More commonly known as windflowers, Anemones make great additions to your garden. Thanks to their perennial nature, they are most often used as a decorative border.
While beautiful, these flowers are toxic, so be careful and always wear gloves if you invest in these flowers. They are dangerous to eat and can cause skin allergies when touched by bare skin.
Types of Windflowers
Windflowers get their name from how they blow in the wind, and they come in many different types. The flowers have fine petals, measuring 2-3 inches (5.1-7.6 cm) in diameter and feature a variety of colors. They can be anywhere between 6 inches (15.2 cm) to 6 feet (1.83 meters) tall, with deep green foliage to make the flowers pop. Let's explore eight of the most popular types of windflowers.
The Blue Poppy has a deep blue, purple-like color with a center to match. They almost look like poppies with their rounded shape and green foliage. Butterflies are attracted to these flowers, adding even more life to your garden. Blue poppies bloom in the spring and are resistant to deer.
Blue Poppies grow best in full sun with a medium amount of water. They look great in containers, flower beds, rock gardens, and borders. They are a low-maintenance flower, though take care while handling. Blue Poppies can cause skin irritation.
The Blue Shade Anemone is a Grecian Windflower that almost looks like daisies, with the long, thin, and plentiful lilac petals with a yellow center. They bloom mostly in the spring over fern-like foliage, though they go into dormancy after the flowering season. Blue Shades are resistant to rabbits and deer and are low maintenance.
The Blue Shade grows up to 4 to 6 inches (10.2- 15.2 cm) tall. They grow well in full sun and partial shade with moist soil. The Blue Shade won the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
Another Grecian Windflower, the Blue Star, is similar to the Blue Shade. They have blueish-purple petals with a yellow center, contrasting well against the green leaves. These daisy-like flowers bloom in the middle of spring and should be planted in groups of 20 for the best results. They are resistant to rabbits and deer and grow best in beds, rock gardens, and other woodland areas.
The Blue Star flowers grow to be about 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) wide, and the plants are between 6 to 9 inches (15.2-22.9 cm) tall. They can be grown in full sun or partial shade with the right soil conditions.
The Bressingham Glow is a Japanese anemone with distinctive deep pink petals, making the yellow center stand out even more. It's a late bloomer, so keep an eye out for these in the late summer or fall. Bressingham Glows attract butterflies, but they are resistant to deer and rabbits.
The Bressingham Glow grows between 2 to 3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters) tall, with a 3 feet (0.9 meters) spread. While they make great garden borders, they are often used in floral arrangements because of their vivid color.
They grow best in full sun, though they can also survive in partial sun as long as the soil is moist and filled with nutrients. Some Bressingham Glow flowers can cause skin irritation when handled.
A Japanese variety, the Dreaming Swan has beautiful, delicate flowers that can be pink, white, and lavender with a bright yellow center. These flowers bloom in the summer and fall, attracting butterflies while resisting other predators, including insects, deer, and rabbits.
The Dreaming Swan grows between 22 to 24 inches tall (55.9 – 60.1 cm) and can spread between 24 to 26 inches (60.1 -66 cm) wide. It can be grown in nearly all weather conditions, though you'll want to add winter mulch if it's colder.
The Madonna is a snowdrop anemone with white petals and a bright yellow center contrasting beautifully against its green stems and leaves. Native to Europe and Asia, this flower has made its way worldwide, blooming in the spring (April). This flower is part of the Ranunculaceae family.
The Madonna spreads between 0.75 and 1 feet (0.2- 0.3 meters) and grows between 1 and 1.5 feet (0.3-0.45 meters) tall. It has fragrant flowers and makes for great additions to bouquets. The Madonna should be grown in partial shade with moderate water requirements.
Mount Everest looks like a tulip, with white petals and a lime green center, though the flowers can come in many colors. They look great to border your garden or in garden beds because they are deer and insect-resistant. You can even take these indoors as a houseplant!
Mount Everest windflowers grow between 8 and 12 inches (20.3-33 cm) tall. They flourish in full sun with rich, fertile soil and have medium water requirements. Keep in mind that Mount Everest windflowers are sensitive to frost, so make sure that you plant these flowers in intervals to help you get this windflower all year long.
Another Japanese windflower, the Wild Swan features delicate pure white flowers with a slight lavender tinge, contrasting nicely with the deep green foliage and yellow and brown center. Like the Dreaming Swan, these flowers are resistant to rabbits, deer, insects, diseases, and more.
The Wild Swan has flowers that grow between 3 to 4 inches (7.6 and 10.2 cm), reaching an overall height of 16-24 inches (40.6 – 61 cm). They are more susceptible to heat, so take care to grow these in moist, nutrient-rich soil in full or partial sun. The Wild Swan won the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year in 2011.
Most windflowers grow best with partial shade, protected from direct sunlight. They need rich soil with organic nutrients to thrive and should be watered regularly. Wearing gloves, prune and remove dead flowers from your windflower plant to keep it healthy all year long.
Slugs and snails love to feed on windflower plants, so you may need a deterrent to keep these pests away from the garden. Additionally, nematodes or roundworms can infest windflowers, attacking the soil to weaken the roots. If you have ringworm in your soil, your windflower will start to look weak and turn yellow. You can treat affected plants and areas with a pesticide called nematocide. Many windflowers are resistant to rabbits and deer, so you won't find them nibbling on these flowers.
Windflowers are susceptible to diseases, though most are curable. Simply cut the affected stems to the root to remove sickness from your plant.