10 Facts About Anemones All Gardeners Should Know

Add these flowers to your planting plans this year.

Prepare to be charmed by these pretty flowers. The Southern Living Garden Book describes anemones as "a rich and varied group of plants ranging in size from alpine rock garden miniatures to tall Japanese anemones grown in borders." They come in all shapes and sizes, making them a winning choice for gardens. Read on for a few facts you may not have known about anemones, and consider planting a few to add interest to your backyard garden this year.

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Anemones belong to the family Ranunculaceae.

They belong to the genus anemone, which is comprised of over 200 species.

Anemones are also called "wind flowers."

Anemones have this nickname because the word "anemone" derives from the Greek term anemos, meaning "winds." Anemos is related to the mythological idea that each Greek god was associated with a cardinal direction, the winds that blew in from that direction, and specific seasons and weather events, too.

Bloom time extends from spring to fall.

Depending on the species, anemones can bloom from the earliest days of spring into the fall months. Planting in October will ensure spring and summer blooms.

Some anemone species are invasive.

Several anemone species spread more vigorously than others and are considered strongly invasive plants. Meadow anemone (Anemone canadensis), for example, spreads very quickly, making it an unsuitable planting for small gardens.

Most anemones require partial shade and regular watering.

Anemones are relatively easy to care for once they're established in the garden. They like regular water in well-drained soil and a balance of sun and shade. A number of species will spread vigorously under the right conditions.

Anemones come in all shapes and sizes.

These flowers have a wonderful diversity of forms and colors. They come in single- and double-bloomed forms with five or six petals each. They offer up a rainbow of blossoms, including in hues of white, yellow, silver-pink, rose, blue, purple, scarlet, rust, copper, and coral.

Anemones symbolize fragility and love.

Anemones' association with fragility is outlined in the Victorian-era "language of flowers," in which blooms were paired with symbolic meanings for social purposes in order to share unspoken messages, even secrets. The flowers' connection to loyalty and love comes from Greek myth, when the goddess Aphrodite is said to have wept for the slain Adonis. Where her tears and his blood touched the earth, anemones grew.

They can be grown in containers.

If you want to plant these flowers in containers, look for tuberous anemones. They make good container plants and are relatively easy-care specimens planted alongside other garden growers. According to The Southern Living Garden Book, "Tuberous types are best treated as annuals in much of the South, since they tend to be short lived where summers are rainy or winters are warm."

Getting anemones started in the garden takes some initial care and attention.

According to The Southern Living Garden Book, gardeners should "plant tubers scarred side up (look for depressed scar left by base of last year's stem), setting them 12 inches deep and 12 inches apart in rich, light, well-drained loam. Or start in flats of damp sand; set out in garden when stems are a few inches tall. Keep soil moist during growth and bloom. Protect from birds until leaves toughen." They like slightly acidic soil.

They are rarely browsed by deer.

Anemones are relatively hardy growers, and they're not known to be tantalizing to deer and other garden browsers. This makes them a good choice for backyard plantings and gardens in areas deer are known to frequent.

Will you be planting anemones in your garden this year? Do you have a favorite species of anemone, and do you have any tricks and tips for caring for these flowers?

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