This Dutch-raised from of A. hungaricus has flower spikes with crisper, contrasting reddish purple and pure-white flowers. Acanthus mollis seeds. It spreads by both seed and underground runners. Germination will take from 21 to 25 days. Acanthus mollis is a plant I very often incorporate into my gardens. Plant details. William Robinson, a British garden writer, mentions the plants in his famous book, The Wild Garden, in 1870. The secret to getting them through the colder winters of zones 5 and 6, is to cover the crowns with a thick layer of mulch in the fall. Grow Acanthus spinosus in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Grows up to 3-4 ft. high (90-120 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm). In approximately 3 months the cuttings should have started to grow. Read our growing guide to choose a good variety and find out how to grow it. It’s more diminutive, reaching only 3 feet in height (90cm), but difficult to find. Grow bear’s breeches in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. A shadier position will make the foliage look less brash. A Southern Turkish acanthus that will only survive if very well-drained and in a very warm, sunny position. Bloomtime is late spring to early summer for approximately 3 to 4 weeks. Leave the plants alone all winter. The butterfly in the photograph is a Cloudless Sulphur. Acanthus prefers to grow in partial sun conditions in rich soil and does not tolerate wet feet. In colder winters, it retreats underground and then reappears in late spring. The foliage is very finely cut, but this acanthus takes time to grow. Keep the soil moist. It can also be planted in a large pot for a more controlled approach or used in attractive container gardening. How to grow Acanthus. View the garden placement of the bear’s breeches as permanent, since removing the roots is very hard, and any root left behind will likely shoot a new plant. Cultivation The ideal soil is a deep, fertile, well-drained loam but it will grow in most soils and has good drought tolerance. Make a horizontal cut through the top and an angled cut at the bottom. The more I disturb the roots the more leaves it creates. In colder climates, it’s best to not clear away the dead foliage in the fall. Take the plant out of the container and gently knock off the dirt. A side dressing of compost in the spring is sufficient. Seeds can be started indoors at any time. Once planted, leave well alone! Bear’s breeches have been gracing our gardens since ancient times. Acanthus resent being split up and this may cause plants to travel and pop up somewhere else. Purple and white flowers appear on … The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. The flowers appear to be purple and white, but the purple is actually a bract that covers the white flowers. 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. Too rich a soil will result in masses of foliage and few flower spikes. Choose and prepare a planting site. You can carefully transplant your cuttings into your garden when they are 2 inches tall, after the last frost when the soil has warmed. The dark green, glossy leaves are lobed and toothed. The plants are pictured in both the Greek and Roman art and sculpture. If you visit the medicinal herb gardens from old monasteries in Europe you'll always find Acanthus still growing. It’s generally used as a foliage plant, because its often fails to flower. Warm positions work best. Select the location well before planting, because acanthus don’t like being transplanted. It’s thought that Callimachus, a Greek architect and sculptor working in the 5th century BC, was the first to carve acanthus foliage on stonework. 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