Anemone blanda bulbs all rotted?

jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)February 14, 2014

I bought this bag of 10 Anemone blanda mixed colors. It claims to be good for my zone 6-7. I placed them in a large pot and buried them as instructed last October. The soil is moist but not wet. If the temperature is too much below freezing, I move the pot back into a cool room. It is indoors for the entire January and most of February. But there is no shoot or anything. I checked the bulbs today and they have all turned into something mushy. I don't know what I did wrong.

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iris_gal(z9 CA)

What kind of soil was in the pot? Maybe planting on 2 inches of sand would insure drainage? What a disappointment. I've never had success with them.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 12:05AM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

Posted by iris_gal z9 CA (My Page) on Sun, Feb 16, 14 at 0:05

I used the commercial potting soil and watered when I planted the bulbs, as instructed. If I try next time, I will place them in small and transparent cups, and observe what they are doing. It helps to relieve my disappointment to learn that you did not have success with them either.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:38AM
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Perhaps the pots weren't buried well and froze thoroughly ?
Also, anemones don't really like being dried thoroughly (such as dutch bulbs are usually treated). It's usual that a good percentage will not sprout after being dried, however, if you ever get some going and treat them well, they will self-seed and multiply slowly.
I have had A. blanda at three houses so far (planted by me). They aren't impossible...but they're not as simple as a tulip, glad, or crocus either.

There's one in the back of my parents house that has lived in the lawn for 25 years and still blooms.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:11PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

dbarron, do you soak the buttons before planting? TIA

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 12:00AM
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I've done it both doesn't really seem to make much difference. One thing that seems to harm is to soak too long.

The best thing you could do is order from a vendor that treats the bulbs correctly as to dryness/wetness.

I know that I ordered (in the past when postage wasn't a nightmare) from I believe from ordering other plants that the same care would be given by Odyssey Bulbs here in the States. Russell has carefully sent other anemone species in a non-dessicated state packed with slightly damp peat or potting soil. Just like with cyclamen tubers, dessication is bad, so starting with a non-weakened tuber is sure going to increase your odds of success.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:43AM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

It can be the case that most of a batch goes to that horrid white mush - and some survive.

For me, they really like very good drainage, quite gravelly, in fact. And being planted not more than 2" deep. (Protect from hungry beasts if necessary.)

I grow several of mine in an old enamel kitchen sink that's about 6" deep max, and has that generous drain hole, too. They share the space with alpine strawberries, which have an excellent root system and which soak up any excess summer moisture. They can be left for three years or so before it becomes necessary to refresh the mix - and thin down the competition. A dressing of bonemeal in spring is helpful.

They prefer morning sun and dappled light - more like A. nemorosa than the big florist anemones. Unless you have an unusually dry spring - whatever rain you receive is generally enough.

The tubers increase in size and don't have offsets. If you want more plants then you have to keep the surface aound them clear because they increase through seeds. Stay alert for seedlings when re-potting.

One thing that can lead to mushy bits - planting late in the season and keeping them too moist. The longer they've been out of the ground the more vulnerable they appear to be. Might be like lilies - plant as soon after lifting as possible.

If they've had an overnight soaking - plant into a barely damp mix and let them settle with whatever autumn rain you get. They naturalize under trees so there would be damp, not wet, leaf litter and the drainage given by the tree roots. A similar environment for you pot/s could help.

They're not 'early risers' in the spring so they possibly spend a lot of their over winter growing time developing their root system before popping up, leaves before flowers.

If you get that uneasy gardener feeling that 'something is not right belong the surface' you're probably right. Gently unearth a tuber or two and check. Planting individually into 2" pots could give you useful backup if a mass planting should fail.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 4:15AM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Thanks dbarron and vetivert. The buttons I bought were the mass marketed packaged ones. Very dessicated. Will look up Odyssey Bulbs. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 4:04PM
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