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An angelonia plant with clusters of purple flowers and buds growing from the stems.
Angelonia flowers reliably all spring, summer and autumn, and doesn’t flinch at heat, humidity or prolonged dry periods. This tough and undemanding flowering perennial (or annual in cooler climates) puts on a good show throughout the warmer months and looks gorgeous in garden beds, pots, hanging baskets or borders.

What you need to know about angelonia

Name: angelonia, summer snapdragon, Angelonia angustifolia.

Height: usually 25cm-60cm.

Plant type: annual or true perennial. Treated as an annual in areas with frost, but grows as a perennial in warm, frost-free climates.

Climate: warm and cool temperate, subtropical, tropical and arid.

Soil: moist, well-drained soil, enriched with compost.

Position: full sun to part shade.

Foliage: deep-green, glossy foliage with serrated edges.

Flowers: upright spires of pink, red, blue, purple or white tubular blooms from mid-spring to autumn.

Feeding: liquid feed regularly when flowering.

Watering: water regularly.

Appearance and characteristics

Angelonia is a small floriferous annual or perennial. It grows into a neat mound with densely packed deep-green leaves and masses of blooms from mid-spring through to autumn. The slightly tubular, two-lipped flowers (in shades of pink, red, blue, purple or white, often with spotted throats) appear on a single stem to 20cm long. The fragrant blooms are said to smell of apples or grapes.

Angelonia is adaptable to most climates and will tolerate heat, humidity and drought, continuing to flower profusely with little care. It is a hardy shrub and worth including in your garden. It comes back every year if grown as a perennial in warm, frost-free climates. In cool areas, grow as an annual, unless frost protection is provided.

One of the most popular angelonias is the ‘Serena’ series, which have a long flowering period, are hardy and look great in borders, pots or hanging baskets. Angelonia is not considered toxic to dogs or cats.

Close up of an angelonia plant with purple flowers with wide misshapen petals and green leaves.

Uses for angelonia

While angelonia is a cottage-garden favourite, it works well with most garden styles, including formal and contemporary. Plant en masse in beds, along borders or dotted about in rock gardens, or use it to create a spectacular display in window boxes, hanging baskets or pots. The blooms can also be regularly snipped for cut-flower arrangements.

How to grow angelonia

Plant seedlings in early spring, once the chance of frost has passed. Choose a spot in full sun with well-drained soil and enrich with organic compost or aged manure. If planting in pots, use a quality potting mix.

Caring for angelonia

Little care is required to maintain angelonia, but a little goes a long way! Prune back tired or spent flower spikes to promote new growth. Cut back one-third of the foliage after flowering has finished for the season.

An angelonia plant with clusters of white flowers and buds growing from the stems, with purple flowers in the foreground.

How often should you water and feed angelonia?

Water plants regularly as they grow. A layer of organic mulch spread over the soil will help conserve moisture. Established plants are drought tolerant but will perform better if watered regularly during dry periods. Feed regularly with a liquid fertiliser that’s specially formulated for flowering plants.

Diseases and pests that affect angelonia

Sap-sucking insects like aphids may occasionally trouble angelonia. Treat with a suitable insecticide such as a pest oil or soap-based spray.

How to propagate angelonia

Propagate angelonia via stem or tip cuttings. Use a sharp knife or secateurs to take a 10cm cutting from the end of a stem. Choose a cutting without flowers. Remove all the foliage, except for the top pair of leaves. Dip the end of the cutting into a rooting hormone and insert into a pot or tray filled with propagating mix. Keep the mix moist and transplant when roots are established (5-7cm long).

If you like this then try

Portulaca: a hardy succulent groundcover with masses of brightly coloured blooms.

Foxglove: this tall flowering perennial adds drama and impact to any garden.

Billy buttons: the golden pompom flowers on this native shrub make for a cute addition to the garden.

Start planting today

Check out our wide range of flowering plants now and get your garden growing!


Photo credit: Getty Images

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