|ACANTHUS species - Bear’s Breeches|
Acanthaceae; native to Southern Europe.
Germination: Sow seeds in their permanent location if possible; Acanthus resents transplanting. Sow indoors anytime, covering the seeds with 4 times their thickness in soil and maintain a temperature of 55-55° F. Seed germinates in 21-25 days. Sow outdoors in early spring while the soil is cool, planting the seeds 1/2 -inch deep in a light, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.
Growth: Indoors or out, the plants require bright light and well-drained soil. Keep the soil evenly moist during growth and water after blooming ends. The plants are dormant in late fall and winter. The first winter, mulch over the crown of the plant heavily to protect it. Drought resistant.
Appearance and Use: Upright, bushy plants with good base-branching and 1 - to 2 - foot leaves reach 4 feet tall. Funnel-shaped 11/2 -inch blooms of white and rose arise on 4 foot spikes. Glossy, dark green foliage with pale veining is accented with bracts of blooms. Grow in borders (in warmer climates), as an accent, specimen, background, or foundation planting. Also a fine houseplant.
Species: A. balcanicus — Toothed and lobed foliage, but not spiny. Zones 6-10.
A. mollis — Deeply cut, toothed foliage with soft spines. Zones 8-10.
NASA Seeds in Space
"Snowy, Flowy, Blowy, Showery, Flowery, Bowery, Hoppy, Croppy, Droppy, Breezy, Sneezy, Freezy."