Japanese Anemone- Winter Care

(Question)

Hi! I’ve planted a Japanese Anemone this June. It’s growing slowly but I think didn’t reach the expected size yet. It also didn’t flower. I planted it in the side of my entrance which is a shady area most if the day. Should I add fertilizer? I’ve read you have to mulch it in prep for winter. Should I do it? Any advice? I’m in Milton, ON.

(Answer)

Anemone x hybrida, commonly called windflower or Japanese anemone, is a hybrid category which includes a large number of hybrid pink or white flowered cultivars that bloom from late summer into fall (August – October).  This plant is best grown in rich, humusy,  moist, well-drained soil but will grow just fine in any garden soil. It’s not necessary to fertilize Japanese anemones. If you choose to fertilize, mulch with compost or any organic plant food in the spring.  Plants prefer to be planted in part shade locations with protection from the wind. Foliage tends to burn in hot, dry, sunny summer conditions. Avoid wet, poorly drained soils, particularly in winter as this may kill them off. Plants will appreciate a winter mulch in colder climates so go ahead and mulch. Note that plants may be slow to establish (2-3 years), but be aware that if they find the right site they will spread rapidly and can even be classed as invasive. These plants do not need deadheading and will continue to flower during the growing season (August to September). Foliage will blacken after a hard frost so many gardeners remove in late fall. On the other hand by leaving the stems and foliage some winter protection is provided.

No serious insect or disease problems trouble these plants. However, watch for leaf spot, powdery mildew, downy mildew, rust and leaf/stem smut. Good gardening practices such as removing dead foliage and weeds will help avoid such problems. Caterpillars, slugs and nematodes may be troublesome. Black blister beetles and Japanese beetles can defoliate plant foliage in some areas.

Further useful information can be found in the following article posted on our website at:

Winter protection for Japanese anemone?