Otherwise known as summer snapdragons, angelonia flowers resemble snapdragons. Unlike snapdragons, angelonias bloom through the summer. Gardenerdy has some tips regarding angelonia care.
Angelonia flower break virus (AnFBV) is a new carmovirus isolated from angelonia plants. Affected plants may develop flower break and mottled leaves. They have to be destroyed as the condition is not curable.
Angelonias are fast-growing plants that produce upright spikes with flowers that resemble snapdragons. They are grown as perennials in USDA zones 9 to 11, whereas in other regions, they are treated as annuals. These plants are highly tolerant to heat, humidity, and drought. Angelonias may grow to a height of around two feet. Compact varieties are also easily available. These evergreen plants are known for their fragrant foliage and long-lasting blooms. The long, pointed leaves have serrated margins and glossy surfaces. Labiate flowers are produced on spikes that develop on stem tips.
Angelonias belong to the genus Angelonia in the family Plantaginaceae. This genus has around 30 species that produce flowers in shades of blue and purple. Nowadays, numerous cultivars with differently colored flowers are available in garden stores. Most of them are developed from the species named Angelonia angustifolia. They bloom in shades of white, pink, and blue. Bicolors are also commonly seen. Angelface is a popular cultivar with blush-purple flowers. They are heavy bloomers with a compact size. Serene series of angelonias are highly sought after for their long blooming period. There are four types of Serena angelonias―white, purple, lavender, and lavender pink. They are also compact in size with a maximum height of 12 to 14 inches. Another advantage of this cultivar is that it can be grown from seeds. Angelonias are often grown in flower beds. In regions with cold weather, these plants are often grown in containers that can be shifted indoors during winter.
Usually, stem cuttings are used for propagating angelonias. However, plants that belong to the Serena series are grown from seeds. Root mass division is another method of propagation.
Use Seeds: Seeding can be started indoors two to three months before the last frost date. The seeds have to be sown in well-drained soil with a pH level that ranges between 5 to 6. Temperature has to be maintained between 70 to 75°F. Low light setting is ideal, till the seeds germinate. It takes around two weeks for the seeds to germinate. Once they germinate, provide bright light that is necessary for the growth of seedlings. You can transplant the seedlings after the last frost. These plants start blooming within three weeks of growth. You can collect their seeds during late summer and dry them before storing for future use.
Stem Cuttings: Stem tip cuttings of non-patented cultivars can be used to grow new plants. Plant them in a well-drained rooting medium, and provide a bottom heat of around 70 to 75°F. They require high humidity level for growing roots. If the conditions are ideal, angelonia stem cuttings will root within two weeks.
Root Mass Division: Dig out the plants along with their root clumps. Split the plants by dividing the root clumps. Plant them in separate containers (one-gallon size). During winter, place the containers in a warm and sunny indoor location. Cut them back as and when they stop blooming. Water the plants only when the soil gets dry. Transplant them outdoors after the last frost.
Tips to Grow Angelonia Plants
❧ Grow angelonias in a sunny location with fertile well-drained soil. While full sun is best for these plants, partial shade may also work. If exposed to full sun for at least eight hours a day, these plants will bloom through the summer till the first frost. However, avoid planting them in locations with full shade.
❧ Leave some gap between the plants to provide ample space for them to spread. This ensures good air circulation too. A 10- to 12-inch gap is ideal for plants growing in colder regions. In warm regions, space these plants 18 to 20 inches apart.
❧ Before planting angelonias, till the soil and add a good amount of compost. A bit of fertilizer can also be applied. The ideal pH level is between 5.6 to 6.5.
❧ Pinch off the stem tips to induce branching so that the plant becomes bushy and produces more blooms. This can be done eight to ten days after transplantation. You may also prune them during late summer, if they stop blooming temporarily. This will result in another cycle of blooms. In case of angelonias, deadheading is not required.
❧ The soil must be moist till the seedlings establish themselves. Once they get established, water the plants only when the soil dries out completely. However, plants grown in containers require frequent watering. The same applies to those growing in regions with very hot summers.
❧ Feed angelonias using a general purpose fertilizer once a month. Avoid over fertilization, it may result in lush foliage with few flowers. Light feeding is advisable for angelonias. Those growing outdoors during winter should not be fertilized during that period.
❧ During autumn, you may dig out the plants and grow them in containers till the last frost. They need to be shifted indoors during winter. In regions with mild winters, mulch the plants (during fall) with a thick layer of pine straw. They may survive the winter if the temperature does not become too low.
Angelonias are hardy plants that are resistant to most pests and diseases. However, aphids and whiteflies may sometimes attack these plants. In that case, use proper pesticides to counter the condition. In short, angelonias are not fussy and can be grown easily.