How to force anemone corms

How to force anemone corms

Learn how to make an indoor display of anemone flowers for Christmas, in our How-to guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Anemones make a beautiful indoor display, particularly at Christmas time. If you want to create a festive display of anemones, you’ll need to ‘force’ the corms approximately 20 weeks ahead of the big occasion.

In nature, spring bulbs and corms spend the winter underground in the cold and dark, which breaks their dormancy, then warmer weather signals spring and flowering time. By forcing, you mimic this process, covering and leaving the bulbs in a fridge or cold place before bringing them into the warm.

Bulbs need enough time in the cold and dark for the root system to develop and support flowering. Use a thermometer to ascertain that your shed or garden is cold enough (it should be around 10°C). Once inside, place the bulbs or corms in a cool, north-facing window to make them last longer.

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You Will Need

  • Anemone De Caen Group
  • 9cm pots
  • Horticultural grit
  • Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
  • Glass jar

Total time:

Step 1

How to force anemone corms - soaking the corms
How to force anemone corms – soaking the corms

Florist anemones don’t need to be pre-chilled. Soak them for a few hours before planting to rehydrate and plump up the wrinkled corms.

Step 2

How to force anemone corms - piercing drainage holes in plastic cups
How to force anemone corms – piercing drainage holes in plastic cups

Plant in 9cm pots or plastic cups, making a few holes in the base first. Once they flower, place in decorative pots.

Step 3

How to force anemone corms - adding horticultural grit to the base of each cup
How to force anemone corms – adding horticultural grit to the base of each cup

Layer horticultural grit in the base. Mix up a free-draining compost using multi-purpose compost or John Innes No.3 with a few handfuls of horticultural grit.

Step 4

How to force anemone corms - planting the corms in compost
How to force anemone corms – planting the corms in compost

Fill two-thirds full with compost then place the corm on top. Look for a tip and stand it facing upwards. Cover with compost. Position somewhere cold and dark and check regularly for watering and pests. Once leaves appear in 10-12 weeks, bring the bulbs into the house.

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Try forcing other spring bulbs, such as Narcissus ‘Hugh Town’, ‘Itzim’ or ‘Rip van Winkle’, Galanthus nivalis or the grape hyacinth, Muscari aucheri ‘Blue Magic’.

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