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Japanese anemones taking over. Possible solutions ?

AndymanAndyman Posts: 35
edited September 2020 in Plants
A few years ago I bought a Japanese Anemone called 'September Charm' from a local garden centre and planted it in my front garden. Since then it has thrived to the point of becoming a bit of a thug.
I know that I should have read up on the subject before planting it in the garden, and then I would have been aware that its roots spread under the soil and that it can establish itself fairly quickly over a large area when conditions are favourable.
I hesitate to brand it a weed though, because I enjoy the flowers which last right through autumn and into early winter, when most other plants have long finished flowering.
I've read that the only way to rid the areas of the garden where I don't want it to grow is to remove other plants and physically remove all the anemone roots by digging, and then replacing the other plants.
However, I believe that trying to dig out all the roots would be nigh on impossible and any small bits of root left behind would simply regrow.
I wouldn't mind so much, except for the fact that the leaves are quite large and tend to outcompete everything else in the herbaceous borders. This means that I spend from April to July pulling them out in order to allow other plants the room they need to grow and flower. After the middle of July, the leaves are no longer as much of a problem and so I stop pulling them out and allow my Anemones to flower en masse, and they are spectacular. 

Please can anyone suggest any suitable companion planting that would not be overwhelmed by my Japanese anemones, or better still, any plants that would actually deter their roots from spreading to where they are unwelcome ?
If not, I'm afraid that I'll just have to learn to live with the problem and continue spending four months of the year pulling out the leaves.    


  • Japanese Anemones taking over.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    If you like your plant, only dig out the 'runners' that tend to shoot over your border over time. It can be a pain, but the small plants never flower for a few years anyway, so no point in ignoring them otherwise they will take over. Persicaria Bistorta and Affinis are stong growing ground cover plants that shouldn't have too much issue grown next to your Anemones. Strong growing Geraniums like Oxonianum and Ajuga Reptans will also do fine. 

    Japanese Anemones look better grown with more wilder looking plants, and large blocks of ground cover. In a packed border of many perennial plants, it may sometimes be a problem if you have soil that is quite free draining. Heavier soils keep them in check.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,882
    They are not terribly deep rooted plants, just put a barrier down. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,100
    We gave up trying to contain them and moved house. They were worse than ground elder, bindweed and nettles combined.
  • Wow. I will take out my patch of Japanese anemone this autumn, but I will be able to dig them out fairly comprehensively. I expect to have to wear them out and pull out any bits that come up. For added joy I just dug out some Acanthus in the same patch. All planted by me a few years ago, so that patch will likely keep me busy.

    Japanese anemones are stunning plants, but I would say they need a large patch in a large garden where they can be thugs, potentially mixing with other thugs. That seems to chime with what @Borderline says actually.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    We gave up trying to contain them and moved house.

    That's a bit radical! Are they that bad?

  • I've grown them this year for the first time. I just snip off the runners every week or so. If you do that it should keep them in check. 
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,100
    Fire said:
    We gave up trying to contain them and moved house.

    That's a bit radical! Are they that bad?

    They were in that garden and what made it worse was that we did not plant them in the first place. They came mixed up with another plant and took over one border which was 50 metres long and 4 metres wide.
    Weed killer has little effect. Digging is a waste of time as they propagate from root cuttings.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,160
    Oh lord, I've got 3 patches (one big pink and 2 smaller white ones) in my front border which are trying to take over after ten years or so and I was going to try digging them out soon. The big pink one is supported on a tall obelisk so I just keep cutting back any leaves that spread too much for that. As for them being shallow rooted, I shall have to beg to differ, a shoot has just popped up in the drive at the bottom of a 3 ft wall! I was hoping glyphosate would do the trick if repeated several times.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • I have almost won my battle with Japanese Anemones. The original patch is in a border enclosed by a stone wall and the patio, and they look lovely there. I made the mistake some years ago of adding them to another border as it is north facing and I thought they would add some colour. They were rampant and 2 years ago I dug them out, but have had to continue digging out emerging plants ever since. I definitely wouldn't recommend unless you can contain them!
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