Japanese Anemone (Anemone Hupehensis) – The Complete Guide

As the garden year draws to a close, it’s time for the Japanese anemone (Anemone hupehensis).

Until well into October, the flowering beauty sets colorful accents in beds and tubs.

Planting Japanese Anemone

If you take into account the requirements for proper planting in an adequate location, the Japanese anemone will prove to be a long-lived and low-maintenance perennial.

Following this brief guide, planting will certainly succeed:

  • Choose a semi-shaded, sheltered location with humus-rich, nutritious soil.
  • The planting pit should be twice the size of the root ball.
  • Improve the excavated soil with compost, leaf mould, guano, and horn shavings.
  • The planting depth in the bed corresponds to that in the seed pot.
  • A perennial support gives high growing anemone varieties the best stability.

Water the young Anemone hupehensis and then mulch with leaves, compost, or grass clippings.

Plant Japanese anemone in small tuffs, forming small islands of flowers for a furious season finale.

A planting distance of 18-20 inches (45-50 cm) for large perennials and 12-14 inches (30-35 cm) for smaller varieties is recommended.

Care Tips

Care for the Japanese anemone is effortless if you pay attention to all requirements for proper planting. The care chart looks like this in a nutshell:

  • Water the plant when the substrate has dried out.
  • Fertilize it organically every 2-3 weeks from May to September.
  • Clean out withered flowers, and cut off withered leaves.
  • Prune the Japanese anemone close to the ground in late winter.

In the first two years of standing and in harsh locations, we recommend winter protection in the bed. Cover the planting site with leaves, straw, and fir fronds.

Give the Japanese anemone in the container protection from frosty temperatures in the form of straw or leaves on the substrate in time before the first frost. Wrap the planter with bubble wrap and place it on insulating wood.

Which Location is Suitable for Japaneses Anemone?

If the site is guaranteed sufficient water supply, Anemone hupehensis thrives magnificently in sunny locations.

In case of doubt, we recommend a semi-shaded place, for example, in the shelter of tall deciduous trees.

Since some specimens reach a growth height of 40 inches (100 cm) and more, a wind-protected position is of utmost relevance.

The Right Planting Distance for Japanese Anemone

Choose the planting distance proportional to the expected growth height. These distances have proven to be effective in practice:

Growth height 15-35 inches (40-90 cm): plant spacing 12-14 inches (30-35 cm) or 8 plants per 10 square ft.
Growth height 35-55 inches (90-140 cm): Planting distance 18-20 inches (45-50 cm) or 4 plants per 10 square ft.

If the Japanese anemone serves as a backdrop plant in front of woody plants, we recommend a spacing of 30 inches (75 cm).

What Kind of Soil Does the Japanese Anemone Need?

Japanese anemones are a star in the bed wherever they are offered this soil condition:

  • Nutrient-rich, humous, and freshly moist
  • Gladly with a portion of loam
  • Slight lime content is no problem
  • Good water drainage, without danger of waterlogging

As a substrate in the tub, we recommend a structurally stable potting soil based on compost, optimized with expanded clay or lava granules for good permeability.

A handful of bog soil or peat as an addition prevents too high pH.

What is the Best Time for Planting Japanese Anemone?

The Japanese anemone must first work out its winter hardiness in the bed.

In order to give it a sufficient time window for this process, the best time for planting is primarily in spring from mid/late April.

When is Flowering Time for Japanese Anemone?

The early flowering Japanese anemone unfurls its cup flowers from mid/late July until well into September, while the bulk of Anemone hupehensis blooms from August to October.

But there are also many other anemones that bloom earlier in the year as well.

The more consistently the perennial is pruned out, the longer the blooms will last.

Pruning Japanese Anemone Properly

Proper pruning regulates the length of the blooming season, makes room for young sprouts, and provides picturesque replenishment for home vase decorations.

Our tips for proper pruning the Japanese anemone:

  • Pruning the Japanese anemone regularly prolongs the blooming period.
  • Cut out withered flowers if seed formation is not desired.
  • Prune close to the ground only in late winter or early spring.
  • Cut flower stems for the vase in the early morning hours.

Watering Japanese Anemone

Keep the Japanese anemone constantly moist and avoid waterlogging.

If you cultivate the perennial in a container, experience has shown that the need for watering is higher than in the autumn bed.

It is beneficial for the health of the Japanese anemone if you water alternately with calcareous and soft water.

Fertilizing Japanese Anemone Properly

The Japanese anemone requires a repeated supply of nutrients.

In the bed fertilize with compost every 2-3 weeks from May to September.

Potted plants should receive a liquid fertilizer for flowering plants every 2 weeks.


One of the likable characteristics of Anemone hupehensis is its resistance to disease.

Only sooty mold occurs from time to time as a consequence of aphid infestation. This fungal disease manifests itself in black-colored leaves.

Cut back the diseased flower close to the ground and dispose of the cuttings in the household waste.


Aphids, which are ubiquitous in the garden, do not spare Anemone hupehensis despite its poisonous nature.

If the little beasts cavort on the pretty perennial, a repeated shower with the classic soft soap solution will finish them off.

Mix one tablespoon each of pure soft soap and mineral spirits with one liter of water and spray the infested Japanese anemone.

Winterizing the Japanese Anemone

Since the Japanese anemone develops its winter hardiness gradually during its first two years of standing, we recommend these protective measures:

  • Before the first frost, cover the root zone with foliage and coniferous branches.
  • Cover the container with bubble wrap, place it on wood and cover the substrate with straw.

Propagating Japanese Anemone

The abundant flowering of a Japanese anemone awakens the desire for more specimens. The perennial offers several methods of propagation at once:

  • Division of the roots by means of separation of stolons in the spring.
  • In late autumn separation of root cuttings.

Thanks to these straightforward propagation techniques, even advanced amateur gardeners opt-out of the complicated, tedious process of sowing seeds.

How Do I Repot the Japanese Anemone Properly?

With its long taproots, Anemone hupehensis anchors itself deep in the soil. Therefore, damage to the root system is inevitable when repotting, which means the end for the magnificent perennial.

Consider a change of location only in exceptional cases. Here’s how to do it right:

  • Loosen the soil with a digging fork in the spring after pruning.
  • Cut off too long root strands in the radius of the average growth height with a spade.
  • Carefully lift the tuberous plant together with the taproot out of the ground.

In order for the Japanese anemone to grow again after repotting, divide the rhizome with a sharp knife into 2-4 segments.

It is also important to add a good portion of compost to the new location.

Japanese Anemone in a Pot

Early flowering Anemone hupehensis and other dainty varieties do wonderfully in pots.

Choose a container shape that provides ample room for the deep-reaching taproot. For substrate, we recommend a high-quality compost-based container plant soil.

A drainage system of clay shards above the soil opening prevents damaging waterlogging.

How to care for the Japanese anemone in a pot:

  • Test the substrate moisture every 2 days using the thumb test.
  • If the surface of the soil feels dry, water it.
  • Apply a liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks from May to September.
  • Pinch out wilted flowers and cut out withered foliage.

If the flowering period is coming to an end, winter is also just around the corner. Do not cut back the Japanese anemone now, but in late winter.

Wrap the pot with bubble wrap, place it on a block of wood and cover the soil with coniferous brushwood, straw, or leaves. During a dry, frosty winter, water Anemone hupehensis on mild days.

Is Japanese Anemone Poisonous?

The botanical classification of Anemone hupehensis as a member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) rightly makes experienced amateur gardeners sit up and take notice.

All members of this plant family are considered mildly toxic to humans and animals. Consequently, caution is advised within reach of small children and pets.

We also recommend wearing gloves during planting and maintenance activities.

What to Do if the Japanese Anemone Does Not Bloom?

If the flowering of a Japanese anemone is delayed or fails completely, the following triggers cause the trouble:

  • Drought stress: keep the substrate constantly moist.
  • Overfertilization: better fertilize organically with compost.
  • Waterlogging: check the location, repot the tub plant and water it less.

Moreover, improper repotting leads to damage to the roots. In this case, there is no salvation for the Japanese anemone.

Brown Leaves

If the leaves of an Anemone hupehensis turn brown, as a rule, neglect in the care caused this pattern of damage.

First and foremost, drought stress results in withered, brown leaves. If the roots are in permanently moist soil, the foliage also turns brown.

The same applies if the Japanese anemone is exposed to continuous autumn rain.

Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves are an alarm signal for a too-high pH value of the soil. Although the Anemone hupehensis accepts a slight lime content without problems, a value of 7 should not be exceeded.

As a result, the vital nutrient iron is bound in the substrate, causing deficiency symptoms that turn the foliage yellow.

Fertilize specifically with an iron preparation from the specialized trade and from now on pour decalcified tap water or collected rainwater.

The Most Beautiful Varieties

  • Alba: majestic, richly flowering and sturdy variety with creamy white flowers from August to October.
  • Queen Charlotte: elegant flowering beauty with a growth height of 24-36 inches (60-90 cm) and delicate pink, semi-double flowers.
  • Rose Bowl: this new cultivar captivates with dark pink flowers, which are darker on the back and on the edge.
  • September charm: recommendable variety with dainty 24 inches (60 cm) and pure pink bowl flowers.
  • Margarete: magnificent semi-double flowers in bright red with yellow eye and a height of 32 inches (80 cm).
  • Honorine Jobert: historical variety from 1858, robust, long-lived, richly flowering in bright white.