Overview and History
Angelonia, sometimes referred to as “summer snapdragon,” is a genus of approximately 30 species, which grow natively in regions from Mexico to Argentina. The plants grow mostly upright, with stalks filled with flowers. Angelonia florets resemble tiny orchid-like blooms and their shape aids in pollination through hairs in the inner corolla that help bees forage for pollen. With its tolerance to heat and dry conditions, Angelonia thrives through most summer gardens with little extra maintenance or care.
These three species, Angelonia crassifolia, Angelonia integerrima, and Angelonia campestris are more of a sub-shrub genus in terms of habit and look. They are native to Brazil and first classified by botanists in the early 1800s. They grow much more wild primarily in a dry tropical biome.
Angelonia salicariifolia was published in floral journals in 1812 as the result of excursions to Bolivia, Brazil, and northeast Argentina. This genus has herbal and medicinal uses in some species. It also grows primarily in the seasonally dry tropical biome.
Popular Angelonia Varieties/Series
At this time, there are two Angelonia angustifolia seed series that gardeners can start and grow in their garden.
Serena® – A durable series and a perfect choice for gardeners looking for water-wise, heat-loving plants. Plants grow up to 50% larger in Florida, the southeast, and similar southern climates. It is available in four colors: White, Rose, Blue and Purple.
Serenita™ – An excellent solution where shorter and more manageable Angelonia is needed. It has a more naturally compact habit and is available in seven colors: White, Lavender, Pink (an AAS Winner), Rose, Raspberry, Sky Blue, and Purple.
Popular Vegetatively Propagated Series
Most Angelonia for your garden is vegetatively propagated.
Alonia™ – This series has an upright, mounded habit that is early to bloom and features extra-large flowers. There are 14 colors and bi-colors in the series all of which are great for landscapes and containers.
Archangel™ – A series that thrives in extreme heat and humidity with extra-large size blooms on well-branched plants that resist breakage and tangling. There are 10 colors in this series, including a new Ruby Sangria with dark-red hues.
AngelDance™ -A taller and more vigorous series with flexible stems that dance in the wind, creating an attractive cottage garden look. Very reminiscent of a foxglove or larkspur flower. Blooms are bicolored in Fuchsia and Violet
Angelface®– Is available in three types: Standard, Super, and Cascade. The difference between them is the shape of the plant or its habit. Like all Angelonia, they bloom all season without removing the spent blossoms.
AngelMist® – Has a low-growing, spreading habit that makes it great for groundcover in garden beds, or spilling out of hanging baskets or patio containers. Five colors are available, including a bicolor of pink-and-purple named Berry Sparkler.
Aria and Aria Alta – The Aria series has large flower spikes on upright plants that grow up to 16” tall whereas the Aria Alta types are slightly larger, growing up to 24” tall. Aria Alta comes in purple, pink, and raspberry while the Arias come in white, blue, pink bicolor, purple, and soft pink.
Carita™ – This series comes in Purple, Raspberry, and White on a spreading, upright habit. It beats the heat and tolerates drought, making it an ideal choice for warm-season landscape plantings and hanging baskets.
Sungelonia® – This is an elegant and upright thriller that is perfect for patio containers and landscapes. It’s notable for its compactness, uniformity, and excellent branching habit. They grow up to 15” tall and are available in three colors: blue, deep pink, and white.
Angelonia Growing Tips
Sowing Angelonia Seeds
When sowing, do not cover the seed – Light is required for the germination of Serena or Serenita Angelonia. Seed Angelonia needs about 13-15 weeks from sow to finish. Also, do not pinch when growing Angelonia from seed. Pinching will result in an uneven plant habit and a delay of flowering.
In the garden, Angelonia are very low maintenance
- No pruning or deadheading required
- Plants do their best in warmer temperatures
- Angelonia grows slowly when the temperature is below 64°F (18°C).
- As a drought-tolerant plant, once established Angelonia will thrive in soil that is not saturated with moisture.
Angelonia: A Versatile Plant for Many Uses
Grow spreading Angelonia in a 10-12 inch basket, 3 plants per basket. You can combine a single color or mix colors in the basket. Either way will give a flowerful and colorful hanging basket for the garden.
Angelonia can be a Thriller, a Filler, or a Spiller plant for a combo. Combining different Angelonia habits with other sun-loving plants in a larger container is a good match.
Growing Angelonia in-ground for landscaping makes gardening easy. The plants are well-behaved in the garden, not tangling with other plants. Their blooms also last a long time, providing season-long color.
Purchase at NGB Member Online Stores and at Your Local Garden Retailer
The National Garden Bureau recognizes and thanks the human experts at PanAmerican Seed, an NGB member, as the author and contributor to this fact sheet.
This fact sheet is provided as an educational service of the National Garden Bureau. There are no limitations on the use. Please credit National Garden Bureau, and link to this page, when using all or parts of this article or referencing the Year of the program.
Each state in the U.S. has its own list of invasive species. Before trying a new plant in your garden, refer to the USDA’s National Invasive Species Information website or check with local agencies such as an Extension specialist.