A quick guide on how to grow Japanese Anemone.

Japonese Anemone Photo: Jan Bjerring
Japanese Anemone Photo: Jan Bjerring

 

Few plants can send up a succession of flowers from August until late October and look elegant at every stage, whether tight bud, long-lasting flower or neatly spherical seed head.

But the Japanese Anemone manages it perfectly.

Photo by. Dorte F License: Creative Common
Photo by. Dorte F.   License: Creative Common

 

This distinctive plant reaches 90cm (3ft) tall.

The term Japanese Anemone is misleading. A. hupehensis is actually a native of Hupeh province in eastern China, but it was grown in Japanese gardens for centuries, hence the confusion.

 

Robert Fortune (1812-1880) introduced it into Europe in 1844, having apparently discovered it running between the tombstones in a Shanghai graveyard.

It was one of several long-lived, ethereal plants used to commemorate the dead. In the garden setting, too, they seem to enjoy popping up through stonework or paving close to buildings or paths.

All plants given the species name hupehensis are distinctive; the five rounded, evenly spaced petals form branching heads of simply shaped flowers.

If several are grown together they will produce seedlings and most named forms are natural selections, rather than deliberate crosses.

 

Growing tips

Japanese Anemones can colonise large areas and become almost thuggish, rapidly reappearing if you try to eradicate them.

But, despite their robust and long-lived qualities, they can also be difficult to establish because they dislike disturbance. When buying, go for well-grown, larger specimens and plant them in rich friable soil in semi-shade. If conditions are not ideal, they creep towards cooler soil, then romp away.

How to propagate

Well-established plants are best left untouched, but if you do want to increase them, lift the offshoots from the main plant just as they emerge in late spring and pot them up in a soil-based compost, preferably in plastic pots to keep the roots cool.

These can be planted out in mid-summer. Root cuttings can also be taken in early winter: lay sections of root out flat on the surface then cover these with compost.

(Source: The Telegraph/gardening)

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