Acanthus is a Mediterranean plant that boasts magnificent blooming all summer long.
Acanthus key facts
Name – Acanthus
Family – Acanthaceae
Type – rhizome perennial
Height – 3 to 6 ½ feet (1 to 2 meters)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – rich and well drained
Foliage – semi-evergreen, depending on the climate
Flowering – summer
Its large pink, purple or white panicles are perfect for filling in a flower bed. Care, pruning and planting must all follow good practices to have your acanthus bear very nice flowers.
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.
- Select the location well before planting, because acanthus don’t like being transplanted.
- Also favor a sunny exposure with light shade during the hottest hours.
- Keep a distance of about 24 inches (60 cm) between specimens so that the acanthus may have enough space to grow.
- Propagation through root cuttings is relatively easy in fall or at the end of winter.
- This renews vigor in older growing clumps.
- Propagation through sowing seeds is done in spring.
When an Acanthus is propagated, it will need 2 to 3 years before blooming again, so it’s perfectly normal if your acanthus doesn’t bloom yet.
Pruning and caring for acanthus
If you let them be, your acanthus will go to seed and self-sow for the following spring.
In fall, once the foliage has wilted away, cut back as short as you can in November, and protect the foot of the plant with dried leaf mulch for instance.
In areas with mild climates, it’s possible to simply leave your acanthus alone without any type of protection.
Diseases commonly found on Acanthus
All there is to know about Acanthus
It numbers about thirty species which makes for a significant variety of colors, flowers and leaves.
It bears magnificent floral scapes that grow to over 6 ½ feet (2 meters) in height, and they definitely stand out with their original shape.
Smart tip about Acanthus
To stimulate this magnificent blooming, regularly add organic liquid fertilizer designed for geraniums or flowering plants.
Acanthus on social media
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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Acanthus field by Melinda Young under © CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Acanthus fruit by Stefan Schweihofer under Pixabay license
Acanthus bush by Francesca Tronchin/Alyson Gill under © CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Single leaf (also on social media) by Hans Braxmeier under Pixabay license