Windflowers will take your breath away with their breathtaking beauty so get to know the different types of Windflowers so you can use them in perennial borders, rock gardens, woodland gardens, and cottage gardens.
Going by the scientific and common name of Anemone, these are perennial plants that are characterized by beautiful flowers that flutter when the wind blows. This plant grows underground mainly from rhizomes or tubers. Since it has a lot of varieties, the height of the plant can vary anywhere between 6 inches and 6 feet. The flower color can also vary greatly depending on the variety. Apart from that, the flowers measure around 2 to 3 inches in diameter and have very fine petals. The foliage is deep green in color.
An important point to note about this plant is that it is toxic. Even a small quantity can cause great pain if consumed. Exposure to the skin can cause skin allergies, which is why it is highly recommended that when dealing with these plants, one should be wearing gloves so that the skin is protected.
Apart from that, these plants are mainly used in perennial borders, rock gardens, woodland gardens, and cottage gardens.
Cultivation of Windflowers
These plants grow best in partial shade. In regions where the temperature is lower, they can grow in full sun too, but for the ideal growth of the plant, it is best if these plants are protected from direct sunlight. Alongside that, this plant thrives in areas where the soil is rich and has a lot of organic matter. The planting area should have a lot of compost so that the plant can get the desired nutrients and can grow to become healthy. Fertilizer should also be used when new foliage starts growing.
In addition to that, this plant also needs a good amount of water in order to thrive. This means that in areas where rainfall is not plentiful, this plant needs regular irrigation. The varieties that are tall need to be staked pretty often so that they don’t fall over. Pruning and deadheading can make sure that this plant looks healthy and fresh all year round.
Pests and Diseases
The windflower is highly prone to pests and diseases. However, most diseases can be cured. The best solution when the plant is diseased is to cut the stems till the root. This way, the pest threat can be eliminated completely. Slugs and snails are also highly attracted to the plant’s leaves and love to feed on them. Good deterrents can do the job really well in this regard.
The most serious pests that affect this plant are nematodes. These weaken the plant from the roots since they attack the soil. In case the plant starts looking feeble and the leaves starting changing color to a slightly yellow shade, then the plant should be given a nematocide.
Types of Windflower
There are many varieties of windflowers. The most popular ones are listed below and explained in detail too.
Anemone ‘Dreaming Swan’ (Japanese Anemone)
This variety is characterized by semi-double flowers that are pink in color. They fade to white and lavender as time passes by. The flowering season for this variety is typically very long. The blooming season is from early summer to early fall. It is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8. The foliage is a beautiful deep green color that adds a very nice look to the whole plant and goes very well with the light-colored flowers. This variety grows to a height of 22 to 24 inches tall, and it spreads 24 to 26 inches. It attracts butterflies but is resistant to insects and diseases and also to rabbits and deer. It is also tolerant of salt. The flowers of this variety are mostly used as cut flowers.
For the ideal growth of this variety, the soil should be well-drained but moist, and it should also be rich in humus so that the plant gets all the nutrients that it needs to grow and become healthy. The soil can be acidic, alkaline, or neutral. Full sun or part sun, both are ideal for the growth of this plant. It is recommended to add winter mulch in colder areas.
The Japanese anemone has been cultivated in Japan for a long period of time. This variety can live very long once it is established and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.
Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ (Japanese Anemone)
This perennial variety is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8. It is an award winner variety (it won the “RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Award in 2011”) that is characterized by pure white flowers that are 3 to 4 inches in width. On the reverse side of the petal, there is a slight tinge of lavender-blue color. The blooming season of this variety is from late spring till frost. The foliage is deep green in color.
Typically, this plant grows to a height of 16 to 24 inches and spreads to around 24 inches by rhizomes. This variety is best suited for prairies, cottage gardens, meadows, or coastal gardens. The flowers of the wild swan anemone are mostly used as cut flowers and are resistant to diseases and insects. They are also resistant to deer and rabbits.
Adding to that, this variety needs full sun or the part sun to grow, but care should be taken to not overexpose them to the heat. Moist but well-drained soil with a good amount of compost can ensure that this plant grows to become healthy and strong. Consuming this plant is not recommended at all since it can cause serious skin allergies. It is a variety that does not really require a lot of maintenance and has average water needs.
Anemone Blanda ‘Blue Shades’ (Grecian Windflower)
This variety is known to have received the “Award of Garden Merit” by the Royal Horticultural Society. It is a winter-hardy variety that grows up to a height of 4 to 6 inches tall. It is a popular type of windflower, owing to the fact that it can naturalize easily. Grecian windflowers appear mostly in spring. This plant can grow in full sun, but for ideal growth, it is recommended to grow this plant in partial shade. The soil should be moist but well-drained, and as for its acidity levels, it can be acidic, alkaline, or neutral.
Apart from that, this variety has daisy-like flowers that grow over foliage that is fern-like. These flowers are lilac in color. The deep green foliage, coupled with the beautiful flowers gives a very pleasing look to the plant.
This plant is ideal for beds, rock gardens, and woodland paths. It is also resistant to rabbits and deer. After the flowering season, this variety is known to go into a period of dormancy. The USDA hardiness zones for blue shades are 4 to 8. It has average water requirements, and that makes this plant a low maintenance plant.
Anemone Blanda ‘Blue Star’ (Grecian Windflower)
This variety is a tuberous perennial that has flowers that are a deep blue color. The flowers measure approximately 2.5 inches. The bloom time for the flowers in mid-spring. The fern-like foliage and the blue flowers together are a real delight to see. This variety is really popular due to its ability to naturalize.
Ideally, this plant can be grown in full sun or part shade areas, given that the soil is moist and well-drained. They should be planted in groups of 20. The variety is typically known to grow to a height of 6 to 9 inches on average. Being rabbit and deer resistant, this variety looks best in beds, rock gardens, and woodland paths. It is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8.
Anemone Sylvestris ‘Madonna’ (Snowdrop Anemone)
This variety is more commonly referred to as snowdrop windflower. It is an herbaceous perennial that belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia and is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8. This variety typically grows to a height of 1 to 1.5 feet and spreads 0.75 to 1 foot. The bloom time for the flowers is during the month of April. The flowers are a beautiful white, and they have yellow stamens.
This plant should be grown in part shade, which will ensure that it grows to be healthy. It has medium water requirements and thus is a low maintenance plant. The flowers are mostly used as cut flowers since they are fragrant and showy. It is a deer-resistant variety that is known to naturalize. The soil should be moist but well-drained and should be humus-rich.
Anemone Hupehensis ‘Bressingham Glow’ (Japanese Anemone)
This variety is characterized by semi-double, deep pink colored flowers with yellow stamens. It is a low maintenance variety that blooms from late summer to fall. The plant grows to an approximate height of 2 to 3 feet and is known to spread via rhizomes to approximately 3 feet. It looks best in borders, cottage gardens, naturalistic areas, and coastal gardens. The flowers of this variety are mainly used as cut flowers owing to the fact that they have a beautiful color.
The variety is resistant to pests and diseases and is known to attract butterflies. However, it is resistant to deer and rabbit. For the ideal growth of this variety, full sun is needed. The part sun can also ensure that this variety grows well. Alongside that, Bressingham glow needs moist, rich, and well-drained soil so that it can get all the nutrients that it needs to grow. Winter mulch should be added in colder regions. It is a salt-tolerant variety, and care should be taken when handling it due to the fact that it can cause skin irritation. It is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 8.
Anemone Coronaria ‘Blue Poppy’
This variety has violet-blue colored flowers that are poppy-like. The bloom time for these flowers is mid to late spring. The ferny foliage attracts butterflies and gives a beautiful look to the whole plant. Alongside that, this plant does best in full sun. It can easily be grown in well-drained soil that has a medium amount of moisture. It is ideal for containers, beds, borders, and rock gardens. In addition to that, this variety is deer resistant. It should not be consumed since it can cause severe skin allergies. Blue poppy is hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10. Apart from that, it is a low maintenance variety that has average water needs.
Anemone Coronaria ‘Mount Everest’
This variety has snow-white colored flowers, and the stamens are lime green in color. Apart from that, this variety reaches a height of 8 to 12 inches. It grows well in full sun and is known to grow healthy in soil that is fertile and humus-rich. It looks best in beds and borders. It is one of the frost-sensitive varieties, and it is recommended that this variety be planted in intervals to ensure longer color seasons. In addition to that, it is critter and deer resistant and is hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10. The Mount Everest windflower is a medium maintenance variety that does not really need a lot of water to grow well.
This plant is one that comes in a lot of varieties and has many different colored flowers depending on the variation that you grow. It looks great in any garden since the flowers and the foliage complement each other really well. It is not a heavy maintenance plant, and thus it is very easy to keep this as a houseplant. It can lift up the look of any garden and make it look gorgeous.