All gardeners who work endlessly in their garden deserve to have a backyard oasis where they can relax and unwind. Just add a swing, a hammock, a coffee table, and, of course, some colourful flowers such as the charming Summer Snapdragons. Unlike other plants that take a break during the summer, Angelonias pick up the pace. These lovely Summer Snapdragons bloom from late spring through fall, making them the perfect backyard decoration.
Until the 1990s, Angelonia was mainly grown in the south where the climate is similar to its native habitats. Thanks to new beautiful cultivars, the Summer Snapdragon has become a gardener’s dream. Nowadays, the plant is available everywhere in a selection of bright colours such as blue, mauve, purple, pink, white, and bicolour. Even Ellen Reznick, owner of Lush Life Gardening is an enthusiastic Angelonia fan.
Reznick confirms that this ornamental plant has some of the most sought-after qualities: it’s low maintenance and a vigorous full-season bloomer. Furthermore, it thrives on terraces and roofs, withstanding the withering sun and high winds. Angelonia Angustifolia can take heat and humidity without a problem. It is a splendid addition to any sunny spot. Another perk is that although Summer Snapdragons grow quite tall, they do not need staking or deadheading. This leaves more time for you to relax and enjoy your beautiful garden bathed in Angelonia’s fruity fragrance.
If you are sold on Angelonia Angustifolia, keep on reading to find out more about how to grow and care for this lovely plant.
About Angelonia Angustifolia
- Angelonia genus comprises approximately 30 species that grow from Mexico to Argentina in arid and semi-arid habitats.
- Snapdragon plants are native to the Mediterranean and have been cultivated in gardens since ancient Roman times. Summer Snapdragons are subtropical plants native to the Americas and the West Indies.
- Angelonia Angustifolia is similar in appearance to the Snapdragon. Unlike the Snapdragon, the Summer Snapdragon doesn’t have a problem with the summer heat. Its flowers stand tall long after the last Snapdragon plant has wilted.
- Angelonia flowers have a fruity scent that feels especially intense on hot summer evenings.
- The Summer Snapdragon is an annual in all but the hottest climates. It makes a great addition to borders, flower beds, and containers.
- Angelonia Angustifolia is not toxic to pets or people, although it is not fit for consumption. Consuming large amounts can cause side effects.
Angelonia Angustifolia Features: An Overview
- Although Summer Snapdragons and Snapdragons have a similar appearance, they belong to a different genus. This means that despite their similarities, they are unable to cross-pollinate or produce hybrid cultivars.
- Angelonia Angustifolia produces delicate, small, orchid-shaped flowers. Unlike the Snapdragon and the wild Snapdragon, Linaria vulgaris, Summer Snapdragon flowers do not open and close when pinched.
- The flowers of the Summer Snapdragon are specialized for pollination, as they have hairs in the inner corolla. These produce oils collected by species of oil bee pollinators, especially the Centris bee genus.
- Summer Snapdragons produce shorter flower spikes than its cousin the Snapdragon. They can grow 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) tall and 12 to 14 inches (30 to 35 cm) wide.
- Angelonia Angustifolia is hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11 where they can survive all year round, especially if you add a layer of organic mulch. For the rest of us, Angelonia remains an annual that will perish when the first frost arrives.
Growing Angelonia Angustifolia
Growing Summer Snapdragon plants is easy and rewarding. Even if you go on a one-week summer vacation, your plants will greet you with blooms as you return. Because Angelonias love high humidity and hot summer weather, they fare well in the Southwest. Moreover, their nectar-rich flowers attract pollinators but are considered deer-resistant.
The most important aspect to keep in mind when adding Angelonias to your garden is that they need a full day’s sun to get the energy they need to bloom all summer long. If your plants don’t get a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight daily, they become leggy and produce sparse blooms. Although Angelonia Angustifolia is self-cleaning and doesn’t require staking or deadheading, cutting plants back will promote a bushier appearance. To rejuvenate your Snapdragon, cut it back by half in mid-summer and add some fertilizer.
Summer Snapdragons are quite resistant to pests and disease, but they can suffer from aphid infestations, especially early in the season, during their rapid growth phase. Misting with a light insect soap twice weekly should take care of these pests before they get the chance to infest your plants. If this happens, remove portions of the plant that have been taken over. A great option is pairing Summer Snapdragons with marigolds to keep aphids away. Also, ladybugs are natural predators of aphids, so you can try to make your garden lady-bug friendly.
Another common problem with Angelonias is powdery mildew. Powdery mildew may occur in humid conditions, or if your plants don’t receive sufficient sunlight and air movement.
To keep your garden in top shape, make sure to keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with Angelonias for space, water, and much-needed nutrients. You can control them by cultivating often or mulching to prevent seeds from germinating. Mulching has other benefits as well, such as maintaining even soil temperatures and retaining moisture. Keep away mulches off the plant’s stem to prevent rot. Dead plants must be removed after they are killed by frost to avoid the spread of disease the following year.
Planting Angelonia Angustifolia
Angelonia plants are not fussy and they can tolerate various types of soil. However, well-draining soil rich in organic matter with a slightly acidic pH (between 5.5 and 6.2) is ideal. Summer Snapdragons need good drainage to prevent root rot. If you have heavy clay, it would be better to grow the plants in containers and raised beds.
Due to its self-cleaning and tidy nature, Angelonia Angustifolia is an ideal container plant. We recommend using large containers, at least 18 inches (45 cm) wide. During winter, you can bring them inside to shelter them from the cold. Pot the plants in late spring when temperatures are warm. Angelonias have a small root system, so they won’t need repotting if grown as annuals. Plants that have overwintered need repotting in the spring to refresh the growing medium.
When planting outdoors, make sure you choose a site that receives a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Plant in late spring, after the danger of passes. We recommend adding a 2-to-3 inches (5-to-8 cm) layer of organic matter into the planting beds. Dig a hole the size of the root ball and place the plant inside so that the top of the root ball is level with the soil around it. Fill in the hole, tamp down, and water thoroughly.
Summer Snapdragon plants are light feeders compared to other summer annuals, so they don’t need much fertilizer. You can apply an all-purpose fertilizer each month. Alternatively, you can use a balanced, slow-release flower fertilizer at planting time, thus eliminating the need to constantly fertilize. A time-release mix of 10-5-10 or 12-12-12 fertilizer should do the trick.
Watering Angelonia Angustifolia
Once established, Angelonia Angustifolia plants become drought-tolerant and they keep blooming throughout periods of drought. They require watering only about once weekly, or when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch. Even if Angelonias can survive with less moisture, they won’t bloom as profusely.
Plants that are not established require watering 2 to 3 times per week. Container-grown Snapdragons need more frequent watering in very hot temperatures, so make sure to check if the soil is too dry. A layer of mulch around the plant can help retain moisture and prevents soil-splash that can damage the foliage and flowers.
Propagating Angelonia Angustifolia
Until recently, propagating Angelonia Angustifolia was rather expensive, because the only method available was from cuttings. However, with the introduction of the Serena series, the first type of Angelonias capable of growing from seeds, planting from seeds has become a viable option.
If you are growing Angelonia Angustifolia from seeds, start them indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost in your area. Sow them in seed starting formula, about 1/8 inches (3 mm) deep. To germinate, seeds need moist soil and a temperature of 70 °F to 75 °F (21 °C to 24 °C). You can use a heat mat to achieve the correct temperature. After approximately two weeks, you will see the seedlings emerge.
Before transplanting plants in the garden, gradually acclimate them to the outside environment. To harden them up, move them to a sheltered place outside for one week. If you are sowing the seeds directly outside, wait until the danger of frost has passed. Plants need to be thinned to 18 inches (45 cm) apart.
Propagating Angelonias from stem cutting is a great and easy method to get more of your favourite flowers. Non-patented cultivars can be propagated via stem cuttings. Start by taking a 3 inch (8 cm) clipping from the mother plant. Make sure your clippers are clean to prevent the spread of disease. It’s best to choose a cutting with no flowers.
Proceed to remove all but the top leaves from the cutting to make things easier to handle for the rootless plant. Dig the end in rooting hormone and plant it in a well-draining root medium. Keep moist and warm until new leaves begin to grow, letting you know your new plant is ready to be moved into the garden.
Angelonia Angustifolia can offer your garden an endless array of blooms from late spring through fall. Unlike its cousin, the Snapdragon, Angelonia can withstand hot summer days that cause other flowers to wither.
The Summer Snapdragons is a gardener’s dream come true: it’s low maintenance, a vigorous full season bloomer, loves the sun, and doesn’t require any deadheading. This leaves more time for you to relax and enjoy your beautiful garden filled with Angelonia’s fruity fragrance that gets especially strong on hot summer evenings.
Are you growing Angelonia in your garden? Share your experience in the comments below!