February 16, 2019

Let's Talk About Anemones!

 Wait—anemones? Aren’t those a kind of sea creature?
Well, yes.
Sponge-like tentacles that sting, often with clownfish living inside. Remember “Finding Nemo?”
 Yes. Anemones.

Gorgeous purple anemones...that I purchased.

As it turns out, there are also flowers by that name.
Anemones—the FLOWER—are cool weather lovers, which is another way of saying “hardy annuals.”
They don’t mind the cold, which is awesome for us in northern climes!

They come as corms—shriveled-looking little brown lumps, that don’t look like anything special in the least. I am learning that they do better with pre-sprouting, so I did that. First, you soak them for 4-6 hours, then put them in a tray filled with a couple inches of dirt, making sure they are completely covered. After about 10 days, they are supposed to grow roots. At that point, you pull them out and plant them for real this time—spacing them about 4” apart.

So, about 12 days ago I started the pre-sprouting process. Well, today I dug around in my tray o’ dirt and pulled out several. No sprouting yet. I had them in the garage at first, which I think was too cold. So after about 5 days I moved them to the floor of the laundry room, which may have been too warm. They like it cool—55-60 degrees F. They are now in the back pantry, which I’m hoping is JUST RIGHT. I guess I’ll check them in another week.

They bloom 12 weeks from planting, and the more you cut them, the more they bloom, so I’ve heard. I don’t have field or garden space for them this year, but what I do have are some great big pots, and at least 1 bulb crate. My plan—assuming they do eventually sprout—is to plant them into the pots and the crate. As they strongly dislike heat, maybe I could even move them to a spot that gets part-shade come early summer so they can keep producing for me for awhile.

I started these in hopes that I would have some blooming for my niece's wedding at the end of April, as I am providing the flowers. So far, it’s not looking too good for that deadline.

As always, so much to learn. I’ll keep you posted!

p.s. I just found this photo from Feb. 15 of last year. No snow whatsoever and grape hyacinths 6 inches tall. WHAT?! (Alright, alright, I know last year was a drought year and so I am very grateful for all the many MANY inches of snow this year. Sigh.)

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