Angelonias are tough summertime plants

Serena angelonia
-- Allen Owings photo

HAMMOND –– Gardeners have long desired flowers that are low-maintenance in their landscape. But they also want these flowers to last spring through fall.
Actually, it’s possible to select plants that will perform this way. Some popular bedding plants that work in this situation include periwinkle (vinca), begonias, coleus and angelonia.
You can add bedding plants to the landscape during the summer. Angelonias are a great choice for both containers and landscape beds.
Angelonias have been one of the top annual flowers for the Gulf States for more than 10 years. They are relatively new to many home gardeners. Some folks refer to angelonias by a common name of “summer snapdragon.”
When planting angelonias, select a full-sun location with adequately drained soil. Use a slow-release fertilizer at planting.
Expect plants to begin flowering shortly after being added to the landscape –– flowering will continue until the first killing frost if conditions and management practices are correct. It is best to not remove old flowers. “Deadheading” angelonias actually hurts the plant’s continual blooming characteristic.
Angelonias do best under minimum fertilization and minimum irrigation. They will not perform as well when heavily fertilized or over-irrigated. This makes angelonias truly a good, low-maintenance flower for Louisiana landscapes.
Serena angelonias were selected as a Louisiana Super Plant in 2011. And here’s why.
Historically, angelonias have only been available to greenhouses as vegetatively propagated plant material. Serena is the first seed-propagated angelonia series that allows commercial growers to more easily produce plants that homeowners can add directly into their gardens.
You can rely on this outstanding summer bedding plant for dependable garden performance through the hottest summer weather. Masses of flower spikes cover the plants from late spring to frost. Five soft colors are available in this series –– Serena Purple, Serena Lavender, Serena Lavender Pink, Serena Blue and Serena White. These colors blend well together.
Serena angelonias, and other varieties require little care to maintain their low-mounding form. This care-free, continuous bloomer is well-suited to landscapes, gardens and mixed containers. Individual plants reach 12- to 14-inches tall by 10- to 12-inches wide. Space plants 8-12 inches apart.
Serena angelonias are great low-maintenance, no-fuss plants, and they have good drought tolerance once they’re established. They make a great addition to a “cottage garden”-type flower bed. They also attract butterflies.
You can be assured that Serena angelonias will be good performers and give you some “snapdragons” in your landscape during the hot summer months. Also available now is a dwarf version of the Serena angelonias called the Serenitas. These grow to 80 percent the size of the original varieties.
You can see more about work being done in landscape horticulture by visiting the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station website at www.lsuagcenter.com/hammond.

By ALLEN OWINGS LSU AgCenter horticulturist

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