Add fall color

Japanese anemones come on strong at end of the season

Japanese anemones (Anemone hupehensis japonica) are a welcome addition to add color to the end of our gardening season.

While other plants are going to seed and looking rather tired after our long, hot, dry summer, the airy flowers on the ends of tall stems seem to wave us back to the garden as we pass by. This is why they are called windflowers.

I have them planted on the east side of our house, where they get the morning sun and afternoon shade. I have another group planted in a bed that gets with full sun. The ones in the morning sun seem to be happier this year with the extreme heat and lack of rain.

Moist, well-drained soil amended with compost gives you the best flowers. Once established, they can tolerate some dryness. The challenge is to make sure the soil is well drained as anemones are prone to crown and root rot in wet winter soil.

I put a layer of mulch over my plants to help them survive the cold temperatures of winter. Besides ensuring that they live in well-drained soils, they grow down to Zone 4 — so they are a true perennial here.

Anemones spread by underground rhizomes and can pop up in unexpected places or become crowded in their beds. You can divide your anemones in early spring by digging up a few clumps and relocating them to a new garden bed.

Fall transplanting is fatal as they do not have time to get established in their new spot. You can take root cuttings in the fall. Just stick 3-inch-to-4-inch-long sections of roots vertically in moist sand. Keep them in an unheated basement for the winter.

As new growth starts to emerge in spring, move them to an area with filtered light until they become big enough to move to larger pots or into the ground. Make sure you harden them off before moving out to garden.

Anemones grow 2 to 5 feet tall and 1 to 3 feet wide, growing into flowers from white to many shades of pink. When


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