Fall’s Hidden Garden Gem: Japanese Anemone

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Looking for something a little unexpected in your fall garden? Let us introduce you to Japanese anemone!

Japanese anemone (Anemone hupehensis) is a perennial native to China and cultivated in Japan that features large double-petaled blooms from late summer through fall. The Japanese anemone flowers are shaped like a saucer with a prominent yellow center filled with pollen that stands a top of tall, sturdy stems. Anemone is a highly versatile cottage garden staple that can be used in rain gardens, beds, borders, hedges, and more.

One of the unique features of Japanese anemones is their ability to flower well into the autumn season, showing off vibrant, colorful displays just as other perennials and shrubs transition to golden fall hues. Adding Japanese anemones to your garden can bring cheery summertime vibes to your landscape even as things are cooling down! 

Aside from the stunning fall color, the Japanese anemone is a deer-resistant, adaptable pollinator magnet. Here, we’ll dig into how to grow this garden gem yourself.

white japanese anemone

How to grow Japanese anemone:

  • Soil: Rich, loose, well-draining soil with consistent moisture is preferred.
  • Light: Japanese anemone plants require (6+ hours sun) to part sun (4-6 hours sun). They can be grown in full sun in cool climates if the soil stays moist. Warmer climates should grow them in part sun, where they receive shade in the afternoon.
  • Water: This plant requires consistently moist soil but does not tolerate standing water. Water your Japanese anemone plants with a light hand.
  • Spacing: Japanese anemone plants can grow to medium size, so space plants between 1.5-2 feet apart.
  • Fertilizing: Apply a slow-release fertilizer to your Japanese anemone plants in spring for the best performance.
  • Winterizing: Apply an extra layer of mulch in the fall to prevent frost heaving.
  • Maintenance & pruning: Japanese anemone is an extremely low-maintenance perennial with few pest or disease problems. Routinely deadhead to encourage more blooms and that’s it! If desired, plants may slowly spread by rhizomes, which can be easily transplanted to new areas.
pink Japanese Anemone flowers

Long-lasting color in the garden!

Japanese anemone features an extremely long-blooming season compared to other perennials and can flower for up to 8 weeks. Their first bloom comes mid to late summer and continues well into autumn. If planted in moist, well-drained soil with plenty of sun, some Japanese anemones can spread up to 4ft wide within just a few years.

They come in many different varieties and colors, including pink, white, purple, and more. The vivid hues of pink and purple shades make Japanese anemone a major standout against brown, yellow, and red fall colors. With its various colors and shapes, nearly anyone can find a Japanese anemone to work in their perennial bed or cut-flower garden.

What plants pair well with Japanese anemone?

Many easy-care plants pair well with Japanese anemones and share similar growing requirements, including:

Pink Japanese Anemone flower

Shop Japanese anemone plants:

Written by: Lindsey Griffith, click here to read bio.

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