How to Grow Dipsacus Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Teasel

Dipsacus are hardy biannuals that grow from 90 to 180 cm (3 to 6 feet) in height.

They are thistle like in nature, with prickly leaves, and similar flowers of white, pink or purple. These come into bloom in the summer.

Dipsacus fullonum
Dipsacus fullonum by Nuuuuuuuuuuul.

One of the most common names for Dipsacus is the Teasel.

Teasel by Matt Lavin.

Commonly Grown Dipsacus Species

Dipsacus fullonum

Dipsacus fullonum
Dipsacus fullonum Syn. with Dipsacus Sylvestris (Wild teasel / Common teasel / Fuller's teasel), photograph by Andreas Rockstein; CC.

Dipsacus laciniatus

Dipsacus laciniatus
Dipsacus laciniatus (Cut-leaved Teasel), picture by Kevin Kenny; CC.

Dipsacus pilosus

Dipsacus pilosus
Dipsacus pilosus (Small teasel), Image by Donald Hobern; CC.

Dipsacus Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Teasel; Wild; Spiny; Small; Japanese Fuller’s. Teazel.
Life Cycle: Hardy biennial.
Height: 30 to 84 inches (75 to 210 cm).
Native: Europe, Asia, North Africa.
Family: Caprifoliaceae.

Growing Region: Zones 3 to 9.
Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: White, purple, pink, lavender. Thistle-like.
Foliage: Herbaceous. Prickly. Lanceolate.

Sow Outside: Surface 1/4 inch (6 mm). Towards the end of spring and early summer. Germination time: less than a week to a month. Temperature: 60°F (16°C). Spacing 24 to 36 inches (60 to 90 cm). If you have been given a Teasel plant or bought one at the nursery then transplant in the autumn.
Sow Inside: No.

Requirements and care: Full sunlight for best results, will grow in the shade. Moist soil. These plants grow very aggressively and should only be grown if you have the time to look after them and weed them properly. Always deadhead flowers before they set seed to prevent spread. Weed unwanted seedlings ruthlessly. Propagate: self-seeds.

Miscellaneous: Be careful with this one as it spreads rapidly. Dipsacus is listed as noxious and invasive in some United States. Often grown at nature reserves in Europe to attract Goldfinches.

How to Grow Teasle (Dipsacus)

If you plan to grow Teasel, then seeds should be planted outdoors at a depth of 7 mm (1/3 rd inch) at the beginning of the summer.

They can grow in both shady and sunny conditions. Dipsacus plants have a preference for moist soil. It should take about one to three weeks for thgem to germinate.

Caring for Dipsacus species such as Teasel

It is important to control Teasel (Dipsacus) once it has become established in the garden.

As soon as it has finished flowering, cut the flowers off before the seeds have a chance to ripen, otherwise it may take over the garden.

Common Questions

How many members does the Dipsacus genus have?

There are currently about 15 to 20 species in the Dipsacus genus.

Do members of Dipsacus make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, some Dipsacus species, like Teasel, are grown for their distinctive spiky flower heads, although they can be quite invasive.

Which Dipsacus species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most popular Dipsacus species among gardeners is the Fullers Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum).

Are members of the Dipsacus plant genus fragrant?

No, Dipsacus species are not known for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Dipsacus?

Dipsacus plants thrive in full sun to partial shade and in well-drained soil.

Is Dipsacus invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Yes, Dipsacus, specifically the Teasel species, is considered invasive in many parts of the USA, including the Midwest.

How do I remove Dipsacus plants from my garden?

Remove Dipsacus by digging up the plant, ensuring to remove the entire root system to prevent regrowth.


The Dipsacus genus, commonly referred to as Teasel, contains about 15 species of flowering plants native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. These biennials or short-lived perennials are known for their prickly leaves and stem, and large, spiky flower heads that are attractive to wildlife.

Dipsacus plants prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. They can be grown from seeds sown in late spring or early summer. Given their height and distinctive appearance, Teasel plants make an interesting focal point in wildlife-friendly gardens. Do note, some species, like Dipsacus fullonum, are considered invasive in parts of North America.

I hope that you found this guide on how to grow Dipsacus plants in your garden. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Scabious, Weigela florida, and Valeriana officinalis plants.