BEAR'S BREECHES Acanthus
Bear's Breeches is a long lived, easy to grow perennial that grows 2.5-4 feet tall. Plants produce impressive, tall spikes of hooded, off-white and mauve-pink flowers in late spring or early summer.
The handsome, glossy leaves look great in the shade with large leaf ferns. These are tough plants, which grow in sun or shade, in moist or dry soil. Winter hardy to zone 7, or to zone 6 with protection. In colder zones, grow in large containers and bring indoors in winter.
How to Plant Acanthus Seeds
Nick seed coat with nail clippers, soak in water overnight. Sow in cell packs or flats ¼ inch deep. Kept at 70-75° F., germination is in 21-30 days. Transplant 24-36 inches apart. Can direct sow after all danger of frost, in groups of 2-3 seeds, spaced 2-3 feet apart. Thin to the strongest plant. See Starting Your Seeds for more information.
Growing Acanthus: Sun in mild climates, part sun to light shade in hot locations. Prefers moist, well drained soil. Will tolerate drought once established. Fast growing and spreading, especially in light, moist soils. Plant where it can be contained. Grows well in large containers. Excellent cut flowers, fresh or dried. Dried flowers last up to one year without browning. Cut backafter flowering. Acanthus gives a tropical appearance in difficult areas of the landscape; Acanthus is fire, drought, rabbit and deer resistant.