April 30, 2009
by Jean Wofford
Victoria County Master Gardener
edited by Charla Borchers Leon
Victoria County Master Gardener
|PHOTO BY HENRY HARTMAN/CREATIVE IMAGES
The angelonia is often referred to as the summer snapdragon due to similar resemblance of the blooms. The blooms do not need deadheading, and they work like snapdragons in cut-flower arrangements in the home.
|The botanical name of the angelonia is Augustifolia hybrid. I am definitely not a scientific gardener. In fact, my plants are chosen if I like the stem, leaf or even the name.
I liked the name of angelonias. It helped that they were for our cold-hardy growing zone, which is Zone 9. That said, the first angelonias I bought were from a catalog and chosen for the name and zone.
I usually do plant snapdragons in the fall because I like the jewel colors and they make excellent cut flowers. When I saw the pictures of angelonias, they resembled snapdragons, and I thought they would work for cut flowers in the summer.
Where are they from?
Angelonias were introduced into the United States in the early 1990s. After their initial introduction, nothing more was known about them until the early part of 2000. It seemed that interest really began to peak and has continued.
Angelonias are native to the West Indies, Mexico and South America. There is very little history about angelonias.
How do I plant them?
Angelonias are fairly easy to grow, but do need to be planted in a well draining bed. I planted mine in a bed that has a lot of organic material, such as good composted mulch and manure, mixed with the soil in the flower bed. They need to be in full sun. Once they are fully established, they require little care.
Last year, they proved to be very drought-resistant. My angelonias also proved to have no pests or other problems. They are on my current favorite flower list.
Angelonias are pretty used in a mass planting of one color or mixed in with other plants, as in a cottage garden setting. I planted some out in the country at the ranch house, and they received little to no care, but bloomed all summer. How easy is that.
I since have found out that they are known to have bloomed all winter in this area, too, when temperatures remained mild.
How do I propagate them?
The first year I planted angelonias, according to the catalog description, they were planted as annuals.
Imagine my delight when I checked on them in the spring to find them not only coming up, but multiplying.
I made the decision to try to divide them. I used a sharp hand trowel and cut down through the plant. I dug up the little plant with some of the root and planted it in another sunny location. They started to grow with no problems at all.
Later, when they began blooming, I cut some to bring into the house. They proved to be long lasting as cut flowers.
This year, I ordered pelleted seeds from a catalog. They are about the size of four o'clock seeds. I am going to start them in small pots and see what happens.
Colors and sizes
Angelonias can be found in sizes 2 to 4 feet, and they have a spread of one to three feet. They come in white, lavender-pink, lavender with more blue, pink, purple and variegated purple and white.
They are currently available in 4.5-inch pots as well as gallon nursery pots at local outlets. Sometimes they are available in packs. The plants available now have more blooms and are larger ones than the angelonias
What makes it desirable?
Angelonias are somewhat bushy plants, a tropical perennial that has snapdragon-like blooms. They bloom all summer in our hot weather and sometimes through the winter if mild in temperature. The foliage is slightly fragrant.
Butterflies love this plant, and it can be planted in a container, but will need a bit more watering than if planted in the ground.
The white angelonia also works well in a moonlight garden setting.
Where can I get them?
Until recently, I had to buy my angelonias by mail order. However, the local nurseries seem to have them in stock, depending on what color you prefer.
|ALL ABOUT ANGELONIAS
Classified as perennials in cool-hardy zone 9
Resemble the snapdragon flower
Bloom all summer and through mild winters
Do not need to be deadheaded
Require average water needs
Have proven to be drought resistant
Little to no pest problems
Suitable for container growing
Come in a variety of purple and pink pastel shades
White variety works well in moonlit garden setting
Good cut flower
An altogether wonderful plant for the area
GET YOUR GARDEN TOUR TICKETS NOW
The Angelonia plant can be seen in the Patillo garden in old Victoria on the Annual Garden Tour on May 16-17. Tickets are $15 for six gardens.
Tickets available at these Victoria locations:
Devereux Gardens - 1313 N. Navarro St.
Earthworks - 102 E. Airline Drive
Four Seasons Garden Center - 1209 E. Salem Road
Texas AgriLife Extension - 442 Foster Field Drive
|The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.|