A for angelonia

Each spring, right when the last expected frost date passes and it is safe to plant tender plants outside, I invariably have to remind myself to keep the craving for annuals under control. Annuals indeed provide non-stop color to our gardens. But during the peak of heat, the garden in general needs quite a bit of daily care, which can be a problem with travel plans on the agenda. So this year I have decided to be rather selective without, of course, depriving myself.  

On a sunny weekend when I headed to a garden center, which was busy as it could be, I found myself bumping into another customer at one of the annual tables, since we were both anxious to get the same item the store had barely enough of – Angelonia, my choice annual of this season.   

Fondly called summer snapdragons, flowers of angelonias do remind one of snapdragons. In fact, at our local farmers market, when I saw containers of “Angelface,” a series sold by Proven Winners, I did, at first, mistake them for snapdragons.

Long-blooming, easy to grow and is considered heat and drought tolerant, the upright plants can reach up to two feet in height with a similar spread.  Plant at sunny spots in beds, borders or containers, and watch them bloom and attract butterflies; borne in spikes, the delicate flowers that come in white, pink or purple also make nice-cut flowers.  And angelonias are deer resistant too.

Angelonias, overall, do not need much attention. However, for best results, apply some fertilizer periodically and water if no rain occurs. I have planted pink ones in a flower bed near our back patio and the “Angelface Blue” in a container. At the time of planting, I added some Osmocote, a slow-release fertilizer, which I think will keep the plants sustained through the season. Both seem to be doing well.

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