If you are looking for a flower that can brighten up your garden with its vibrant colors and sweet fragrance, you might want to consider angelonia. Angelonia, also known as the summer snapdragon, is a beautiful annual flower that resembles snapdragons, but can tolerate heat and humidity better. Angelonia comes in various colors, such as purple, pink, white, and blue. It also attracts butterflies and bees to your garden. In this article, you will learn:
- What is angelonia and what are its characteristics?
- How to grow angelonia from seeds or cuttings?
- How to care for angelonia and prevent pests and diseases?
- How to enjoy angelonia in your garden or your home?
What is Angelonia?
Angelonia is a genus of flowering plants in the plantain family, Plantaginaceae. There are about 30 species of angelonia, most of them native to Mexico and South America. The most common species grown as an ornamental plant is angelonia angustifolia, which has narrow leaves and spikes of tubular flowers. Angelonia angustifolia has many cultivars and hybrids, such as the Angelface series, the Archangel series, and the Serenita series.
Angelonia flowers look like snapdragons, but they are not related. Snapdragons belong to the Antirrhinum genus, which is in the same family as plantains, but in a different subfamily. Angelonia flowers have two lips, a lower one and an upper one. The lower lip is usually larger and has three lobes. The upper lip is smaller and has two lobes. The flowers are arranged in spikes that can reach up to 18 inches tall. The flowers come in various colors, such as purple, pink, white, and blue. Some cultivars have bicolor flowers or speckled throats.
Angelonia plants are herbaceous perennials in their native habitat, but they are usually grown as annuals in colder climates. They can grow up to 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide. They have slender stems and narrow leaves that are dark green or gray-green. They are drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant plants that can thrive in full sun or partial shade. They are also resistant to deer and rabbits.
Here is a table that summarizes the main features of angelonia:
|Common name||Angelonia or summer snapdragon|
|Botanical name||Angelonia angustifolia|
|Type||Annual or perennial|
|Height||Up to 24 inches|
|Width||Up to 18 inches|
|Flower color||Purple, pink, white, blue, bicolor, or speckled|
|Flower shape||Tubular with two lips|
|Bloom time||Summer to fall|
|Foliage color||Dark green or gray-green|
|Foliage shape||Narrow and lance-shaped|
|Light||Full sun or partial shade|
|Soil||Well-drained and rich in organic matter|
|Water||Moderate to low|
|Fertilizer||Balanced or slow-release|
|Pruning||Pinching or deadheading|
|Pests||Aphids, spider mites, whiteflies|
How to Grow Angelonia?
Angelonia plants are easy to grow from seeds or cuttings. You can start them indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date in your area, or you can sow them directly outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. If you start them indoors, follow these steps:
- Use a seed-starting mix and keep the soil moist but not soggy.
- Cover the seeds lightly with soil and place them in a warm location with bright light.
- The seeds should germinate in 10 to 20 days.
- When the seedlings have two sets of true leaves, you can transplant them into individual pots or cell packs.
- Harden them off gradually before planting them outdoors.
If you want to grow angelonia from cuttings, follow these steps:
- Take stem cuttings from healthy plants in late spring or early summer.
- Cut about 4 inches of stem with at least two nodes and remove the lower leaves.
- Dip the cut end in rooting hormone and insert it into a pot filled with moist potting mix.
- Cover the pot with a plastic bag or a dome to create a humid environment.
- Place the pot in a bright location but avoid direct sunlight.
- The cuttings should root in 2 to 4 weeks.
- You can then plant them outdoors or keep them indoors as houseplants.
Angelonia plants prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. They can tolerate acidic, neutral, or alkaline soil pH levels. They like full sun or partial shade, but they will bloom more profusely in full sun. They can grow well in containers or in garden beds. Space them about 12 to 18 inches apart to allow for air circulation and growth.
How to Care for Angelonia?
Angelonia plants are low-maintenance plants that do not require much attention once established. They are drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant plants that can survive dry spells and hot weather. However, they will appreciate regular watering during prolonged droughts or extreme heat waves. Water them deeply and infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
Angelonia plants do not need much fertilization either. You can apply a balanced fertilizer once or twice during the growing season, or use a slow-release fertilizer at planting time. Avoid over-fertilizing them as this can reduce their flowering and make them leggy.
Angelonia plants do not need much pruning either. You can pinch back the tips of young plants to encourage branching and bushiness. You can also deadhead the spent flowers to prolong the blooming period and keep the plants tidy. However, some cultivars are self-cleaning and do not need deadheading.
Angelonia plants are generally pest-free and disease-free plants. However, they can occasionally suffer from aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, or fungal diseases. You can prevent these problems by providing good air circulation, avoiding over-watering, and removing any diseased or damaged plant parts. You can also use insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat any infestations or infections.
How to Enjoy Angelonia?
Angelonia plants are versatile plants that can add color and charm to your garden or your home. You can use them as bedding plants, border plants, edging plants, or container plants. You can also mix them with other annuals or perennials that have similar growing conditions and colors. For example, you can pair them with lantana, verbena, petunia, salvia, or zinnia.
Angelonia plants are also great as cut flowers. You can cut the flower spikes when they are about half open and place them in a vase of water. They can last for up to two weeks in a vase. You can also dry the flower spikes by hanging them upside down in a dark and dry place. They will retain their color and shape for a long time.
Angelonia plants are also known for their fragrance. They have a sweet and pleasant scent that is similar to grape soda or apples. You can enjoy their fragrance by planting them near your patio, your window, or your door. You can also rub the leaves or the flowers to release their aroma.
I hope you liked this article about angelonia, the summer snapdragon. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. I would love to hear from you. Thank you for reading and happy gardening!