bear's breeches / brank ursine
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: deep, fertile, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: May to August
- Hardiness: fully hardy
A fantastic, architectural plant that’s justifiably popular. It is semi-evergreen, and produces enormous, jagged, deep green glossy leaves up to 90cm long. In mid-summer, spectacular spikes of white flowers with purple hoods shoot up from the foliage and last for several weeks. It thrives best in dappled shade and although it will take full sun, the leaves may scorch. Plant it en masse under trees or as a specimen plant in a mixed border. And give it plenty of room to spread itself out.
- Garden care: To minimise the risk of powdery mildew taking hold ensure that the plant is watered well during hot, dry spells.To rejuvenate and minimise congestion, lift and divide large clumps in autumn or spring.
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2 Questions | 2 Answers
Displaying questions 1-2
Q:Acanthus - 'Bears Breeches'
I bought this plant from you last year and although it is still alive it doesn't grow very big and has never really formed any breeches. What am I doing wrong? Thank youAsked on 4/15/2010 by Lis Wallace
A:Hello There, I am not really sure why your Acanthus is not thriving, although it is worth keeping in mind that they die right back in autumn and wont really have started growing much (if at all) just yet this year. If you planted yours later in the year last year, then this would explain while there has been little growth, but if it was planted in the earlier part of the year then perhaps the plant was concentrating on putting on root growth rather than top growth. They like a spot in full sun or partial shade with deep, fertile, well-drained soil and given time they are quite boisterous, so I would try to improve the growing conditions if you can and hopefully you will see some action soon. I'm sorry not to be more help. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 4/15/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Why won't my Bear's breeches flower?
It's in a half sunny/half shaded spot and it's leaves seem healthy enough - altough some of them have brown edges - and I've been feeding it. Yet it just won't flower. Any ideas. Thanks, AndreeAsked on 6/22/2009 by Andree Frieze
A:Hello Andree, The most likely cause is either too much shade, or not enough of the right nutrients. To encourage flowering, you can feed it with a high potash fertiliser, which should give it a bit of a push. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 6/22/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Displaying questions 1-2