The Japanese Anemones
One of the most elegant and easy to cultivate flowering bulbous plants, the Japanese anemone also offers the advantage of flowering between September and October, when most of the other plants in the garden are slowing down their vegetation to prepare for winter. In reality the genre japonica anemone it does not exist, it is simply a fictitious grouping, which brings together some species of autumn-flowering anemones, originating in China, such as Anemone hupehensis, Anemone vitifolium and Anemone tomentosa; from the crossing of these species today the Anemone x hybrida species has been obtained, also commonly called Japanese anemone. It is a perennial herbaceous plant, which produces strong underground stolons; the vegetation begins to develop in late summer, and from the stolons develop thin erect stems, which bear large glossy leaves, of a light green color; at the arrival of the cool autumn, the stems lengthen up to 60-80 cm and at their peak carry some large flat flowers, 6-8 cm wide, white or pink. The botanical species have flowers with six petals, with a golden yellow center; hybrid species may also have double or stradoppi flowers.
Cultivation of the Japanese Anemone
This plant develops best if placed in the ground, where the stolons are free, year after year, to widen and thus to widen the patch of anemones; in fact it is possible to cultivate these plants even in pots, only if they are placed in large containers, with a minimum diameter of 25-35 cm. They prefer the shaded positions, or in any case where most of the plant is not hit by the direct rays of the sun; although it can develop in any soil, it is preferable to plant these plants in a good universal soil, mixed with little sand and peat, in order to guarantee good drainage and a soft and deep soil, where the roots of the japonica anemone can spread without problems.
Let us not worry if our anemones do not bloom in the first year, they usually take at least 2/3 years to stabilize and start giving us abundant buds.
The period of greatest development of the Japanese anemone occurs during the autumn, when the climate guarantees us a good dose of rainfall; if instead the season was particularly dry we remember to lightly water our anemones.
Every 5-6 years we can intervene by extracting pieces of stolon from the ground and taking some portions, which we will root in a sheltered and fresh place, in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts; remember however that the anemones do not like to be repotted, moved or uprooted, and therefore also the removal of part of the roots can cause the absence of flowers in the following flowering season.
Japanese anemone - Anemone japonica: The cold winter
These anemones do not fear winter frost, even though most of the vegetative part disappears during the adverse seasons; therefore it is convenient to place the plants in a flowerbed where other essences are present, which will cover the space left free by the japonica anemone during winter and spring; if we live in areas with a decidedly harsh winter climate we can shelter the anemones from the cold by covering the ground at the base of the stems with straw or pine bark, thus preventing low temperatures from ruining the stolons.
In general, however, anemones prefer cold to warm, so in regions where the winter climate is cold, but not excessively harsh, we should expect the plant to be in perfect vegetation from September to June, while it may show leaf burns during the summer. or even complete drying of the aerial part during the hottest months; let's not worry if this happens: at the end of summer the arrival of the cool and of the precipitations the anemone japonica will start to vegetate again quickly.