Any other gardeners here? Technical question.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by muttmeister, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Does anybody have experience grown Bear's Breeches (acanthus spinosis)? I have a spot where I've decided to try it and I found a source on the internet but I'm wondering if it is one of those perennials you can plant in the fall or would I be better waiting till spring?
    I know there are gardening boards out there but I've never joined one and you all have such varied areas of expertise, I'm hoping somebody might know.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    If your ground is still warm and soft, and the freeze is at least a month off, you can plant it with a VERY heavy mulch around it - just be careful not to mulch right up to the bark where it meets the earth. Just around the base.
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    From what I have read about these - the are from a tuber. They can be invasive. They are from (they think originally) the island of Crete. They do not tolerate bright sun well, but will grow; just not flower. They don't like too much shade - because they won't grow and won't flower so apparently finding the perfect diffused bright light spot in the yard is the key - perhaps on the edge of the woods.

    Most people I talked to about this plant consider it a persnickity plant. And it does do well in a container, but it does NOT like to be moved. WHerever you plant it? That's where it's got to stay. It takes approximately 2 years for it to establish well, and like Jo said - you have to mulch HEAVILY for it to survive frost and snow if you get any where you live. (yes I know where you live)

    I'm curious - what is it about this particlar perrenial that makes you want to give it a whirl? There is another species of acanthus called acanthus molossos (sp) and it's like a Jurassic plant to me. If you like the acanthus spinosis look, try digitalis. Yup, same stuff they use to make heart medicine more commonly known as foxglove. That's a little more hardy than acanthus. I've tried one other kind and it's just too hot here -

    Good luck - Plant NOW and pack PLENTY of pete moss around it and give it a TBS of fertilizer, then pack and water well until you see it emerge. Or since it's already mid September - you may just want to pack the tuber in dry pete moss and store inside.

    Happy Gardening.
  5. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I'm starting to landscape a new section of my yard - been working on it for about a year. I just got a new "ultimate perennials" book from a magazine I subscribe to (Garden Gate) and they usually give good advice. Bears Breeches is a featured plant. The light it needs sounds like exactly what I have. It is large (quite a bit larger than foxglove) and the spot where I'm gardening is protected between my house, the neighbor's house, and a fence so I have been able to put in a few plants that are only marginally hardy in my zone. It just looks like it would be the right plant for the right spot.
    I garden a lot and I tend to rely for most of my planting on old reliables that need very little care. For my zone that means things like peonies, Russian sage, goldenrod, mums, daisies, hostas, sedum, lilies, bee balm, penstemon,etc. But every year I try a few new things that I've never tried before. Some are raging successes (baptisia, catmint, veronica, deadnettle) and some are dismal failures (can't grow lupines or delphiniums here plus a few others that shall remain nameless). But I do enjoy trying out something new and different so I may give it a whirl. If it works, fine. If not, I'll stick in something else.
    Thanks for all of your advice. I'll do a little more reading before deciding whether to put it in this fall or wait till spring, although I know I can't dither too long. Thanks again.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I also would suggest (had to think about what I have)

    Josephs Coat or Amaranthus......

    GEORGEOUS -not a perennial, but BEAUTIFUL colors.....I've had no luck with Delphinium, Lupine, or groan - Ranunculus. I love Zinnias, and the area is ripe for them, but my yard is not.

    I do have callas, and zinserbanger and would LOVE to have some Datura's again. OMG I LOVE Daturas. I had a HUGE one growing on the side of the house, but when I found out that kids could get high from the seeds I pulled it out (in tears) figuring Dude would profit from it (if it ain't pimpin puppies ya know?)

    I have my best luck with Day lillies and Whirling Butterflies, Butterfly bushes were ALL OVER until I had a mole and that little stinker ate nearly everything I worked years to plant. Odd years I worked the garden, even years I worked perennials.

    I grew the BEST tomatos from seed this year and got some funk and only saved ONE plant but it's been a producer - now to figure out how to save seeds....the right way......

    Oh and the mole? We had a come to Jesus meeting and I sprayed Castor Oil all over the yard - it's been 6 months and NO mole. I hope he stays gone. Between the Castor oil and the "dragon slayer" (our cat) I'm hoping they got the hint they are unwanted. I have 2 pandora vines....haven't done a thing in three years. But this year my Passion flowers are CRAZY....if you want one of those? I can dig one up and pack it well enough maybe it would survive...? They look so prehistoric to me....I love them.

    I have cast iron plants, Camelias, and my favorite called a black and blue plant - can't remember the name....but it gets black and blue flowers on the same stalk. That and I have a GIGANTIC russian sage - it's georgeous. I love her.

    I would like to try some of that english Garden stuff that is red - it's all over the countryside in England and apparently does well here. That and I want to try pineapple sage. Oh I love plants....

    My grass was the object of my attention this year and it paid off - my front yard looks like it has astroturff on it - and it's plush and green and nearly weed free. I finally got left alone to care for the lawn MY way -
    Mow differnt directions ,mow high to kill weeds, water in the AM to promote root growth, fertilize 2 x in the Spring, Spray with Gardners tonic - it worked but took forever to see results.....the listerine, amonia, dish detergent recipe - it's okay but I'm going to stick with SCotts.

    Good luck -
  7. Pam R

    Pam R New Member

    I believe it might be a Salvia, Star. Can't recall the specific name, but saw pictures of it and tried to grow it here. Truly gorgeous. :))

    Pam R.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911


    IT IS SALVIA......Dude used to call it the spit plant. Saliva....can't believe I did not remember that.

    Sooo good luck with your Grizzly's underwear flowers. :surprise: