Bear’s Breeches

Acanthus Mollis

Bear’s breeches is an herbaceous perennial listed as hardy to USDA Zone 7, so it should breeze right through even the coldest Central Texas winters.

As you might guess from its deep green color, it needs to be planted in a shady spot. But in order to flower and perform its best, it also needs sun.

A little niche with full morning sun and complete afternoon shade would be perfect. Most gardeners plant bear’s breeches for its glossy foliage, but the flower spikes are quite striking too.

Be sure to plant bear’s breeches in an area with good soil drainage, and where you can give it a little extra hand-watering during the driest, hottest times of year. If the foliage turns a bit yellow in the heat, simply trim it back, but not all the way to the ground. As with other herbaceous perennials, prune Acanthus a little harder in early spring, to encourage new growth after winter dormancy.

Our viewer picture this week comes from Angela Carver, of the lovely Krause Springs in Spicewood. Great gardens and cool spring water for swimming!