To grow gorgeous spring blooms, you just need a little bit of knowledge about Grecian windflowers. They are easy to care for and thrive in the correct environment and temperature. Although windflowers are native to Europe’s high mountains, they have successfully adapted to a wide range of environments. They can grow in much of the United States, in zones 4-9.
Your windflowers can take little shade as well as full light for optimal growth. They prefer rich soil and require it to be well-drained. If your soil is bare, add compost before planting the bulbs, spacing them 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) apart and putting them about 3 inches (8 cm) deep.
Once the bulbs are planted in the ground, caring for Grecian windflowers is pretty straightforward. They can self-sow and endure summertime drought. Be prepared for them to disperse and cover spaces like a ground cover. There is no need to cut or remove any of the leaves because it will fall over the summer. Your bulbs will be better protected over the winter if you apply some mulch in the fall.
Under the correct circumstances, these lovely flowers will offer a special form of spring ground cover. But be mindful that Grecian windflowers are poisonous. If you have pets or kids playing in your garden, keep in mind that all portions of the plant can irritate skin and cause stomach problems.
When ought windflowers to be sown?
You should be ready for years of delicate beauty emerging from the ground if you have never planted a windflower. The spring windflower develops from a bulb known as a corm that resembles a giant truffle since it is a tuber. One corm can yield up to 20 blossoms, making them one of your garden’s most productive flowers. Plant the corms for spring flowering in the fall, before the first ground freeze, and allow up to three months for the flowers to bloom.
How deep should windflowers be planted?
Perennials in the genus Anemone called windflowers are typically cultivated from tubers or rhizomes, however they are typically paired with flowering bulbs. Grecian windflower or Anemone blanda is a typical species. Grecian windflowers are little plants that only grow 3 to 6 inches tall and are native to southeastern Europe. They have 1 1/2 to 2 inch broad, daisy-like flowers that are perky and occur in red, blue, pink, white, and other colors. Like the majority of windflowers, they flower in the spring. On the other hand, the Japanese windflower (Anemone hupehensi var. japonica), which may grow up to 36 inches tall, blooms from mid-summer to early October. Fall is the best time to plant windflowers, from late October through November.
- Perennials in the genus Anemone called windflowers are typically cultivated from tubers or rhizomes, however they are typically paired with flowering bulbs.
Choose the location for your windflower planting. According to the University of Illinois Extension, the optimal location should give some shade and wind protection.
Use a spade, garden fork, or rototiller to till the soil in the planting area to a depth of between 16 and 18 inches. Use a metal rake to sift through the soil and remove any weeds, sticks, or roots.
According to the earth’s texture, amend the soil where you will be planting. Over soil that feels gummy or clay-like, spread an even layer of compost or coarse sand between 3 and 4 inches thick. Lay spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of old manure or peat moss on top of sandy or light soil. Work the amendment into the soil until it has reached a depth of about 16 inches.
- Choose the location for your windflower planting.
- Use a spade, garden fork, or rototiller to till the soil in the planting area to a depth of between 16 and 18 inches.
For every 10 square feet of planting area, combine 5 tbsp of 4-10-6, 5-10-20, or an equivalent bulb-type fertilizer with 2 cups of bone meal in a bucket or bowl. Spread the mixture evenly over the soil, then completely incorporate it.
Make planting holes between 1 and 2 inches deep for the windflower tubers, spreading them 8 to 12 inches apart.
Per planting hole, plant one tuber of the windflower. The scarred or depressed part should face upward when planting. Each tuber should be covered with one to two inches of dirt.
- 5 tbsp. should be combined in a dish or bucket.
- For every 10 square feet of planting space, combine 2 cups of bone meal with a fertilizer of 4-10-6, 5-10-20, or an equivalent bulb-type fertilizer.
Since the water must percolate through the soil to the tubers, irrigate the windflowers thoroughly using a moderate stream of water. Wait until the first buds of spring to water the windflowers again. If there is no additional rainfall, provide 1 inch of water each week after that.
Apply 4 to 5 inches of pine bark, straw, grass clippings, or other similar material as mulch over the entire planting area in regions where winter lows reach -10 degrees Fahrenheit. Do this right after the initial hard frost.
Use the same bulb fertilizer you did in step 4 above to fertilize the windflowers once shoots appear in the spring. Spread the fertilizer widely, leaving about 2 inches between it and each windflower.
Because windflowers are deadly in all sections, keep them away from pets and young children.
How should a windflower plant be cared for?
- To thrive, windflowers require regular irrigation.
- The tall cultivars frequently require propping to prevent tipping over.
- All windflowers will look their best if periodically pruned of old leaves and spent flowers. After the foliage turns brown in the fall, trim the stems to the ground.
- Every few years, divide them in the fall.
Pests and Disease
Numerous diseases and pests can affect windflowers, but they are rarely deadly. The best course of action is frequently to cut the stalks to the ground and allow them to re-grow in the hopes that the pest will have moved on because the plants are supported by huge subterranean root systems.
Windflower leaf is a favorite food source for slugs and snails. Sluggo and other commercial deterrents work best for controlling these.
The worst pest to windflowers is probably nematodes. If these small organisms are allowed to accumulate in the soil, they can gradually weaken a plant by digging into the roots. Try soaking the soil in a nematocide if the leaves on your windflower are beginning to yellow and the plant appears feeble.
How are double windflower bulbs planted?
Instructions for planting: Soak in water for a few hours before planting. Any side up should be planted 2″ deep and 2–4″ apart. Moist yet well-drained, humus-enriched soil is required. Winter Care: In northern regions, lift in the fall for winter storage north of zone 6.
The Case for and against Japanese Anemones
Despite being referred to as “Japanese” anemones, this common moniker is somewhat misleading.
Anemones were transported from their native China to Japan in the distant past, where they naturalized in the wild. There, autumn-blooming plants were found by European plant collectors who mistook them for local Japanese species.
Japanese anemones are also known as windflowers, which describes the tiny flowers that float and dance in the breeze on tall, slender stems. The two to three inch-wide flowers are available in single, semi-double, and double varieties. Pure white, pink, lavender, and purple are among the color options.
The plants themselves have a lengthy lifespan and require little upkeep. Division is not often required.
These plants’ long bloom periods are one of their best qualities. Mid-to-late August marks the start of their flowering period, which lasts until the first frosts. The Japanese Anemones are still blooming and the leaves on the trees have all changed color, as shown in the photo above.
The drawback of Japanese Anemones is that they are perennial plants with a tendency to spread.
Many people could even consider them intrusive. A Japanese Anemone may require a year or two to establish itself. If the right circumstances are present, it will start to spread by creeping rhizomes. It will eventually naturalize and grow into a sizable colony. The soil has some bearing on how rapidly they spread. They will spread more slowly in denser, drier soil.
Because the roots of a Japanese anemone are shallow and fibrous, they can be cut out. Since root segments can regenerate, it’s crucial to harvest as many roots as you can.
Where you plant them is essential to perennials like these. Don’t expect them to get along with your weaker plants if you grow them next to them. Additionally, I’d be wary of putting them in an open space where it would be challenging to restrict them.
I went to a garden last weekend where she had raised island beds filled with her anemones. I thought it was the ideal location for them. They could only advance so far.
How to Grow Japanese Anemones
Although purchasing Japanese anemones now, when the flower is in bloom, is very alluring, it is actually preferable to plant them in the spring, when they will have more time to establish themselves before winter (particularly in more northern zones).
Fall-blooming anemones’ preferred lighting conditions are frequently listed on plant tags as “full sun” or “part shade.” This abbreviation doesn’t give nearly enough details. It is better to have light to medium shade with some morning sun. However, Japanese Anemones will endure more sun if the soil is wet (the exception would be in warmer zones, where protection from the hot afternoon sun is essential). Plants that receive too much shadow will become lanky and fail.
The ideal soil for Japanese anemones is one that is humus-rich, evenly moist, and well-drained (they aren’t bog plants. Regular water that drains out is preferred by them.
Anemones grow best in sheltered areas next to structures or up against fences in zones 5 and lower. In order to keep a Japanese anemone plant alive through the winter, it is also advised to mulch it every fall in areas further north.
Regarding staking these tall plants, I’ve read a variety of opinions. Those towering, flowing flower stems are a big part of their appeal. By pruning the plant in the first half of June, you can minimize its height. Additionally, flopping stems may indicate inadequate lighting.
A Few of the Cultivars Available
The most resilient and aggressively spreading of the fall-flowering anemones, Anemone tomentosa is a native of northern China.
Anemone hupehensis and Anemone x hybrida are thought to be the sources of the majority of current cultivars.
The anemone hupehensis plant is indigenous to central and southwestern China, where it grows along stream banks and on grassy slopes. Semi-double flowers are available on modern cultivars of Anemone hupehensis that are linked to species forms.
Anemone x hybrida, sometimes known as Japanese hybrids, is a hybrid between Anemone hupehensis and a Himalayan species (A. vitifolia).
Large, pink flowers on tall, branching stems of Anemone tomentosa ‘Robustissima’ turn into fluffy seed heads in the late fall. One of the strongest and hardiest cultivars is this one. Many would consider its aggressive, invasive habits to be invasive. It prefers rich, moist soil, much like all anemones do. partial shade Spread: 60-90 cm, Height: 90-120 cm (35-47 inches) (23-35 inches). USDA zone range: 3-9.
N. hupehensis On a smaller plant, ‘Pretty Lady Emily’ has huge double flowers that are a pale pink color. It prefers rich, moist soil, much like all anemones do. partial shade 30-40 cm (12-16 inches) in height, 50-60 cm in width (20-23 inches). USDA zone range: 5-9.
Can windflowers be grown in containers?
For wildflowers, any container that can hold soil will do. Before you start, make sure the container is tidy and dry. Make many holes in the bottom of the container to allow the water to drain if there aren’t any already.
Half whiskey barrels, plastic pots, or wooden window boxes provide excellent container options. Even old tires and wheelbarrows offer attractive locations to sow wildflowers.
How do windflower seeds appear?
Greek windflowers (Anemone blanda) are little flowers, about 4 to 8 inches tall, with deeply divided leaves and bright blue flowers in the shape of stars. Instead of producing a seedpod, plants group their seeds together into a spiky ball. Ripe seeds resemble woody grains and change color from green to brown. Because seeds are tiny, if they are not immediately harvested, they frequently blow away in the wind. USDA zones 6 through 10 allow for the self-seeding and perennial growth of these plants.
How are windflowers propagated?
Japanese anemones are propagated through root cuttings, as opposed to the majority of plants, which are propagated by stem or leaf cuttings. When the plants are dormant in the winter or early spring, root cuttings are taken. Use a garden fork to carefully dig up your plant. Pick a root that is robust and healthy-looking. Cut it off just below the plant’s crown. Then plant it again. Cut the root into pieces that are between three and six inches length.
The cuttings should be planted horizontally in a flat of moist soil, and the earth should be covered by 1/2 inch. To keep the soil moist, place the flat inside a plastic bag to create a miniature greenhouse. In a few weeks, fresh shoots ought to emerge. When they do, take the flat out of the bag of plastic. A sunny window should be used for the flat. You can transplant your new plants into your garden after the last frost, spreading them at least 24 inches apart.