How to plant and cultivate the acanthus?

How to plant and cultivate the acanthus?

The characteristics of acanthus

  • Type: vegetable plant
  • Height: from 80 cm to 1 m, from 1 to 2 m, from 2 to 5 m
  • Flower colors: white, pink, purple
  • Desired exposure: sunny
  • Type of soil: well drained, humus rich in humus
  • Foliage: persistent
  • Interview: easy to maintain
  • sanitizer: no
  • diseases: powdery mildew, snails and slugs
  • variety: acanthus spinosus, acanthus mollis, acanthus arboreus, acnathus carduaceus, arcanthus caudatus

Origins and peculiarities of acanthus

Mediterranean plant with strong mythological symbolism (Akantha was a nymph, transformed into a thorny flower by Apollo to whom she had the audacity to refuse)acanthus is a perennial from the acanthaceae family. There are around thirtyacanthus species, but the two best known varieties are the spiny acanthus (acanthus spinosus) and the soft-leaved acanthus (acanthus mollis). The foot of the acanthus can measure between 1 and 2 meters. *

The acanthus is a plant that is cultivated as much:

  • For its dark green leaves, broad and lobed, which form a tuft from which springs an impressive floral stalk which largely exceeds the foliage.
  • For its pink, mauve or white flowers which meet by open-billed stems, which carry bracts, the largest of which has a thorn.

Due to its original and spectacular shape, the acanthus is an ideal plant for planting:

  • In flower beds, especially if it is associated with wild flowers.
  • In isolated plantation in the middle of a lawn, where its verticality will make a strong impression!
  • Along the aisle.

Acanthus plantation

The acanthus adapts very well to hot climates, but does not tolerate the cold (even if some species are more hardy). Therefore, it needs good sun exposure to be planted in the ground. However, if the temperatures are too high, a semi-shaded area will suit him better.

It is important to provide a minimum distance of one meter between each acanthus plant, since robust roots need space to spread, especially those of thorny species. The use of a fertilizer promotes the growth of acanthus.

In terms of soil, the acanthus will develop better if it is planted on a rich soil, and especially well drained (it does not support stagnant humidity).

Multiplication of the acanthus

It is possible to sow the acanthus seeds in spring, or else to cut the roots. Sowing is carried out in open ground under chassis between the months of May and July.

Once the first two or three leaves have appeared, the young plants can be transplanted in a buried pot or in the ground. Generally, acanthus flowers flower after three years, except in the case of propagation by cuttings of the roots. In this case, the first flowers can appear after two years.

Care of the acanthus

Good news for amateur gardeners who would like to flower their garden with acanthus: this plant is far from requiring too much maintenance! Indeed, for your acanthus to flourish at best, you just need:

  • Bring compost in the fall.
  • To fold the leaves of the plant on the stump in winter so that the roots do not suffer from the cold.
  • Water the plant regularly, especially if the summer season is particularly hot and dry.
  • Remove the dead and / or yellow leaves once the acanthus has finished flowering.

To note : if the summer is particularly dry, the acanthus foliage simply vanishes! Do not panic: it will reform in the fall, when the heat peak has passed.

Acanthus diseases

Slugs and snails are likely to nibble on the large leaves of the acanthus, especially when spring arrives. On the other hand, although it is resistant to most diseases, acanthus can be affected by powdery mildew.