Angelonias are a remarkably drought tolerant and low-maintenance annual. They are often called summer snapdragons because they resemble a snapdragon in their upright habit; however, they hold up better in heat and drought than snapdragons. They flower most of the spring, summer, and on into the fall with no deadheading required. There are many cultivars within the angelonia family—some are shorter and have tiny blooms and some are taller with large blossoms. All have varying degrees of fragrance that smell somewhat like grape or apple. Because of their strong stems and long lasting blooms, they make an excellent choice for cut flower arrangements. Hummingbird moths and other pollinators love angelonia. Below is an excerpt from the Illinois Getting Started Garden Guide which can help you get started with this tough sun loving plant.
- Botanical name — Angelonia angustifolia
- Bloom Period and Seasonal Color — Spring to fall; blue, lavender, pink, rose, white, stripes, and bicolor
- Mature Height × Spread — 1 to 4 feet × 6 to 12 inches
- Added Benefits – Attracts Beneficial Insects, Attracts Hummingbirds
- Sun Requirements – Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade
When, Where, and How to Plant
Angelonias can be found during the spring at garden centers across the state and can also be grown from seed. Plant after frost dates to ensure there will not be a frost as the plants really prefer warmer weather. Angelonias grow their best in a full sun location with a bed amended with a heavy level of organic matter. They will perform in part sun, but require six to eight hours of direct sun per day in order to produce hearty plants with lots of flower spikes. There are many different varieties of angelonia, so be sure to check the label of a plant for growth habits to make sure you have the correct height for your growing situation. Outstanding as container plants, angelonias do well as a featured plant or as part of a mixed container design as well.
Water very well until established. Once established, this plant is in it for the long haul and will require very minimal care. Fertilize with an organic fertilizer every four weeks. Staking is not required.
Advice and Care
Deadheading is not needed for this vigorous flower; however, trimming overgrowth or leaning stems will not harm the plant. Aphids are best treated by squirting a strong blast of water from a garden hose or spraying the bugs with soapy water. Plants grown in shadier conditions might be prone to powdery mildew, which can be treated with an organic fungicide.
Companion Planting and Design
Angelonia’s upright habit makes it the perfect taller companion plant for cascading plants such as petunia, calibrachoa, or sweet potato vine. They are gorgeous in front of ornamental edibles, roses, fountain grass, and plume grass.
If you would like more ideas on how to grow all types of plants, particularly in the Midwest, please resource my book, the Illinois Getting Started Garden Guide in order to see more plant profiles and guides.