The Ultimate Poppy Anemone Playbook for Adventurous Gardeners

The pollinator-friendly poppy anemone sets spring alight. Add a touch of the rainbow to your garden with this fool-proof perennial.

Updated January 30, 2024
Colorful poppy anemone flower

We might not be tip-toeing through the tulips, but we're happy to prance through the poppy anemones. The poppy anemone is a heartbreakingly gorgeous bloom characterized by its delicate papery petals. Toss a cascade of these colorful flowers in your garden and you'll have a radiant spring symphony for your eyes to feast upon. Get to know this darling garden flower and all its quirks so you can successfully plant your garden full of them. 

Poppy Anemone Snapshot: A Colorful Perennial We Love

Despite their dainty look, this flower — also known as anemone coronaria — is low maintenance and has four coveted colors that'll make your garden pop.

Variety Zone Color of Blooms Soil Sun/Shade Size in Height Bloom Time
"Bride" 8-12 pure white well-drained full sun/partial shade 10-16" mid-late spring
"Mr. Fokker" 7-10 violet blue well-drained full sun/partial shade 10-12" mid-late spring
"Hollandia" 8-12 crimson red with white center well-drained full sun/partial shade 10-14" mid-late spring
"Sylphide" 8-12 fuchsia well-drained full sun/partial shade 8" mid-late spring

Unlike most anemone plants, poppy anemones grow from underground tubers. Most max out at 16" tall, making them a bit shorter than other anemones. Their foliage is a tiny clump of dissected leaves from which a single boldly-colored flower stalk rises in spring in a poetic triumph over winter's chill. The blossoms are two to three inches across and look nearly identical to field poppies.

The Conditions They Thrive Under 

Poppy anemones love to bask in the sun, but they still want partial shade along with rich, well-drained soil. They're hardy in the southern half of the country, but can still be grown in more northerly climates. They can thrive in USDA zones 7-10 and 8-12.

Need to Know

To ensure regrowth each season, northerly planters can dig up the tubers in the fall and overwinter them in a protected location so they can be replanted in spring. You can also try keeping tubers in the dirt, but cover them with mulch during the coldest months. 

Their Favorite Neighbors

Poppy anemones are perfect for massing with other spring-blooming bulbs like daffodils, tulips, and bleeding hearts. They also can thrive in the filtered light below widely spaced deciduous trees like maple, oak, and birch.

This variety makes good neighbors with dusty miller, viola, marigolds, and other cool-season annual flowers. Because of their dainty, wild look, they blend beautifully in a woodland garden border.

How to Grow & Care for Poppy Anemones

Close-up of poppies with blurred background

In the fall or early spring, plant the tubers about two to three inches deep and six to eight inches apart. The part of the tuber where stems have previously emerged will be scarred — these should be facing up when you plant it.

Make sure you have a bed of loose soil with plenty of compost — they really need a rich soil. It's key that the kind you use is also well-draining. If not, create a low but broad mound when filling up the holes. These beauties love a bit of sand, too, so consider mixing it into your soil. Once you've got them in place, water them once a week in the spring at the start of their blooms. 

Need to Know

Poppy anemones don't have a scent, but bees and butterflies love them just the same for their sweet nectar.

Related: 10 Gorgeous Perennials That Bloom All Summer Long

Proper Foliage Care After They Flower 

The flowering period may be brief, but it's spectacular. Poppy anemones will stun you with their beauty for about four weeks before they disappear. You know, distant makes the heart grow fonder and all that jazz. 

Once they've finished blooming, don't trim back the stems. Allow the foliage to remain after the flowers fade until midsummer when the plants naturally begin to go dormant. At this point, you can cut the foliage to the ground and spread a layer of mulch over the planting area.


High in style but low in maintenance, poppy anemones don't attract pests and disease. For colder climates, you may want to lift the tubers in fall for storage over winter. Though in some cases, good mulch coverage is enough.

Need to Know

It's a good idea to divide the patch of tubers every few years in fall to prevent the plants from becoming overcrowded.

Popular Poppy Anemone Varieties

Over 100+ poppy anemone varieties grow wild all over the world, yet there are four standouts we're captivated by. From cool blues to bright reds, these varieties will fit in with just about any garden aesthetic. 


Closeup shot of a beautiful harvest anemone flower

"Bride" has dreamy pure white petals and a green button center. It's best grown in USDA zones 8-12.

Mr. Fokker 

Vertical closeup of an anemone in a garden under the sunlight

"Mr. Fokker" has striking violet-blue petals and a black center. It's best grown in USDA zones 7-10.


Red poppy flowers in tropical garden in the spring

"Hollandia" has crimson red petals that contrast beautifully against pure white centers. It's best grown in USDA zones 8-12.


Anemone coronaria 'Sylphide'

"Sylphide" has fuchsia-colored bulbs with a dramatic blue-black center. It's best grown in USDA zones 8-12.

Prep for Planting With Mail-Order Poppy Anemones 

You can pop on down to your local plant nurseries, but there's a big chance they won't have any poppy anemones at all. In some regions, this rarity makes it a bit of a collector's item. Make garden prepping easier by placing your poppy anemone orders online. 

Experience Four Magical Weeks Awash in Color 

The ultimate garden charmer, poppy anemones are a favorite not only for their delicate beauty but also for how easy they are to grow. Plant all four of our favorite varieties and your garden patch will be awash in color before you know it. Sure, their bloom time is short. But we're here for a good time, not a long time and poppy anemones are too! 

The Ultimate Poppy Anemone Playbook for Adventurous Gardeners