What Are the Best Tips for Planting Anemones?

L. Whitaker

When planting anemones, two keys to success can be found in pre-soaking the bulbs and providing adequate water drainage. Soak bulbs in room temperature water for several hours or overnight before planting anemones, which encourages the plants to sprout quickly and develop a strong root network. Drainage is an essential aspect of planting anemones, whether they will be located outdoors or in a container, because anemones that sit too log in stagnant water tend to rot.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

Whether planting anemones in the ground or in a container, it is imperative to allow for good drainage. If the chosen ground planting site does not tend to drain thoroughly after rain, incorporate a layer of up to 3 inches (7.62 cm) of organic matter such as compost, manure, or peat moss to improve drainage. When planting anemones in a container, use a commercial potting mix and a container with sufficient holes for draining water.

Anemones should be planted up to 3 inches (7.62 cm) deep with the rounded side pointing downward. These flowering plants prefer an area with at least a half day of direct sunlight, but in the hottest climates they do best in a location with some afternoon shade. They do best in neutral or acidic soil with a pH in the range of 5.6-7.5. In colder climates, anemones will do best if they are started indoors and then transplanted well after frost danger has passed.

These plants form their roots in the autumn and produce flowers in the spring. In more temperate climates, some amount of foliage could form in the autumn as well. Anemones produce blooms in the spring. When the blooming season is over, leave the stems and leaves alone to continue the photosynthesis process, which leads to stronger bulbs. Once the leaves become yellow and wither, it will be time to cut down any remaining foliage.

The flowering period of anemones can be extended by deadheading or by harvesting blooms to use as cut flowers. For best results, cut the flowers in the early morning before the bloom has opened, then place them in lukewarm water indoors away from direct sunlight. Some sources state that cut anemone flowers can last up to nine days in a vase under good conditions.

About 150 species of anemone are available for gardeners. Anemone coronaria provides blue, white, or red blooms in a variety of single-petaled or double-petaled formats. Blooms of this variety, which tend to appear in early spring, can be as large as 2.5 inches (6.35 cm) in width. Anemone japonica is a much larger cousin of Anemone coronaria, as this variety can grow to be up to 4 feet (about 1.22 m) tall with white or pink clusters of flowers.

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Discussion Comments


@MrsPramm - The other option is to buy them as seedlings or already established in a container, rather than trying to grow them from bulbs.

Some people just don't have a green thumb, and that's OK. It's not necessary for everyone to grow things from scratch.


@Iluviaporos - It might be some other issue, like not enough sunlight (or too much if you live in a very hot region) but the most common problem tends to be not letting the soil drain enough.

If you are trying to grow them in a container, you might want to start by putting broken pieces of pottery in the bottom to give the water more room to drain out. You might also consider not watering them too much when they are still sprouting, especially in a humid climate.


Anemones are one of my favorite flowers but they seem to be very difficult to grow for some reason. I'm not sure what I keep getting wrong, but I've never been able to grow a good pot full of them without somehow messing it up.

I suspect the problem is that I don't provide them with enough drainage, because the bulbs just don't seem to sprout at all.

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