Anemone Coronaria Care – Learn To Grow The Poppy Anemone

Anemone coronaria is a plant with many common names, including:

  • Spanish marigold
  • Poppy Anemone
  • Windflower

This vibrant, colorful flowering plant belongs to the genus Anemone part of the Ranunculaceae family and native to the Mediterranean.

The name [uh-NEM-oh-nee] [kor-oh-NAR-ee-uh] is difficult for many people to pronounce, which is probably why most people simply call it the poppy anemone.

bright red flower of Anemone coronaria

Anemone Coronaria Plant Facts

  • Origin: Mediterranean region
  • Family: Anemone genus of the Ranunculaceae family
  • Botanical Name: Anemone coronaria [uh-NEM-oh-nee] [kor-oh-NAR-ee-uh]
  • Common Name: Spanish marigold, Poppy Anemone, Windflower
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Size: 12″ – 18″ inches
  • Flowers: Red, white, blue. Normally single but also double
  • Bloom Time: Depends on planting, between February 1 and July 1.
  • Hardiness: USDA zones 7 -10
  • Exposure: Part Shade to Full Sun (best)
  • Soil: Light, porous well-draining soil
  • Water: Medium moisture
  • Fertilizing: weak liquid fertilizer solution
  • Propagation: dividing corms or bulbs
  • Pests & Problems: Powdery mildew, slugs

Anemone Coronaria Care

Size & Growth

The Anemone coronaria grows up to 18″ inches without much spreading. It grows best in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 10 and requires full sun or partial shade.

As the leaves start to come in, you’ll notice leaves with three leaflets pop up. After the leaves come, the flowers are not far behind.

Flowering and Fragrance

Anemone coronaria has no real fragrance.

The Anemone coronaria blooms twice per year, earlier than the Japanese Anemone. The plant is also an early bloomer, with the flowers appearing anytime between late spring, April and early summer June during the first bloom. The second bloom time occurs in the fall.

The bright, colorful normally red flowers bloom on tall stems with a series of small leaves just beneath the flower. The most common variety is red, which has a deep, bright color to it.

The ancient Greeks believed the red flowers symbolized the ‘Blood of Adonis’.

Flowers are also in clear shades of red, white, and blue. Normally the blooms single but they can also be double flowers.

The flowers typically contain five to eight sepals with a black center. The flowers produce about 200 to 300 seeds, making it easy to propagate.

Popular cultivar series include the single flowers De Caen and doubles St. Brigid.

Light & Temperature

When choosing a sport for your Spanish marigold, try to find an area with plenty of sunlight. Partial shade is okay, but not the preferred option.

As the plant is native to the Mediterranean region, it does well in warmer climates. If you live in a cooler region, it’s best to keep the plants in pots.

Watering, Feeding, and Fertilizing

Anemone coronaria requires moderate watering throughout the early season. After the flowers bloom, you may only need to water occasionally.

These are low-maintenance plants that should grow steadily without much care. The main concern is over-watering.

When you first plant the bulbs, the soil should be of a “medium moisture” level. Check the soil daily, and keep it from getting bone dry.

If you want to feed the plants, add liquid fertilizer around the time that the flowers bloom.

You can also add fertilizer to your garden pot before planting, and avoid adding fertilizer later in the season.

Soil & Transplanting

In the native Mediterranean region, the Anemone coronaria grows in sandy soil. In other regions, you need to ensure that the soil drains well.

NOTE: Adding peat moss, coconut coir or ground bark can help with drainage. Also, read our article – How To Use Coconut Fiber For Planting

You can either plant from bulbs or seeds. However, the delicate plant should be started indoors when grown from seeds.

When planting bulbs, soak them for several hours in lukewarm water. The water gives the bulbs a good wakeup call.

Plant the bulbs about one to two inches into the soil.

If you need to transplant the bulbs from a pot to your garden, transplant in the early spring before the foliage starts growing.

At the end of the season, you may want to take them indoors. If you have plants in the ground, remove the bulbs and dry them.

Place them in a cool, dark place inside a bag with peat moss or sand.

Grooming

You shouldn’t need to deal with any grooming. However, you should feel free to snip of few cut flowers for a bouquet. You won’t damage the plant by trimming the flowers.

How To Propagate Anemone Coronaria

There several ways to propagate anemone coronaria. You can collect the seeds from the dried flowers or from the bulbs.

You can also cut the plant in the spring. Cut the rhizomes with a bud on each piece.

Plant these cuttings about two-inches deep in loose soil. The plant should reach maturity in a few years.

Keep in mind that you should not try to transplant with the division of the bush on younger plants.

They should be at least four or five years old before you try cutting them.

Poppy Anemone Pest, Disease or Problems

You should not need to worry too much about pests getting to your plants. Most creatures stay away from the Anemone coronaria.

However, slugs and powdery mildew can be a problem.

While the plant is not especially prone to disease or pests, it is potentially harmful to humans and pets when ingested.

If ingested in large quantities, all parts of the plant can be toxic.

"Blue" Anemone flowers up close

What Are The Most Popular Varieties of Anemone Coronaria?

Besides the common red varieties of Anemone coronaria, there are a couple of other popular choices:

  • Anemone coronaria “Blue Poppy” – features purple-blue sepals that last for up to four weeks.
  • Anemone coronaria “Lord Lieutenant” – includes multi-petaled flowers instead of the five to eight sepals commonly found on the coronaria.

Recommended reading: Iceland Poppy Care – Learn To Grow Hardy Icelandic Poppies Outdoors

Best Uses – Indoors or Outdoors

The Anemone coronaria is a great choice for rock gardens, flower beds planted in large groups and borders, where it attracts butterflies and makes a wonderful cut flower.

When using these plants for a flower bed, consider using a few different varieties to add more color. Besides red, there are white and purple cultivars.

Anemone In Advertising

Drawing of Anemone flower in Wills cigarettes packs in the UK

This image of the Anemone comes from old advertising cards included in cigarettes packs from Will’s Cigarette over in the UK. The labels also included some instructions.

“The ancients wreathed the altars of Venus with these beautiful little flowers which according to legend, sprang up where the tears of the goddess fell around the fallen Adonis.

Careful planting will give flowers nearly all the year round. For autumn and winter blooms, sow in sheltered border or cold frame in spring.

The seed should be rubbed in sand in order to sow thinly; cover with half an inch of fine soil which should not be allowed to become dry.

For spring flowers, plant corms 3″ in. deep in autumn. For blooms in June and July plant corms in February and March.”

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