Angelonia, also known as the Summer Snapdragon, is a beautiful annual plant native to Central and South America. Its common name comes from the shape of its flowers, which resemble snapdragons. Angelonia is valued for its long-lasting blooms, heat tolerance, and resistance to pests and diseases.
Growing and Caring for Angelonia
Angelonia thrives in warm and sunny conditions, making it an ideal choice for gardens in regions with hot summers. It requires full sun exposure to achieve its best growth and flowering potential. Angelonia prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. This plant is relatively drought-tolerant once established, but it still benefits from regular watering, especially during dry periods.
In terms of temperature, angelonia is quite adaptable, tolerating both high heat and humidity. It can withstand moderately cool temperatures, but it generally prefers a warm climate. If grown in regions with cooler summers, planting angelonia in a sheltered spot or using microclimates such as south-facing walls can help provide extra warmth. Additionally, angelonia is not particularly fussy about soil pH and can thrive in acidic to alkaline conditions.
Leaves and Flowers
The foliage showcases a rich, glossy green color, often with a slightly toothed or serrated edge. The leaves emit a pleasant fragrance when gently brushed or crushed. This delightful scent adds an extra sensory dimension to the garden experience.
The flowers of Angelonia appear in dense spikes or clusters atop the upright stems, creating a stunning display of blooms that can last for several months. The individual flowers resemble small, snapdragon-like blossoms with a tubular shape and two distinctive lips. Angelonia flowers come in various hues, including shades of pink, purple, blue, white, and bi-color combinations. These cheerful blooms also serve as magnets for pollinators like butterflies and bees.
Uses in the Garden
With its tall spikes of colorful flowers and glossy green foliage, Angelonia adds a touch of elegance and vibrancy to gardens, borders, and containers. Angelonia is commonly used as a bedding plant, forming compact mounds of color that bloom profusely throughout summer. Angelonia’s vertical growth and impressive flower spikes create a visually captivating garden display, whether planted in clusters for a bold impact or mixed with other annuals and perennials.
Another good use for the summer snapdragon is in container gardening. Its upright growth habit and long-lasting flowers make it an ideal thriller element in container arrangements, adding height and visual interest to patio pots, hanging baskets, and window boxes. Combining Angelonia with trailing and mounding plants creates a balanced and dynamic composition. The variety of available flower colors, including purple, pink, white, and blue, allows for endless creative possibilities when designing container gardens.
At Martin Garden Center, we carry several varieties of Angelonia, including the ever popular Archangel series. The Big series (Big Indigo and Big Snow) are also favorites. Recently, a trailing/spreading variety named AngelMist has found its way to Martin Garden Center and is quickly becoming a must have.