Anemone blanda ‘Blue Shades’,
blue Grecian windflower     1854

blue Grecian windflower heirloom bulbsblue Grecian windflower bagtag

Cheap, easy to grow, and “one of the loveliest of flowers,” as Louise Beebe Wilder wrote in 1936, this woodland gem naturalizes happily in bright shade. Typically blue-flowered in the wild, it first appeared in American catalogs in the 1890s and grew in popularity with the rise of shade gardening in the 20th century. Light shade, 4-6”, zones 5a-8a(9bWC), from Holland.


SUB TYPE   LittleBulbs

ZONES   5a-8a(9bWC)

HEIGHT   4-6”



Plant these naturally small bulbs ASAP because they can dry out and die if stored too long.

Grecian windflowers prefer well-drained soil that’s moist while they’re growing and then dry during their summer dormancy — but they’re quite adaptable. In the North, full sun to light shade is best. Further South, they prefer light to half shade.

You can soak them in lukewarm water for 5-6 hours before planting, but it’s not necessary. Since it’s hard to tell which side is the top, plant them on edge and they’ll right themselves as they grow.

Plant 2”-3” deep and 3”-4” apart and water well. Consider protecting with plastic netting, chicken-wire, etc., for a few weeks after planting, typically the only time animals bother these animal-resistant bulbs.

Mulch lightly or not at all. Keep moist but not soggy during the fall while they’re growing roots and throughout the spring.

After bloom, allow the foliage to yellow completely to feed the bulbs before removing. For rapid increase, allow flowers to mature and scatter their seeds. During their summer dormancy, keep the soil dryish if possible, as it is in their native lands.

Learn more about growing and enjoying Grecian windflower in our Fall Diverse Newsletter Archives.