How to Grow Carpenteria — Bush Anemone

Bush anemone
Bush anemone, Carpenteria californica

Carpenteria, commonly called bush anemone, is an evergreen shrub with handsome leathery glossy leaves and showy cup-shaped white flowers with yellow centers. Carpenteria flowers look much like anemone flowers.

Carpenteria is very decorative. The older bark is light-colored and peeling; new shoots are purplish. The thick, narrow leaves are dark green above, whitish beneath. The anemone-like flowers are lightly scented.

Carpenteria is slow-growing to 3 to 6 feet tall, with many stems rising from base.

Carpenteria is a genus of just one species. It is native scrubby slopes and pine forests in the foothills of Central California.

Get to know Carpenteria

  • Plant type: Evergreen shrub
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 8 and 9
  • Hardiness: Hardy to Zone 8; in marginal climates, grow against warm wall. 
  • Height and width: 6 feet (2m) tall and wide
  • Foliage: Thick, narrow leaes are dark green, above, witish beneath to 4 inches long
  • Flowers: Shallow, cup-shaped anemone-like white flowers with yellow centers
  • Bloom time: Late spring and summer
  • Uses: Shrub border
  • Common name: Bush anemone
  • Botanical name: Carpenteria
  • Family name: Hydrangeaceae
  • Origin: California
Bush anemone white flower, Carpenteria californica
Bush anemone white flower, Carpenteria californica

Where to plant Carpenteria

  • Plant Carpenteria in full sun or light shade.
  • Grow Carpenteria in well average garden soil that is well-drained.
  • Carpenteria will withstand drought once established.
  • Carpeneria has a deep root system and is best planted where it will not need to be moved.

When to plant Carpenteria

  • Set container-grown Carpenteria in the garden in sprng or autumn.
  • Matrue Carpenteria can be somewhat difficult to transplant.

Planting and spacing Carpenteria

  • Space Carpenteria 6 feet (2m) apart.

How to water and feed Carpenteria

  • Keep the soil just moist for best growth. Mature plants can will grow with little water.
  • Fertilize Carpenteria with an all-purpose, slow-release, organic fertilizer in spring.

Carpenteria care

  • Prune after flowering to shape or restrain growth.
  • Remove the oldest flowered shoots occasionally from the base; this will help shape the plant and encourage new growth.

Carpenteria pests and diseases

  • Fungal leaf spot can be a problem.

Carpenteria propagation

  • Propagate Carpenteria by softwood cuttings in summer or by layering. 
  • Sow seed in warm soil in autumn or spring.
  • Root greenwood or semi-ripe cuttings in summer.

Carpenteria varieties to grow

  • Carpenteria californica. Bush anemone. Evergreen shrub grows slowly to about 6 feet tall and wide and has light brown, peeling bark; leathery leaves are lance-shaped to narrow ovals 4 to 5 inches long; fragrant white shallow, cup-shaped, five-petaled flowers to 3 inches across bloom mid- to late summer. 

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