Autumn anemones come in all colors from white to pink and red. We introduce you to the most beautiful autumn anemone varieties and tell you what you should consider when planting and caring for Anemone hupehensis.
The species Anemone hupehensis, A. japonica, and A. tomentosa are often summarized under autumn anemones. While most perennials wither in late summer and autumn, the autumn anemone really gets going. This makes the perennial an eye-catcher in the autumnal garden. We show you which decorative varieties are available and how you can cultivate autumn anemones in your garden.
Autumn Anemones: Flowering Time, Origin, And Characteristics
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The special feature of the autumn anemones is their flowering time. Early varieties show their flowers in July, but most varieties will decorate your garden with filigree flowers until the end of October. The simple to double flowers shows themselves in a brilliant white over pink to a strong red.
The species Anemone hupehensis is originally native to China and Taiwan, while the species Anemone japonica is mainly found in Japan. Many cultivars are hybrids of these species and are usually called Anemone hupehensis. Already in the 19th century, the first autumn anemones came to Europe. Since then, they have enjoyed growing popularity and new cultivars are being bred all the time.
Depending on the species and variety, the inflorescences of the perennials grow between 60 and 150 cm high. The leaves are slightly hairy and serrated. Autumn anemones are robust and resistant to diseases, which makes them an easy-care colorful spot in your garden. After about two years, the plant has become accustomed to its location and appears in its full splendor.
Autumn anemones reproduce not only through seeds but especially through root runners, so-called rhizomes. Therefore they take a dominant role in the bed.
Are autumn anemones poisonous?
All parts of the autumn anemones are slightly poisonous on contact and if swallowed. Therefore, we recommend avoiding contact with the skin when handling fresh autumn anemones. Consumption, especially by children or pets, must also be prevented, as the poison has a negative effect on the nervous system.
Are Autumn Anemones Hardy?
Autumn anemones are completely hardy. In the first two years after planting, we recommend that you protect the perennials from wind and cold over the winter with a layer of leaves or brushwood. Planting in spring helps the autumn anemone to survive the first winter better. But once the plant is established, winter protection is no longer necessary.
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Autumn Anemone Varieties
When choosing the right variety for your project, you should first consider whether you want to plant the autumn anemone in a bed with other perennials or plant them separately. Autumn anemone varieties of the species Anemone tomentosa tolerate partial shade well, are much more robust, and are therefore well suited as bed partners.
The varieties of the species Anemone hupehensis prefer a single planting or at least a lot of space to expand. White autumn anemones have the reputation to be a little more demanding in their care than pink or red-colored ones. Therefore we recommend the colored varieties for inexperienced perennial gardeners.
Anemone Japonica: The most beautiful varieties of Japanese autumn anemone – Honorine Jobert
The white variety Anemone Japonica ˈHonorine Jobertˈ impresses with a strong flower formation with semi-double flowers. The flowering period is from August to October. The perennial shows a compact growth with inflorescences of a maximum of 110 cm height. The ˈHonorine Jobertˈ prefers acidic soil. The variety is well suited as a planting partner in a bed or on the edge of a hedge. It tolerates partial shade very well.
The variety Anemone Japonica ˈPrinz Heinrichˈ shows strong magenta red-colored flowers from September to October. The flowers are semi-double and only reach a height of up to 80 cm, which makes ˈPrinz Heinrichˈ a very compact variety. It copes well with both full sun and partial shade.
The semi-double flowers of Anemone japonica Queen Charlotte stand out for their pink coloration. The flowers can be admired from September to November, which makes this variety one of the latest autumn anemones. The overall growth can be classified as vigorous. The perennial prefers nutritious, humus-rich soils.
Anemone japonica Andrea Atkinson is a white-flowered autumn anemone. The flowering period is from September to October. The inflorescences grow up to 120 cm high. Andrea Atkinson prefers a semi-shady location with loose, humusy soil.
Autumn anemone varieties in white, pink, and magenta – Whirlwind
The white-flowered hybrid Whirlwind, also known under the English name Whirlwind, attracts attention with its propeller-like twisted petals. The flowering begins in September and ends only in late October. This variety prefers partial shade and even gets along well in shady areas. The growth is lush with a height of up to 120 cm.
The charming variety Anemone hupehensis September Charme, with its pink flowers, shows a protruding growth with a height of up to 80 cm. The flowers can be admired from August to October. The location should have acidic soil and only a little direct sunlight.
As the name Anemone hupehensis overture already suggests, the special feature of this variety is its early flowering from July. The flowers are pale pink, not double, and can be admired until September. The inflorescences are up to 110 cm high. Overall, this variety is very expansive in growth. The pH value of the soil should be in the neutral range and the location may be sunny to semi-shady.
The variety Anemone tomentosa Serenade stands out for its vigorous growth and height of up to 150 cm. The semi-double flowers convince with dark pink coloration. A special feature of the flowers is their light scent, which most autumn anemone varieties do not have. The flowering time is from August to October. This variety is particularly undemanding and thrives in sunny as well as semi-shady locations with slightly acidic to neutral soils.
Planting Autumn Anemones: Location, Time
Most autumn anemone varieties thrive best in sunny to slightly shady locations. Direct sunlight promotes flower formation. The varieties have slightly different pH requirements for the soil. Most autumn anemones prefer neutral to slightly acidic, loose, and humusy soil.
The optimal time to plant autumn anemones is spring. During this time the water supply is usually sufficient without further irrigation and the plant has enough time to establish itself until winter is approaching.
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Since most varieties show protruding growth, we recommend choosing a place where the plant can spread. The rhizomes of the autumn anemone enhance this characteristic. Therefore, when planting, it is advisable to use a rhizome barrier, also called a root barrier.
To do this, dig a hole with a diameter of about 60 cm and place a plastic bucket or pot in this hole where you have cut off the soil. The resulting ring should end about 2 cm above the surface. In the middle, you can plant your autumn anemone. You can also add a ring of perennials so that the high inflorescences will not fall over in heavy rain.
If after a few years you would like to have autumn anemones in another location, you can cut off part of the perennial in early spring and plant it in another place. This way you can easily propagate your autumn anemones.
Autumn Anemone Care: Our Tips
The good news first: Autumn anemones are extremely easy to care for. Diseases or pests are usually no problem. For lush flowering, we recommend that you pay attention to a high humus content in the soil and a good supply of nutrients.
With a mulch layer of leaves in autumn or other chopped cuttings, you enrich the soil with hummus. Predominantly organic fertilizer with a long-lasting effect is excellently suited for fertilization. This enables a consistent supply of the necessary nutrients to your autumn anemones.
In early spring, before the first new shoots appear, it is advisable to prune back annually. This involves removing all the above-ground shoots just above the surface of the earth. Pruning in the autumn is possible, but then you would cut off the decorative, woolly seeds of the autumn anemones.
A perennial bed is a real eye-catcher in every garden and impresses with many different flowers.