While the weather has you stuck inside daydreaming of what’s just around the bend, you may as well make the most of it. Now is a good time to do your on-line research to learn about new perennials, shrubs and trees. Try the 2016 Perennial Plant of the Year: Anemone x hybrid ‘Honorine Jobert.’
“At a time when new plant cultivars are introduced every season, ‘Honorine Jobert’ has been a fall highlight in European gardens since before the American Civil War and is still the most popular and highly sought after white anemone today. It surely earns the title ‘heirloom perennial’ having remained a staple in the fall garden for 157 years.” Anemone x hybrida, commonly called windflower or Japanese anemone, is a category that includes a large number of hybrid pink or white cultivars that bloom from late summer into fall. ‘Honorine Jobert’ is a vigorous, fibrous-rooted, mounding, compact Japanese hybrid cultivar. It typically grows to 3-4 feet tall on stems that bear attractive trifoliate dark green leaves. Single 2 to 3-inch diameter flowers consist of pure white sepals that contrast beautifully with an attractive yellow staminate center. These flowers aren’t as large as the fall-blooming anemones but the plant will produce more flowers, lightening up a shady corner. As Martha Smith, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, explains. “Expect blossoms August through September. “‘Honorine Jobert’ is hardy to USDA zones 4-8, has no serious pest or disease problems, and deer seem to leave it alone,” she added. This fall beauty grows best in organically rich, humusy, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade with protection from wind. Soils should not be allowed to dry out and foliage tends to burn in hot, dry locations. Avoid wet, poorly drained soils, especially in late winter. Japanese anemone may seem slow to establish, but once comfortable, can meander.