Japanese anemone – planting, care and tips

Flower of a Japanese anemone
Flower of a Japanese anemone

When the summer says goodbye and the days get longer, the Japanese anemone comes up again with a lush bloom. In autumn, you have again color in the garden, while most plants are slowly preparing for winter. Since the Japanese anemone is very long-lived – certain varieties bloom up to 35 years on the same location – you will enjoy this plant for a long time.

Profile of Japanese anemone:

Scientific name: Anemone hupehensis

Plant family: buttercup family

Other names: Chinese anemone, thimbleweed, windflower

Sowing time: spring

Planting time: spring

Flowering period: September to October

Location: sunny to partially shaded

Soil quality: nutritious and moist

These information are for temperate climate!

Use as a medicinal herb:

Use as spice herb:

Use in: borders, cottage garden, natural garden

Winter hardiness: hardy

Plant characteristics and classification of Japanese anemone

Origin and occurrence of Japanese anemone

The Japanese anemone comes from Central and Southwest China and Japan.

Over a hundred years ago, only the wild species of the anemone hupehensis, A. tomentosa and A. japonica, which belong to the Japanese anemones, were available in the nurseries. Today, numerous new varieties have been created by crossing the three game species.

Plant order of Japanese anemone

The Japanese anemones are part of the genus of anemones (anemone). However, it is not a single species, but a group of perennials. Like all anemones, they belong to the buttercup family (Ranunculacea).

Characteristics of Japanese anemone


The plant reaches a height of up to 50-90 cm (20 and 36 in) and is slightly hairy.


The leaves of the Japanese anemone are three-part, roughly serrated and deeply incised, with some varieties also less distinct.


From September to October, panicles with up to 15 flowers sprout from the long flower stems, which consist of 5, sometimes 6 petals. The flowers reach heights of 5-6 cm (2 to 2.4 in). The color palette ranges – depending on the variety – from white to pink to purple.

Japanese anemone
Japanese anemone

Japanese anemone – cultivation and care


It is best to plant the Japanese anemone in a partially shaded spot.


Japanese anemones are very durable and easy to care for. They prefer a soil that is a little loamy, humus and nutrient rich, because this is how splendid flowers can develop.


If you like, you can multiply anemones by sowing. For some species, this is found in the white fruit stands that form the plants in autumn. The dark seeds are removed from the fruit stands and kept dry and dark until spring. In spring, they can then be placed in pots filled with growing soil. For the first year it is better not to leave them outside in the winter, but only to be planted in the following spring. Important: The young plant must be protected from drought and blazing sun.


Anemone hupehensis should always be planted in spring. Then the roots have enough time to dig into the earth. Perennials planted in autumn rarely survive winter.


Japanese anemones multiply by themselves in the bed by runners. In order not to destroy them, you must not chop around the plant. If you want to plant runners in another place, you can do this with so-called root cuttings. Simply cut off the runners, preferably in spring, and plant them again.


It is important that the soil is evenly moist and does not dry out so quickly, even in hot summers. Avoid waterlogging, otherwise it will easily rot.


Thimbleweed can cope with slightly nutrient-rich soils. Put some mature compost in the planting holes before planting. In spring you can also rake some compost into the soil.


Anyone who removes faded flowers regularly from Anemone hupehensis extends the flowering period. The main pruning should only be done in spring for all anemones.

Regular pruning of the plant in autumn is not mandatory, but quite possible. Provided that you do not attach importance to your autumn anemone ornamental in cold winters, spherical seed stalks. However, experience has shown that the dead stems quickly become mushy by spring. If you cut the plant close to the ground in the fall, you should put some spruce branches over it as frost protection in areas with cold winters or in harsh locations.

If you have not already cut the dead stems and seed heads of your fall anemone in the fall, there is time to do so in early spring beginning in late February or early March. By this time, the perennial’s stems are completely frozen and muddy after wet winters. Therefore, simply cap the above-ground parts of the plant a hand width above the ground.


Just give your autumn anemone enough water and nutrients – it will thank you with a lush bloom. In autumn, you should cut them back after flowering and protect them against the winter cold with a – not too thick – compost blanket.

Diseases and pests

Diseases or parasites are hardly an issue for Chinese anemones. Nematodes can cause damage to some varieties. Watery, yellowish spots on the leaves indicate an infestation. You should dispose of infected plants and change their location when planting.


Winter protection with autumn leaves is only recommended after flowering in very cold locations. If severe frost threatens, it is also advisable to cover the root area with spruce twigs.

Use in the garden

Chinese anemones can be easily combined with other perennials – there are no limits. Dream couples are created especially with high-contrast bed partners. The bright white autumn anemone, for example, can be combined well with the bright red colored foliage of the azalea. The pretty verbena (Verbena bonariensis) forms a fine, flower-rich network, which winds its flowers and stems around the anemone.


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