I was catching up with Gardeners’ World at the weekend and Carol Klein was on a propagation spree again. This time it was the wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa). I think the compulsion to make more plants is probably an affliction that all plant folk suffer from. It’s a rare thing to visit this subspecies of the keen gardener without coming away with a pot of this or that.
Carol was propagating wood anemones by their rhizomes. These are similar to bulbs in the sense that it’s how the plant stores energy while it’s waiting to spring into growth again, but instead of being formed from the leaves, a rhizome is essentially an underground stem.
The wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa). Photograph: Guillame Baviere/Creative Commons
At this time of year, wood anemones are dormant so it’s a good time to propagate them. It does depend on you rooting about in the soil to find the rhizomes and recognising them as wood anemones though. Worry not, for here’s the video of Carol in action showing how it’s done:
The colour palette of wood anemones ranges from whites to shades of pinks and blues. Although there’s also a very good hybrid of the wood anemone, Anemone x lipsiensis which has flowers that are the colour of freshly churned butter.
If you don’t have any wood anemones in the garden, it’s something that you can do with a pot or two of them. It’s a much quicker way to establish a mass of them and help nature along its way a wee bit. We sell them on Plantedd here and Edrom Nurseries also have a big range here.