TribLIVE

| Lifestyles


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Garden Q&A: Anemones — too many or not any

Japanese anemone called 'September Charm' Jessica Walliser

Daily Photo Galleries

Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, 7:40 p.m.
 

Q: Why can't I grow Japanese anemones and all my neighbors can? They're downright invasive in their gardens, and I can't get a one to survive. I'm a Master Gardener and I'm stumped!

A: Fall blooming Japanese anemones are lovely plants indeed, and, yes, if they like where they are, they do have the tendency to take over the garden and spread quickly. They do prefer alkaline soil, and our soils here in Western Pennsylvania tend to be on the slightly acidic side. Performing a soil pH test will tell you how much lime to add to raise the pH to a more preferable level for your anemones. You should do this a few months before planting. I have to say, though, that most of the gardeners I know who grow Japanese anemones do not perform this step. They just plant the plants and let them go to town.

Because these plants normally grow so vigorously, I wonder next about how you have started them in the past. They typically don't do well from seed, nor do they always “catch on” when purchased as fully grown plants from a nursery. They tend to suffer from transplant shock. I have had the greatest luck growing anemones from very small divisions. The two patches I have now were started from a friend's plant.

To make a successful division, they should be lifted in early spring when the new growth is only an inch or 2 tall. Each division should have a developing shoot system as well as a piece of spindly brown root at least 2 inches long. It is very difficult to dig out a division and keep any soil on the root, so it is extremely important that as soon as you dig up the division, it immediately gets re-planted either in a pot of potting soil or directly into your garden. Choose a site with dappled shade if possible.

The next important step is to keep it very well watered through the first season. Since it will take several months for that spindly little root piece to develop into a supportive root system, it's important to keep it from drying out.

I have a feeling that in a few years you'll be writing to me asking about how to tame its aggressive growth!

Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners” at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio. She is the author of several gardening books, including “Grow Organic” and “Good Bug, Bad Bug.” Her website is www.jessicawalliser.com.

Send your gardening or landscaping questions to tribliving@tribweb.com or The Good Earth, 503 Martindale St., 3rd Floor, D.L. Clark Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Fire victim’s ex-boyfriend jumps from Tarentum Bridge
  2. Steelers rookie says Sam, his former roommate, has changed
  3. Rossi: Buying trust is a must for Pirates
  4. Steelers aim to create more turnovers this year with speedier defense
  5. Pirates’ attempts to bolster roster at deadline a fruitless endeavor
  6. Locke gets rocked as Pirates are knocked off by Diamondbacks
  7. Two cars strike horse near Fayette fair
  8. Steelers notebook: Shoulder pads get technological boost for Ravens game
  9. Sewickley Township fraud case reopens old wound for New Stanton woman
  10. Pa. senator investigates Rocky Mountain high at taxpayers’ expense
  11. Dixon, Pitt men’s basketball team aren’t planning island vacation
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.