Acanthus mollis

2 litre pot £16.99
in stock (shipped within 3-5 working days)
Quantity 1 Plus Minus
Buy Acanthus mollis bear's breeches: A spectacularly architectural plant with stunning flowers

This perennial dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.

  • 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

    Acanthus mollis is 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. Lift and divide large clumps in autumn or spring.

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Eventual height & spread

Eventual height and spread

Notes on Acanthus mollis

"High-gloss, rich-green foliage, soft to the touch, and glorious spikes of soft, white and mauve flowers radiating serenity in the evening gloaming."

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Struggling rather


Smaller than I thought it would be. Spent the summer struggling a bit to establish. Has not gone through a hard winter yet (we have very cold winters here) so can not tell how it has coped




Sturdy plant


I ordered a number of plant and this was the only one which did not grow well or flower. I don't think the fault lies with Crocus. I suspect it was too dry and cramped next to a huge Helianthus(also from Crocus and which flowered for weeks on end). It has survived the winter and I am thinking about moving it to a new location when spring kicks in.

Spring Chicken



Beautiful feature plant


This has thrived with little attention and is a beauty even in winter with its glossy pointed leaves




Eagerly awaiting flowers


I planted this at the back of a sunny/part shaded border to add some height and interest after Aconitums have finished. Whilst the large leaves were lush and healthy, no flowers came in its first year, I'm not too concerned as I've read that this can happen while it gets established, but I shall try the Plant Doctor's suggestion to another customer and give it a potash feed this year.

Peggy Sue

Newcastle upon Tyne


The acanthus arrived well packed and in excellent condition


Use as a statement plant but bear in mind if you move it the smallest amount of root left in the ground will make a new plant.




Very surprised - and pleased, to see it flowering in Dec!


Mine is flowering now! - December (for the first time in two years) It's beautiful!


Porthcawl, S Wales


Powdery Mildew


Planted in spring 2012, this plant has really taken off in 2013. Currently in part shade, but is plagued by powdery mildew. I am going to move these plants this year in a position of full sun to try to combat. They already have good air circulation. Lets hope I manage to remove all the roots from position one! The leaves are great, looking forward to the flower spikes this year.


Camden, London


4.1 7


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 you

Lis Wallace

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 Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

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, Andree

Andree Frieze

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 Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk


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