Plant acanthus in spring or autumn when the weather is mild so it has time to establish before a period of hot or freezing temperatures. Acanthus mollis likes full sun or light shade. These easily grown perennials have been cultivated in Britain for centuries and they were called spiny bear’s breeches, although it’s not known why. Once planted, leave well alone! Acanthus, or bear's breeches, are tall architectural perennials that were originally popularised in ancient Greece. Also favor a … 1m /3ft. The butterfly in the photograph is a Cloudless Sulphur. Acanthus is at its best in part shade where summers are hot, but full sun is … Bumblebees love them and shiny round chestnut-brown seedpods follow. There are a few ways you can successfully propagate Bear's Breeches: Starting from Seed: If you can find the seed, the best time to start Bear’s Breeches from seed is in spring. It was discovered in France and originally propagated by Jean- Pierre Jolivot, a nurseryman from St Malo in France. These new plants will not bloom immediately. This shorter Balkan acanthus has scented lilac-pink and white flowers and greyer foliage. Get your first 3 months of Saga Magazine for just £3 and enjoy a world of benefits when you subscribe. On the debit side, the foliage can be marred by mildew, in dry summers, and it runs rather aggressively. Replant your plants. It grows to 1.8m x 1.5m. It is a clump forming, evergreen soft-wooded perennial with an architectural habit. Place a few inches of fine gravel in the bottom of the hole. There are 22 species of acanthus, but most are tender plants found in North Africa, Australia and Asia, so not suited to British gardens. It is easy to grow, creates a good shape in the border and provides interest through both its foliage and its flowers. Acanthus depends on bees for pollination, but they must be big enough to force their way into the flowers. Narrow grey-green foliage and pale-pink flowers. Keep the soil moist. This enormous plant can reach five feet in height and the same across, so space in definitely needed. The lobed foliage of Acanthus mollis was commonly used to adorn Greek graves in centuries past, because it represented immortality and enduring life. Introduced into English gardens in 1629, and thought to be a hybrid between A. mollis and A. spinosus, this extremely prickly acanthus is more difficult to grow. The foliage is very finely cut, but this acanthus takes time to grow. If your plants aren’t blooming, they are probably not getting enough sun. In colder climates, it’s best to not clear away the dead foliage in the fall. Bear’s breeches have been gracing our gardens since ancient times. It’s generally used as a foliage plant, because its often fails to flower. Bear’s breeches have long taproots so it is difficult to dig them up and divide them. Make a horizontal cut through the top and an angled cut at the bottom. Once established, an acanthus plant can tolerate some drought. We find this way to be the quickest to establish our plants. Grow Acanthus spinosus in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. The plants don’t need to be fertilized. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM). / 24 August 2020. Both aren’t fussy about soil, but they do enjoy warmth so they’ll need a hot spot in a prominent place. Think, before you plant! Grows up to 3-4 ft. high (90-120 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm). Performs best in full sun or part shade, in average, fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Grow Acanthus in a spacious border. If your garden soil is rich, or you are over-feeding, you may well get lovely foliage but few flowers. However the name Acanthus is derived from the Greek word akantha meaning spiny and A. spinosus is definitely prickly. Acanthus 'Whitewater', bred by Terra Nova Plants. Plant the root pieces, flat end up and 1/8 inch deep in containers. In the fall, take a shovel and thrust it into the base of the plants. The plants are pictured in both the Greek and Roman art and sculpture. They grow best, though, with 1 inch of water every week. William Morris designed an iconic acanthus-leaf wallpaper in 1875. How to plant Acanthus Favor planting your Acanthus in spring or in fall taking great care to enrich the soil with soil mix and possibly sand in case of heavy soil or clay. Then cut the roots into 2 -4 inch lengths. The flowers appear to be purple and white, but the purple is actually a bract that covers the white flowers. Bear’s breeches grow in either full sun or partial shade. Clean the roots, cutting off any lateral roots and the thin tip. Other common names include Mexican Flame, Texas Firecracker, and Wright's Desert Honeysuckle. From Beth Chatto - www.bethchatto.co.uk. You can sow your seeds directly into your garden in the spring, after your last frost and when the soil has warmed to 45⁰F. Purple and white flowers appear on … Bloomtime is late spring to early summer for approximately 3 to 4 weeks. Be sure to remove the mulch in the spring when the plants start growing again. Dark green oblong to lance-shaped leaves reach to 36 inches long. For this reason, you may want to keep an eye on these potential … It is often referred to simply as “acanthus”. In the spring, you will see little plants sprouting from the wounds you made with your shovel the previous fall. Acanthus mollis. When to sow Acanthus mollis seeds? More on growing bear’s breeches: Acanthus mollis ‘Whitewater’ Acanthus sennii; 11 plants with bold foliage; Take … Locate a sunny bed with moist, fast-draining soil and light shade at midday. It can also be planted in a large pot for a more controlled approach or used in attractive container gardening. A side dressing of compost in the spring is sufficient. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. The foliage doesn’t suffer from mildew, as many do, and it rarely runs. How to Grow Acanthus hungaricus Plants in your Garden Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Hungarian Bear's Breeches / Long-leaved Bear’s Breeches. The grey-green foliage is narrow and prickly. Peter Henderson, who owned a nursery in NJ, mentions them in his book, Handbook of Plants in 1890. Acanthus Leaves by William Morris, Antique Textile Cushion 2. Statuesque and rewarding, Acanthus spinosus (Armed Bear's Breech) is an upright, clump-forming perennial boasting a profusion of strikingly elegant spikes of hooded, pure white flowers adorned with spiny, red-purple bracts. Acanthus is a Mediterranean plant that prefers a sunny well-drained position, but they don’t like rich soil so avoid over-feeding or you will not get flowers. Acanthus plants are unlikely to survive in wet areas. The more I disturb the roots the more leaves it creates. Acanthus, otherwise known as bear's breeches. Val Bourne Raised by Terra Nova Plants in Oregon USA, this variegated acanthus has white-splashed green foliage and pink stems and pinkish flowers. A side dressing of compost in the spring is sufficient. Acanthus mollis has an interesting history, it was used as a medicinal herb in earlier days. Question about your subscription? What is the best place to plant an Acanthus? The highly cut silver-green foliage flatters pink flower that appear in June and July. Acanthus unfortunately is invasive. Sections of root laid on a seed tray of compost will sprout within weeks. You’ll love it or hate it, but it thrives in the hot, humid summers and cold winters found in America. Once in a while I come across a new to me flower that is so spectacular it literally stops me in my tracks. Bear’s breeches have long taproots so they do not transplant well. It is best to start your seeds outdoors in your garden rather than indoors. The Acanthus hungaricus plant is commonly known as Hungarian or Long-leaved Bear's Breeches.. Too rich a soil will result in masses of foliage and few flower spikes. Acanthus resent being split up and this may cause plants to travel and pop up somewhere else. It’s caused by lack of moisture and air flow. Get involved. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. Vigorous and bold, these architectural plants are grown for their striking foliage and flowers. Beth Chatto - www.bethchatto.co.uk You can... Division: Bear’s Breeches have long tap roots and do not like to be moved. The Temple of Apollo Epicurious at Bassae, built between 450 - 420 BC, has columns decorated with the foliage of Acanthus mollis, a species found in poor soil across the western Mediterranean. A good way to keep them under control is to plant them in a pot and sink the pot into the ground. Val Bourne is an award-winning garden writer, photographer and lecturer. This slow-growing diminutive acanthus, from Southern Turkey, needs heat and good drainage. Acanthus prefers to grow in partial sun conditions in rich soil and does not tolerate wet feet. Cut back stems after flowering, and tidy foliage in spring. 30cm/ 1ft. Read our growing guide to choose a good variety and find out how to grow it. You can carefully transplant your cuttings into your garden when they are 2 inches tall, after the last frost when the soil has warmed. Space your plants 3 – 4 feet apart. This is undoubtedly the best garden acanthus and the only one to have been awarded an AGM (Award of Garden Merit) by the RHS. 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