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Reliable, colourful and easy Anemone

In the flower bed Anemone coronaria will produce flowers over a period of several months. It is also an excellent subject for container gardening.

In the flower bed Anemone coronaria will produce flowers over a period of several months. It is also an excellent subject for container gardening.

Anemones have rich bright colours that are great for mass colour in garden beds in sunny positions. Anemones also make great cut flowers and produce successions of blooms over a long period.

The Anemone family is a large one (over 120 species), but it is Anemone coronaria, which is the gem of the Autumn planting selection. Best known and generally sold as a ‘bulb’ the ‘bulbs’ are more correctly described as tubers.

Anemone coronaria (poppy anemone, Spanish marigold, “dağ lalesi” in Turkish, “Kalanit” in Hebrew, “Shaqa’iq An-Nu’man” in Arabic) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Anemone, native to the Mediterranean region.

It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 20-40 cm tall (rarely to 60 cm), with a basal rosette of a few leaves, the leaves with three leaflets, each leaflet deeply lobed. The flowers are borne singly on a tall stem with a whorl of small leaves just below the flower; the flower is 3-8 cm diameter, with 5-8 red, white or blue petal-like tepals.

The best value-for-money bulbs available, anemones flower for an extended period each spring.  They are among the earliest bulbs available each year.

The mid-green foliage is finely serrated. They bloom in early to mid-spring and look good when paired with the vibrant sunset tones of ranunculus. The similarity of height, flower, and habit makes a happy combination.

PLANTING

Early planting will provide welcome mid to late winter flowers, while later planting will give early to mid spring flowers.  Partial shade is tolerated, and can help produce longer flower stems.

When purchased, anemones will be hard and dry, as they are in a very dormant state.  To help break their dormancy and ensure reliable germination and flower production, anemone corms should be refrigerated for six weeks prior to planting. Put them in the fridge in a paper bag, not an airtight container.

Anemone corms will generally have a cone shape, and the point of this should be planted downwards.  The small tuft visible on the wide flat end is not last year’s roots, but the remains of last year’s flower stem.

After refrigeration, soak the tubers overnight in tepid water to rehydrate them and plant them out into a well-drained mixture in seed trays. Keep moist, but do not overwater.  Transplant out when the plants are 3-4 cm high. Space plants around 10 cm apart.

Stagger the planting of your Anemones to increase their flowering period.

The tubers can be harvested and reused the next year, but the tubers available for sale are younger with more vigour and will give better results. It is probably best to treat anemones like an annual plant and start off with new tubers every year.

CARE WHILE GROWING

Anemones like to be well fertilised while growing. Either a general purpose fertiliser or a specific bulb fertiliser would be quite suitable.  Composted animal manure is also good.  Water to keep just moist, not wet.

FLOWERING

Kept adequately watered with a little fertiliser applied every month, the plants will produce flowers over a period of several months.  Anemones will have a longer vase life if they have been through two or three opening and closing (day and night) cycles on the plant before cutting.

CONTAINER GARDENING

Anemone coronaria is an excellent subject for container gardening and is a reliable performer. For Autumn planting fun and great container charm, Anemone Coronaria remains a winner.