Perennial Solutions: Anemone hupehensis Pretty Lady Series

December 9, 2011 - 09:37

With its late-season bloom and compact habit, the Pretty Lady series is an ideal candidate for fall perennial programs.

Most perennial growers are looking for fall flowering items to add to their product lines and the Pretty Lady series of Anemone hupehensis will likely help to fill this void. Not only does this anemone series produce an abundance of flowers in the late summer and early fall, it is naturally compact and well suited for retail garden center sales. The Pretty Lady series offers amazing flower power producing showy masses of 2-inch blooms. Their compact growing habits set them apart from other Anemone hupehensis cultivars.

There are three cultivars in this series: ‘Pretty Lady Diana’ with single pink flowers, ‘Pretty Lady Emily’ produces light-pink double flowers and ‘Pretty Lady Susan’ also has single pink blooms. Each of these cultivars are well suited for container production producing attractive containers of 12 (Susan) to 18 (Diana and Emily) inches tall when they are in bloom. These unique cultivars were bred by Mr. Yoshihiro Kanazawa of Japan and brought to the marketplace by Blooms of Bressingham.

Anemone prefers to be grown in sites with full sun to partial shade; extra shade should be provided in Southern locations. They prefer to be grown in moist, but not soggy soils, and are not tolerant of dry conditions. The Pretty Lady series are reliable performers throughout USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 9 and AHS Heat Zones 9 to 1. In the landscape, these anemones are long lived and produce attractive clumps, which gradually spread to greater than 24 inches across.

With its late-season bloom, the Pretty Lady series is a great candidate for fall perennial programs for sales alongside fall flowering staples such as pansies and garden mums. Additional marketing opportunities can be realized when using the contrasting flowers forms and interesting texture of these cultivars in fall combination pots.

Propagation

Anemone Pretty Lady series are vegetatively propagated by tissue culture. This series is patented and unlicensed propagation is prohibited.

Production

With their excellent dwarf habit, the Pretty Lady cultivars are suitable for production in two quart to one gallon sized containers. When growing in these sizes, growers most commonly transplant one liner into each container filled with a porous, well-drained growing mix. After transplanting, the original soil line of the liner should be even with the surface of the growing medium of the new container. No pinching or maintenance is necessary to produce full, high quality plants.

Anemone performs best when they are grown with light to moderate fertility levels. Growers using water-soluble fertilizers either apply 200- to 250-ppm nitrogen as needed or feed with a constant liquid fertilization program using rates of 100- to 125-ppm nitrogen with every irrigation. Controlled-release fertilizers can be applied as a top-dress onto the media surface using the medium labeled rate, or incorporated into the growing mix prior to planting at a rate equivalent to 1.0 to 1.25 pounds of elemental nitrogen per yard of growing medium. During production, maintain media pH levels with the range of 5.8 to 6.2.

Windflowers prefer to be grown under average to slightly above average irrigation regimes. Never allow the plants to dry out and wilt as leaf scorch and irreversible damage to the buds and flowers will occur. When irrigation is necessary, water them thoroughly and allow the medium to dry out slightly between waterings.

The growing environment can greatly affect plant appearance and flowering. Extreme heat will often delay flowering. The color of the blooms often appears faded when they are grown inside greenhouses or under shade. The highest quality plants are obtained when they are grown outside in full sun and with drip irrigation. With their compact growth habit, it is not necessary to control the plant height.

Insects and Diseases

Although there are numerous insects and diseases known to infect anemone, container growers producing the Pretty Lady series rarely experience problems during production. The majority of these issues occur in landscape situations and even then, the damage to the plants is usually not detrimental.

The most common insect pests include aphids, black blister beetles, foliar nematodes, fungus gnat larvae, root knot nematodes and Western flower thrips. Diseases commonly observed on anemone include Botrytis, downy mildew, fungal leaf spots, Phytopthora, powdery mildew, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, rust and Sclerotium. Anemone are also susceptible to several viruses including anemone mosaic virus (AMV – vectored by aphids), cucumber mosaic virus (CMV – vectored by aphids), and Impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV – vectored by thrips).

Insects and diseases can be detected with routine crop monitoring; control strategies may not be necessary unless the scouting activities indicate actions should be taken. However, due to the potential transmission of viruses, growers should be particularly alert for the presence of aphids and Western flower thrips on anemone.

Forcing

Anemone hupehensis is most commonly grown and marketed in the fall, however, the Pretty Lady series can be produced and sold earlier in the year. Vernalization is not required for flowering. They do require long days for flower bud initiation. Planting unvernalized liners in late May or early June will produce flowering plants by late September into early October.

If earlier flowering is desired, they can be planted in the late winter or early spring using vernalized or unvernalized liners or transplanted into the final container during the summer (plant between weeks 30 to 34) the year before they are to be sold. It will be necessary to provide photoperiodic lighting using day extension or night interruption lighting to obtain flowering this time of year when the plants are in production prior to May 1st (week 18). It will take approximately 13 to 14 weeks for them to bloom when they are grown with 24 hour average temperatures of 68° F and under photoperiodic lighting.

Availability

Anemone Pretty Lady series is brought to the marketplace by Blooms of Bressingham (www.bloomsofbressinghamplants.com). Liners are currently available from Green Leaf Plants (www.glplants.com), Gulley Greenhouses, Inc. (www.gulleygreenhouse.com), James Greenhouses, Inc. (www.jamesgreenhouses.com), Pioneer Gardens, Inc. (www.pioneergardens.com) and Takao Nursery (www.takaonursery.com).

About The Author

Paul Pilon is a horticultural consultant, owner of Perennial Solutions Consulting (www.perennialsolutions.com), and author of Perennial Solutions: A Grower’s Guide to Perennial Production. He can be reached at 616.366.8588 or paul@perennialsolutions.com.

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