Bear's Breeches

Handsome plant with lobed foliage and tall, erect racemes of two-lipped flowers in the summer.
Common name : Bear's Breeches
Scientific name : Acanthus mollis
Family : Acanthaceae
Category : Perennials
Type of plant : Perennial
Flowery
Flowery
Large pot
Large pot
Acanthus mollis - known as bear's breeches or Sea dock, is a herbaceous perennial plant with an underground rhizome in the genus Acanthus. It is a vigorous plant with large, glossy dark green leaves, pinnately lobed and, in late summer, tall racemes of white flowers with dusky purple bracts. It is regarded as an invasive species in some locations.

Sowing & planting

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Flowering

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Caracteristics

Exposition
Water needs
Granulométrie plants.granulometry_4
Frost-resistance Medium
Zone USDA 8a
Height 30 - 200
pH 6 - 7

Identify my bear's breeches

Bear's breeches bear large leaves with lobes that are themselves lobed, thorny or not. The flower stalks sometimes reaching two meters appear between May and August depending on the species, and bear white flowers surrounded by pink bracts sometimes thorny.

Plant my bear's breeches

Plant your bear's breeches in spring before the month of May in a draining soil, rich, in the sun in a harsh climate and semi shade in Mediterranean climate. In moist soil, they may freeze winter. Prepare your flowerbed by a digging with a pitchfork, or by an early mulching spread in the fall. Break the clods on the topsoil, before planting your bear's breeches. Handle the roots with care because they are fragile. Expect a development of one square meter. Water copiously after planting. In pots, choose a clay pot of a good diameter, at least 40 cm, fill the bottom of gravel, then add a mixture of loam, compost and sand.

Water my bear's breeches

Water during the summer season, once a week in case of dry weather, in the morning if possible. Water also during first month after planting, twice a week.

Fertilize my bear's breeches

With a respectful approach to soil life, it's always better to fertilize a little in advance with organic material that will decompose; spread out a compost that isn't entirely decomposed, with well decomposed manure at the plant's base, and incorporate over 10 cm with a hoe. This operation is carried out in winter so that earthworms and bacteria have enough time to do their job.

Mulch my bear's breeches

Mulch the bear's breeches in the spring to limit the competition of spontaneous flora. In winter mulch with the dry leaves of your bear's breeches to protect the roots from the cold.

Prune my bear's breeches

Cut the yellowed leaves from time to time. You can prune the flower stalks or let them dry on, but the seed growth will then tire the plant.

Shelter my bear's breeches

Bring your potted bear's breeches inside in the fall, in a cold greenhouse, or any place sheltered from the frost.

Put outside my bear's breeches

Take out your potted bear's breeches in the spring.

Repot my bear's breeches

Change the top soil of your acanthus potted each year in early spring, bringing compost.

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