Anemone Mona Lisa by Lew Whitney

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Anemone Mona Lisa by Lew Whitney

Like many California gardeners, I planted Anemone bulbs for years and enjoyed the cut flowers they provided. At the same time I discovered in florist shops bigger, stronger and better Anemones that my garden could produce. The florist quality Anemones cost about one dollar per stem, so a decent bouquet ran at least $15.00.

As matters evolved, it turned out that these florist Anemones were a strain called “Mona Lisa,” aptly named for the beauty in the famous portrait, later popularized by the Nat King Cole song.These Anemones were grown from seed, not bulbs, and were not available to us every day gardeners.

Finally, much to my delight, the plants that produce the Mona Lisa Anemone flowers found their way to one of Rogers Gardens best growers, to the nursery in four inch pots and finally to my garden where I have been growing them with great results for the last several years.

The Mona Lisa Anemones are now my absolute favorite for winter cut flowers. Unlike most other inter-spring cut flowers, there is little waiting for these Anemones to bloom.  I planted a dozen big pots full about two weeks ago and found my first bud about to open this morning.  (If you have read my columns before, you might recall that my yard has nothing but wretched adobe clay soil, so I grow cut flowers………Sweet Peas, Anemones, Ranunculus, Dahlias and more… large pots of good potting soil.) Point being that they are both good garden and pot plants.

The Mona Lisas have strong stems for good cutting, grow from compact plants that top out at about ten inches and keep producing flowers until the weather turns hot.

Colors include white, orchid, blue, red, and my favorite, one called Wine Shades,and some bi-color mixes of white and one of the other colors. The stems are best cut in the cool of the morning just before the buds open. The cut flowers will last a week. A word of warning, Mona Lisas drink the water in their vases, so keep an eye on the water level.


By |2014-01-09T20:10:26+00:00January 9th, 2014|Floral, Gardening, Landscaping|5 Comments

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  1. Jim Reed June 17, 2017 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Beautiful flowers! My wife has fallen in love with the Mona Lisa Wine White Anemone! I have been searching for bulb”s and I haven’t had any luck. I have tried the seeds with no luck! Do you know of anyone that I might purchase some bulb”s? I would appreciate any help! Thank you! Jim…

    • Roger's Gardens June 21, 2017 at 9:20 am - Reply

      Hi Jim,

      The ‘Mona Lisa’ anemone is a patented seed grown anemone. You will not find bulbs of this anemone, like you will of other more traditional anemones. Because the plant is also still patented by the breeder the seed is not on the market either. Unfortunately, the only way to get this remarkable anemone is through young, started plants.

      I hope this helps. Good gardening!


      • Jim Reed June 21, 2017 at 9:24 am - Reply

        Is it possible to purchase starter plant’s? Jim…

        • Roger's Gardens June 22, 2017 at 9:15 am - Reply

          Hi Jim,

          Anemone ‘Mona Lisa’ are only grown as a four-inch pot plant or occasionally perhaps in a six-inch pot, but certainly nothing smaller. Do keep in mind that this in a cool-season winter annual plant, and not to be planted at this time of the year. Roger’s Gardens contracts hundreds of trays of these every year and it is amongst our most popular plants at that season. But the earliest they become ready for sale and planting is about the beginning of January.


          • Jim Reed June 22, 2017 at 3:28 pm

            Thank you! Jim…

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