my usual sign I need to start scouting for aphids and as soon I spot any I know I need to promptly do something.

While insecticide sprays (organic or not) do the trick they are a lot of work as they will need repeating often to keep one step ahead of the aphid populations. So my favourite low effort control method is to use predator insects from Bioforce (Aphidius & especially Lacewings are my favourites). Predator insects are a little slower solution so timing their release before the aphid population gets out of hand is very important. I make sure to order my good bugs very early on, so they have a chance to establish their populations before the aphids have a chance to out number them.

Though if you do want to quickly and easily knock down the aphid populations, if they do get out of control, a quick thorough spray till dripping with soapy water is very effective (approx 1 tablespoon organic fragrance-free dish wash soap mixed with 1 litre water). But take care not to spray on hot sunny days, evenings or cloudy days are best.

Quails & rabbits also quite like eating anemone foliage and buds, so if they're around just make sure to cover or fence off your anemones so they can't get to them, this is especially important while they're establishing, once they're bigger they tend to be less tasty/appealing to them.


Harvesting flowers

Anemones typically start flowering about approximately 3–4 months after planting and bloom for about 4-6 weeks, and will go dormant once temperatures regularly get to around 20°C. They will keep flowering for the longest time, if kept harvested / deadheaded regularly.

Anemones are great long lasting cut-flowers, and can be harvested as soon as the flowers open. Flowers open during daylight and close at night, so if harvesting into bunches, it is best to harvest while they’re still tight in mornings or evenings, as open flower petals are more prone to damage.

For the best vase-life and biggest flowers the best stage to harvest is when the flower has just started to elongate from the green leaved collar below by 10mm (½ inch).

Once harvested the collar stem will continue to grow up to 8cm long! Anemone stems can kink overnight, but will stay straight (ish) if kept upright in a taller vase or rubber banded in bunches (one at the top under the flowers and one at the ends of the stems).



After faffing with all the pre-sprouting methods I thought I was supposed to do, I've since discovered anemones actually are very simple to get started:

For field plantings, wait until decent rain is forecast and plant a day or two before hand—but equally try not to time it for weeks of never-ending rain, as too much rain for too long might cause them to rot. If there's no decent rain in the forecast, you can replicate that initial soaking by soaking your corms before planting.

It's important not to risk drowning them, so getting a little oxygen in the water during this process helps reduce the chance of over doing and causing rot issues.

You can oxygenate the water 1 of 3 ways:

– Frequently changing out the water, at least every 30 mins.
– Leaving the water slightly running constantly (overflowing) into their container.
– Using an aquarium air pump/stones.

Whichever method you use, only soak them for 2-4 hours, until they're visibly plumper and almost double in size.

Plant the corms (pre-soaked or dry) straight in the ground (pointy side down), about 5–8cm deep (I like to include about 3-4cm of that as a compost mulch applied straight on top after planting). They should start popping up in about 3-4 weeks. If your garden beds are very dry you may need to water them to keep the soil moisture levels up, but it is in general better to lean drier than wetter (though neither extreme is great).

Anemones can benefit from any usual bulb/flower/tomato low nitrogen fertilizer when planted. A little extra calcium also helps grow stronger stems.


Pre-sprouted anemone ready for planting:

Pre-sprouted anemone - ready to plant

We like to plant our anemones out in trenches (helps us stay straight-ish with our rows, which makes for much easier weeding/hoeing):Planting anemones

About a month after planting pre-sprouted anemone corms, the first flowers are always a little on the short side:
Anemones Sprouting

First flowers about 2 months after planting pre-sprouted corms (about 3 months after first soak/starting):
First Anemone Flowers

Full flush about a month after first few flowers:
Full anemone flush


Hi there
Any advice on growing anemones from seed?

Lyndy —

Hey just wondering if we should put our anemone corms in the fridge before planting?

Amber —

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