Acanthus - Acanthaceae - How to care for and grow acanthus plants


HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS

ACANTHUS

L'Acanthus o acanthus is an imposing bushy herbaceous plant that is often encountered in the countryside but which can also be successfully raised as a border to adorn gardens and flower beds thanks to the beauty of its leaves and its spectacular flowering.

BOTANICAL CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom

:

Plantae

Clado

: Angiosperms

Clado

: Eudicotyledons

Clado

: Asteris

Clado

: Euasteride I

Order

:

Lamiales

Family

:

Acanthaceae

Kind

:

Acanthus

Species

: see the paragraph on "Main species"

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS

The genre Acanthus known as acanthus, it includes several perennial species originating from different Mediterranean countries.

These are herbaceous or shrubby plants with a vigorous appearance as they reach large dimensions with giant leaves that can even reach a meter in length and flowers up to 5 cm long, collected in racemic inflorescences, with color mixed from white, to green, to yellow, to pink, to red.

They are beautiful border plants whose appearance is reminiscent of the thistle.

MAIN SPECIES

There are several species in the genus Acanthus among which the most common are:

ACANTHUS MOLLIS

L'Acanthus mollisit is characterized by large lobed leaves, dark green in color that reach one meter in length.

It blooms in late summer on long raceme inflorescences producing white flowers with reddish bracts.

ACANTHUS SPINOSUS

The species Acanthus spinosushas the particularity that the leaves are deeply engraved up to the main vein. They are up to one meter long, of a beautiful deep green color with sparkling edges.

The flowers are carried by long racemic inflorescences of white color with red bracts.

It blooms from late spring.

ACANTHUS HUNGARICUS

L'Acanthus hungaricus (or Acanthus balcanicus or A. longifolius) is also characterized by long dark green leaves, deeply lobed with evident veins. The flowers bloom in early summer on long raceme inflorescences and are white or pink with red-tinged bracts.

CULTURAL TECHNIQUE

L'Acanthus it is a fairly rustic plant that is not particularly demanding and requires good exposure to light but not direct sun.

If reared at home, you need to be very careful because the leaves are thorny and therefore as well as hurting people they could damage the curtains.

WATERING

Throughout the spring - summer period, water generously avoiding water stagnation while during the autumn-winter period it is necessary to wet with much more moderation.

During the hottest summer days, spray the leaves with water to ensure greater environmental humidity.

TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT

They are not particularly demanding plants in terms of soils as they adapt quite easily to different situations. In any case it is preferable to choose a fertile and well-draining soil as they do not tolerate water stagnation.

If you grow them in pots use fairly large pots because the roots have a good development.

FERTILIZATION

Starting from spring and throughout the summer, administer a liquid fertilizer once a month with the watering water in half doses.

It is advisable to use a fertilizer that in addition to having macroelements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) also has microelements such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for proper plant growth.

PRUNING

They are plants that cannot be pruned. The parts that dry out over time are simply eliminated to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.

FLOWERING

The flowering period of the acanthus varies from species to species and is referred to them.

MULTIPLICATION

The multiplication ofAcanthus it can take place by seed or by cutting.

MULTIPLICATION FOR TALEA

At the beginning of spring, 10-15 cm long apical cuttings are taken immediately below a node.It is recommended to cut obliquely as this allows for a greater surface for rooting and avoids the accumulation of water on that surface.

Use a razor blade or a sharp knife to avoid fraying of the fabrics and make sure that the tool you use for cutting is clean and disinfected, preferably with a flame, to avoid infecting the fabrics.

The lower leaves are removed and placed in a compost made of peat and coarse sand by making holes with a pencil, as many as there are cuttings to be arranged, taking care to gently compact the soil. a cap after placing sticks in the ground to keep the plastic away from the cuttings and tightening the bag with an elastic band to the pot, to prevent moisture loss.

The pot is placed in an environment at a temperature of about 25-30 ° C and every day removes the plastic to control the humidity of the soil and eliminate condensation from the plastic that has surely formed.

Once the first shoots start to appear (after about 2-3 weeks), it means that the cuttings will have rooted. At that point the plastic is removed definitively and the pot is placed in a brighter area, at the same temperature and expects the cuttings to become stronger. Once they are large enough, they will be transplanted into their final pot and treated like adult plants.

PARASITES AND DISEASES

The plant becomes covered with a whitish powdery patina

This symptom indicates that a white sore or powdery mildew infection is in progress. This disease is caused by a fungus and affects all parts of the plant but prefer the more tender parts. The whitish patina is the mycelium of the fungus.

Remedies: it is advisable to intervene immediately by eliminating the affected leaves and treating the plant with specific fungicides.

CURIOSITY'

It is thought that Greek sculptors used the stick figure of theAcanthus mollis(in Greek Acanthos) to adorn the Corinthian capitals.


Corinthian capital of the Villa Celimontana park, Rome (Italy)


Video: Acanthus ebracteatus Vahl. NANAPHUN


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