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Whether in early spring, summer or fall: The perennial species of the genus Anemone (Anemone) bloom at different seasons. The genus name is derived from the Greek word "anemos", the wind - probably because the fine flowers move at the slightest breeze. That is why anemones are often called anemones.
This very variable genus includes about 120 species, from low forest flowers to tall bedding plants, which grow depending on the species in both sunny and shady locations. Almost all of us are hardy. The buttercup plants (Ranunculaceae) have their natural habitat in the most diverse habitats, most of them in the northern hemisphere, a few but also in southern climes. Of course, most of the species occur in bushes, forests and shady rocky slopes of China, Japan and North America, the Great Forest Anemone (Anemone sylvestris) grows from Central Europe to the Caucasus and the Triptych Anemone (Anemone trifolia) and the Narcissus Anemone ( Anemone narcissiflora) are from southern Europe.
Among the best-known representatives of this genus are the Balkan anemone (Anemone blanda), the native anemone anemone (Anemone nemorosa) and the fall-flowering autumn anemones (Anemone hupehensis, Anemone japonica and Anemone tomentosa). In mild weather, the Balkan windflower opens its flowers in the clear shade already in February. Depending on the variety, it blooms in white, blue or even different shades of pink and grows between 10 and 15 centimeters high. A little later, the wood anemone follows with its small flowers, which is barely larger than the Balkan wood anemone. Its flowers are mostly white, some lovers varieties also bloom soft pink or in light lavender blue. The spring-flowering anemones prefer permeable, sandy-humic soils in the light shade, for example, among deciduous trees.
Between April and June, the Great Forest Anemone shows its bright white flowers. It is similar to the wood anemone, but with 40 centimeters growth height is significantly larger. After flowering, wooly seedlings form, which are also very pretty to look at. Although the name suggests that it feels more comfortable in shady areas, it can tolerate sun and dryness. Thanks to its ability to form foothills, the Great Forest anemone can grow very well in an optimal location. Therefore, it requires planting partners who keep this spreading urge in check.
The most beautiful and elegant representatives of this genus are clearly the autumn anemones. The three Asian-derived species Anemone japonica, Anemone hupehensis and Anemone tomentosa with delicate, partly translucent, filled or unfilled flowers in white, pink to carmine red, are starting in the semi-shady perennial flowerbed between July and October. Anemone hupehensis opens its flowers already in July, while A. japonica and A. tomentosa usually only open their delicate flowers in August, but they carry them into October. All three species are from Asia. They were already introduced to Central Europe in the 19th century, where they are enjoying ever greater popularity. For this reason, numerous breeding forms and several hybrid varieties are now available.
Autumn anemones thrive best in a loamy, humus and nutrient-rich soil in the semi-shade. They also tolerate sunny locations, but here the soil must be evenly moist. The advantage of a sunny location: The flowering is all the richer. After flowering, autumn anemones form very handsome, woolly seeds. The growth height of this anemone group varies between 50 and 120 centimeters. The up to nine-centimeter-sized cup flowers sit on filigree, but stable stems that rise above the leafy stile. This gives these perennials a very elegant appearance. Particularly beautiful varieties among the autumn anemones are, for example, the white-flowered 'Honorine Jobert' (Anemone Japonica hybrid) and the early-flowering, pink variety 'Praecox' (Anemone hupehensis).
Between July and October fall anemones are the flower stars in the bed, in the Anemone Japonica hybrids for example the pink variety 'Queen Charlotte' (left) or the elegant white variety 'Honorine Jobert' (right)
As diverse as the genus and the flowering period, so are the possible uses. The bush anemone and the Balkan anemone are well suited for the area-wide planting under woody plants. They spread over rhizomes and form over the years large stocks.However, as the spring bloomers move in early, the bed design requires a "Plan B", ie a second pile of shadow shrubs that covers the yellowing leaves in summer.
The tall autumn anemones are usually planted individually or as small groups. They once again provide color in autumnal perennial beds. Beautiful combination partners are, for example, Eisenhut (Aconitum), Silberkerze (Actaea), Funkien (Hosta) or the perennial sunflower 'Lemon Queen' (Helianthus Microcephalus hybrid), whose yellow flowers form a great contrast to pink-flowering autumn anemones. But even among the fine panicles of autumn-flowering ornamental grasses, the elegant flowers show their full advantage. In addition, the perennials are also good for the pot culture on the balcony because of their long flowering time.
The planting time for autumn anemones is in spring. So they can grow well until the winter and enjoy their flowering already in the first autumn. Here, the earlier the perennials are planted, the better they survive the first winter. If they are set late, a light winter protection is recommended. The rhizomes of spring-flowering anemones, however, are planted in the fall. Since they dry out easily, you should not store them for a long time after purchase and put into water before planting overnight.
Anyone who regularly removes blooms at Anemone hupehensis prolongs the flowering period. The main pruning should be done in all autumn anemones but only in the spring.
The first species from the anemone genus, the Balkan windflower (Anemone blanda) opens its small flowers in February
Autumn anemones are very durable even without rejuvenation, but tend to spread over time. In order to make them smaller and at the same time keep offspring, they can be shared in spring. Thus, the plants have enough time until the summer to form new roots, and bloom again in the same year. If you want to reduce the size of the spring anemone's plant carpets, simply cut off a few pieces after flowering and reinsert them elsewhere - they will continue to grow easily.
In cold locations, autumn anemones should be protected with some foliage in the first two winters after planting and also with spruce in the case of bald frosts.
Further care tips
Autumn anemones are very robust and almost indestructible. The leaves of the bush windrose occasionally turn yellow, because the soil is too alkaline. In this case, sprinkle a little bit of sprig, leaf or bark compost as a mulch on the surface.
The wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa) forms large flowerbeds with time
Most anemone species are propagated by division. From root anemones also root cuts can be made. Propagation over seeds is to be recommended at most with the game types, since the descendants differ in the garden varieties in the appearance of the mother plant.
Diseases and pests
Occasionally anemones are attacked by aphids or mildew. More often, they are also nibbled by snails. If you discover dead tissue between the leaf veins of autumn anemones, this indicates an attack with nematodes.