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Great Design Plant: Japanese Anemone
This autumn bloomer's showy white blossoms add spark to your late-season plant mix
Houzz Contributor. Hi There! I currently live in a 1920s cottage in Atlanta that I'll describe as "collected." I got into design via Landscape Architecture, which I studied at the University of Virginia. I've been writing about design online for quite a few years over at Hatch: The Design Public Blog.
Houzz Contributor. Hi There! I currently live in a 1920s cottage in Atlanta... More »
By fall, most people have resigned themselves to saying goodbye to blooms in their perennial gardens until spring. However, there are many choices for fall flowers beyond chrysanthemums. The Japanese anemone is a beautiful plant that provides abundant foliage throughout spring and summer, then explodes with tall white flowers in the fall. Whether you're planting them in a clump, lining a fence or adding white blossoms to the fall garden, these beauties are worth looking into.
Botanical name: Anemone hupehensis
Common name: Japanese or Chinese anemone
USDA zones: 4 to 8 (find your zone)
Water requirement: Needs moist but well-drained soil
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade. The farther south you are, the more shade they need, and vice versa.
Mature size: 1 to 5 feet high
Benefits and tolerances: Can survive cold winters
Seasonal interest: The base of the plant has lovely leaves from late spring through summer, then the white flowers bloom in autumn.
When to plant: Early fall or spring after the last frost
Distinguishing traits: What separates this anemone from so many others is that it's a fall bloomer, providing rare white flowers after many other summer blooms have died. Some variations and hybrids have flowers in a range of pinks and lavender.
The base of deep green trifoliate leaves adds foliage to the garden through spring and summer, while the tall blooms add flowers at 3 to 4 feet high.
The flowers themselves are exquisite. White sepals surround a circle of yellow stamens.
How to use it: Japanese anemones can be mixed carefully into a perennial garden to provide fall flowers. They also add white blooms to a colorful fall flower mix.
The plant also works well in a cottage garden, especially along a picket fence. It looks great in large clumps — just remember that these clumps will be flower free all summer.
Anemones also have a delicate and exotic look that makes them perfect for Asian-style gardens. They are a good choice for rock gardens and gardens along woodland edges.
Planting notes: Anemones need fertile, well-drained soil and thrive best when they receive morning sun and at least some afternoon shade.
• Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart.
• Dig a hole that is the same depth as the container.
• Shake soil from the plant loose and place the plant gently in the hole.
• Add soil to fill.
• Water the plant — soil should be kept moist but not wet.
• Mulch around the plant to help keep the soil moist.
Ideabook published on Aug. 23, 2012.
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