24
January
2012

Spreading Angelonias

angeloniaIn our world, something different is often better than something new, so we’d like to draw your attention to a type of Angelonia that is both new and different.

Standard Angelonias are known as Summer Snapdragons for good reason—they feature the same flower type and strong vertical stalk. This makes them perfect for the middle or back of a flowerbed or container. They generally stand about 18–24 inches high and form a loose stand of color when in bloom.

This year we are growing Spreading Angelonias from the AngelMist™ series at Ball, available in purple, pink and white. Instead of blooming straight up, Spreading Angelonias head in all different directions at about a 45° angle. Flowers shoot out of the plant like fireworks and the blooms crisscross each other to form a horizontal band of color over the foliage. 

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A layer cake comes to mind—tiers of green plants below, iced with brilliant shades of frosting above. It is a very different look for Angelonia plantings; Standard Angelonias grow straight up, while the Spreading varieties grow straight out.

Now, we want to be careful with our words. In this sense, spreading does not refer to a groundcover that will take over a garden. It is also unlike a Spreading Petunia plant that sprawls to cover the ground. In a Spreading Angelonia, the blooms spread out from the center and that’s all that is meant by spreading; otherwise, it grows like any other AngelMist™ Angelonia.

We suspect somebody at Ball saw a sport in their AngelMist™ crop and sensed something promising. This is a specific tweak of Angelonia genetics. 

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Funny how a small change can make a big difference! Because it blooms at an angle, the color looks much more intense. It’s textured and layered; it’s vibrant and dappled with green, and it sits much lower—about 10–14 inches, more like a bedding plant. This front-of-the-garden Angelonia is about half the height of the back-of-the-garden upright variety. 

You might be surprised, but we wouldn’t mix the two Angelonias together in the same bed or container. You’ll get much better drama if you mix the new varieties with some tried and true favorites:

  • Feature the Purple backed with Pink Geraniums
  • Pair the Pink with Blue Salvias
  • Contrast the White with Red Dragon Wing Begonias

Angelonias are super for punching up an ordinary garden or container. They kick in just as the traditional snapdragons fade out, so they make a great choice for spring-to-summer and again for summer-through-fall as the season cools off. Their only weakness is the extreme heat at the height of summer.

Spreading Angelonias are outstanding in the landscape and great in hanging baskets. Use them in a combination, but be sure to put them along the outside where they can spill over the edges.

Remember, these are not your father’s Angelonias—they bloom out, not up.

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Diefenbacher Greenhouses is a supplier of annuals and creative green goods. We sell directly to Garden Centers and Landscapers in the Cincinnati Area. 

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