Anemones are spindly, delicate wildflowers. They are sometimes called “windflowers'' due to their tendency to sway easily with the breeze. In fact, anemones get their name from the Greek word, *anemos*, meaning wind. In the Greek mythology of Aphrodite and Adonis, it is said that Aphrodite cried tears of anemones. Adonis then shed his blood on the petals, staining them a vibrant red. \n\nDespite their dramatic symbolism, anemones are humble in stature and often confused with daisies. All anemones belong to the buttercup family, but their characteristics vary significantly from species to species. Anemones are most commonly found in North America, Japan, and Europe, but with over 200 species of anemones, these flowers are a popular choice among gardeners all over the world.\nIt can be overwhelming when there are so many anemones to choose from, so start by familiarizing yourself with these popular species.\n\n1. __Balkan anemone (*Anemone blanda*)__: Also called the Grecian windflower, this species grows low to the ground from corms and closely resembles a daisy. A popular cultivar in this species is the ‘White Splendor’ anemone, which has two rows of thin, white petals and a vivid yellow center. \n2. __Poppy anemone (*Anemone coronaria*)__: Poppy anemones has brightly colored petals and dark centers. They thrive in both warm and cool zones. They're typically spring bloomers, although some will bloom in late summer. A popular cultivar of this species is the ‘De Caen’ anemone, which comes in a variety of flashy blue and purple hues. Since they don't grow very tall, they're great when planted as a border or as undergrowth. \n3. __Japanese anemone (*Anemone hupehensis*)__: Japanese anemones can grow up to four feet tall. They have wide petals that grow in shades of pink or white with yellow centers. They thrive in most conditions, except for hot, dry climates. Their roots take time to establish, but once they do, they'll keep on blooming year after year. \n4. __Snowdrop anemone (*Anemone sylvestris*)__: Also known as snowdrop windflower, this variety is an early-spring bloomer. Its short stature makes it great for growing along a landscaping border. \n5. __Wood anemone (*Anemonoides nemorosa*)__: The wood anemone is native to Europe. It grows no taller than a foot, and its star-shaped white blossoms can blanket a garden bed. \nPlanting anemones successfully is all about addressing the needs of corms versus tubers. \n\n- __Identify which type of anemone you have__. Anemones come in both corm and tuberous varieties. The process of preparing them for the ground differs, so start by identifying which one you’re working with before planting.\n- __Soak corms for a few hours__. If you're planting a variety that grows from corms, soak them in lukewarm water for four to six hours before planting to jump-start growth. \n- __Soak tubers overnight__. If you're planting a tuberous variety, soak your tubers overnight. This will help them sprout faster. \n- __Choose a sunny location__. Anemones thrive when planted in areas that receive full sun, but they may need partial shade later in the day to protect them from intense afternoon sunlight. \n- __Prepare your soil__. Both corm and tuberous varieties need lots of nutrients to thrive and will benefit from soil mixed with compost or other organic matter. \n- __Space them appropriately__. When you're ready to plant, place your tubers about three inches deep and three inches apart from each other. Plant corms roughly three inches deep and six inches apart.\n\nOnce they’re established, anemones are fairly easy to grow. \n\n- __Water anemones regularly__. Once your anemones are established, water them regularly to keep the soil consistently moist. The soil should be moist but not soaking wet, as overwatering can cause root rot. \n- __Deadhead as needed__. Anemones do not require thinning, or [deadheading](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-deadhead-flowers-in-your-garden), to encourage new growth. That said, pruning dead flowers won't hurt your plants and can enhance their overall appearance. \n- __Protect anemones from the cold__. If you live in a colder zone, laying down a blanket of mulch in the fall will help prevent frost and protect your plants from the cold.\n\nAnemone flowers present a minor toxic hazard to humans. Contact with the sap could result in mild skin irritation. If this does occur, simply wash the affected area with warm water and soap. Ingesting anemones can cause vomiting and diarrhea. If you do ingest any part of an anemone plant, seek immediate medical attention. \n\nAnemones’ bitter flavor makes ingestion among humans unlikely, but anemones pose a much greater threat to animals. Take special care to plant them out of reach of pets with an adventurous appetite. If your dog or cat were to eat enough of the plant, it could be lethal.\nGrow your own garden with Ron Finley, the self-described "Gangster Gardener." Get the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com/) and learn how to cultivate fresh herbs and vegetables, keep your house plants alive, and use compost to make your community - and the world - a better place.\nAnemones are beautiful, vibrant spring flowers with varieties that can grow in just about any climate.