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Dividing and Transplanting Acanthus Mollis

Posted by LantanaLove 9 - Riverside, CA (My Page) on
Tue, May 13, 14 at 14:20

I just discovered some acanthus mollis growing on the side of our house. I believe they have been dormant in the ground for years, as they just now sprang up after having a new, steady source of water.
Since the side of the house is 95% shade, I decided to make room for some along our front walkway where they will receive ample morning sunlight and dappled sun throughout the afternoon.
I dug them up and transplanted them this morning, and I included a picture so you can get an idea of their size. My question is: Is there a chance they will bloom this summer or fall, or will their small size and the fact that they were divided and transplanted affect their bloom cycle for this year?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Dividing and Transplanting Acanthus Mollis

This is what they look like next to newly planted african daisies, armeria, gazania and recently divided single lilies (to help you get an idea of how small they are).


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RE: Dividing and Transplanting Acanthus Mollis

Heheheh I know they look small now, but in one year A. mollis can easily reach 3.5-4' in width. Ye be warned. :)

I would say they probably won't bloom until next year, but I would not be surprised if they threw up a spike earlier. More depends upon how much of a root system they have below, than the amount of foliage above.


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RE: Dividing and Transplanting Acanthus Mollis

forum hiccup

This post was edited by Gyr_Falcon on Tue, May 13, 14 at 14:41


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RE: Dividing and Transplanting Acanthus Mollis

Thanks, Gyr_Falcon...
I got a decent amount of roots with each plant, much more than when I divided the lilies! In the picture, that's actually 4 separate plants in the area. Did I over-plant the area? I just want it to look lush, which is really hard to do when you're trying to landscape with immature plants! I want instant gratification, but since we're renting this house, I'm reusing everything I find on the property!

This post was edited by LantanaLove on Tue, May 13, 14 at 15:10


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RE: Dividing and Transplanting Acanthus Mollis

Acanthus clumps up and as was said can grow 3-4 feet across. It's also prickly, although A mollis is less spiky than A spinosus, so you might want to rethink the position beside the path. It is very tough and easy to transplant. When it does flower expect a three foot tall spike of bloom.


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RE: Dividing and Transplanting Acanthus Mollis

A.mollis is a pussycat compared to the spiky spinossa or the ferocious spinosissima (I may have missed an 's' out here)....so I wouldn't worry unduly.....and no, it won't flower this year.....but when it does, it will spread and seed around. I have been fighting an ongoing battle to get rid of this.....and yet, in the right circumstances (not mine) this is a classic, stately plant.....but......I wish I had one of the non-flowering types such as the bright Hollard's Gold.


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RE: Dividing and Transplanting Acanthus Mollis

Ten years ago I took over a neglected garden with this plant in abundance. After about three years of aggressive herbicide applications, I could start the garden. Still today a few appear and are delt with. I hope you still like it when it takes over. Al


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RE: Dividing and Transplanting Acanthus Mollis

Ha ha I agree with Al


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RE: Dividing and Transplanting Acanthus Mollis

I figure that it's next to grass, so it can just be mowed. If it takes over the walkway, at least we'll have a dramatic entrance to our house.


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RE: Dividing and Transplanting Acanthus Mollis

You will need a string trimmer, pruners, ax and/or shovel to whack the plant back. And they really do not look attractive edged due to how they leaf. Seriously, you should remove the plant on the right/pointed end of the bed. It appears that there is a walkway beside it. Unless that walkway is 6-7' wide, you will wish it was not planted there. And for the other plant, you may want to plan for moving the edge of the lawn back as it grows. I like bear's breeches, but it does demand some room.

Do you have sunnier areas for plants? Gazania likes a lot of heat and sun and can easily withstand difficult conditions where other plants struggle. It will probably grow okay where it is too, but if you need to plant a hot area, it is one to consider.


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RE: Dividing and Transplanting Acanthus Mollis

The yard is mostly shade. Seriously, when my friend's husband came by one day he asked me what we were going to name our forest. The house faces north and we have jacobina and clivia up against the house and the porch. The only spot that receives a ton of light is the hell strip between the sidewalk and street and I just planted tons of flowers and I don't have room for the bears breeches. I wish I knew what they were beforehand or they would have gone there. If these begin to get out of control I may just widen the planting area next to the path to accommodate them. If that doesn't work, I'll tell myself 'At least they're not as bad as the ailanthus infestation coming from next door...'


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