The Grow Write Guild’s prompt #10 is This Plant Is Driving Me Nuts.
I cannot seem to grow Japanese anemones (Anemone hupehensis var. japonica). These gorgeous plants typically top out at about 3′ tall, showing lovely wide blooms in shades of white, pink, and lavender from August to October or so. At a time when asters and chrysanthemums dominate, anemones bring much-needed elegance to the fall garden.
Just not to mine.
Gardening literature alleges that Japanese anemones can colonize large areas and become “almost thuggish.” I wish. This article does acknowledge that they dislike disturbance, so transplanting them can be tricky. If I can find a local gardening friend who has them, perhaps I can try propagating them by root cuttings.
Gardening literature also instructs me to plant them in partial shade to full sun, in well-drained soil (what else is there?). I have plenty of partial shade and I would have thought I had dug in enough compost anywhere I tried to plant them, but my efforts are insufficient. They also apparently like regular moisture and cool soil. This year notwithstanding, the regular moisture, I am sure, is at the heart of my problem. I am habitually irregular in my watering: very good for a few weeks, then forgetting a bit, revisiting it once again, then leaving it while I go on vacation, hoping a little rain falls during the week of above-90 temperatures.
“Tough plants for partial shade!” “Easily grown in average soil!” One can always find Japanese anemone on plant lists with such headings. These reminders only serve to highlight my anemone-incompetence.
This year, though, I may finally be in luck. I have planted Anemone hupehensis ‘Pamina,’ which I got at the Duke Gardens plant sale last fall. When I transplanted it, the root ball fell into perhaps a dozen small pieces, and I planted each of them that was of reasonable size. The others I overwintered in my winter sowing orgy, and transplanted this spring. Then it has rained, almost nonstop, since March.
Here they are the Anemones ‘Pamina’ today, offering such promises as I can hardly hope to believe. Look at all those buds. What method will they contrive to break my heart again?