Acanthus produces large green foliage and tall floral stems in striking colours. Some variants grow wildly throughout beds, spreading as far as allowed, others form clumps and remain more manageable, suited to smaller gardens or particular areas of foliage. Equally at home in sun or shade, they don’t need much sun to produce beautiful, eye-catching flower displays.

Flowering: July to August.

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About Acanthus

What is Acanthus?

Acanthus is a perennial plant forming clumps of bold foliage with long-stalked, lobed leaves and floral stems with hood flowers in shades of white, green purple or pink.

Acanthus are easy to grow evergreen plants that prefer a partially shaded spot as full sun can harm the leaves, they can be grown in full shade but may flower a little less.Grows well in most soils, provided they are well-drained.

The flowers on Acanthus, familiar name Bear’s Britches, look a bit like Foxgloves in their appearance and the leaves were believed to be the inspiration behind the decorative detailing carved by the Romans into their Corinthian columns.

Dimensions and placement:

Overall plant size tends to reach between 1.5m and 2m with a spread in most cases of up to around 1m. Correct placement is key as they are not moved easily, so pick a spot where you know they have room to grow and will satisfy your aesthetic desires. They’re not too fussy where you put them but it is advisable to offer some light shade during the hottest part of the day to avoid leaf bleaching..

Caring for your plants:

During the first year water regularly but once established they are drought tolerant. A balanced fertiliser can be applied in spring or mid-summer if the plant looks like it needs it. Remove faded flower stems after flowering and any tired looking leaves in spring. Keep a look out for slugs and snails as they are partial to the leaves.

Acanthus for wildlife

Acanthus are great for attracting bees and butterflies to your garden with their sweet nectar proving an irresistible temptation for our garden friend. They have no reported toxicity to pets, livestock or people.

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