Grow Annual Angelonia Flowers for Pollinators
Bees love the little flowers of angelonia, sometimes called summer snapdragon, an easy-care annual plant for gardens and containers.
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Why You Should Grow Angelonia Plants
Some plants have big flashy flowers, drawing you in from yards away to admire their in-your-face beauty. Others enchant with small intricate flowers, designed to attract small pollinators like bees with a variety of clever tricks. Angelonia, also known as summer snapdragon, is a great example of the latter. This easy-to-grow annual is well-worth adding to your flower gardens or containers.
Angelonia Care and Growing Tips
- Common name: Summer snapdragon
- Scientific name: Angelonia angustifolia
- Zones: 9 to 11 or Annual
- Light needs: Full sun
- Soil: Well-draining
The Angelonia genus of about 30 species is native to Central and South America. Angelonia angustifolia is the species most commonly grown in flower gardens around the world. Multiple cultivars are available.
Angelonia plants grow to about 10 to 24 inches tall, depending on type, and spread 8 to 12 inches wide, with several flower stalks on each plant. Miniature detailed blooms somewhat resemble snapdragon blooms (hence the common name).
Angelonia is excellent in flower borders or containers. This plant thrives on heat and humidity, making it an excellent choice for southern gardeners. And don’t worry if you forget to water it every once in a while—it’s also drought-tolerant!
It’s an annual for most gardeners. However, those in zones 9 to 11 may be able to grow it for several years as a perennial in the right conditions. Some may even have luck growing this as a houseplant in a sunny window. Provide regular water and full sun for the best flowering.
See our list of the top 10 annuals that attract hummingbirds.
Look for Angelonia plants in garden centers. Or start them from seed in the spring.
The dark purple and soft lilac blooms of Archangel Blue Bicolor are the largest of any angelonia variety. Gardeners in hot climates should snap it up because it thrives in the summer heat. It is deer-resistant, blooms throughout the growing season in sunny locations, and adds height to containers.
Also try Serenita Pink, an All-America Selections winner, which will get about a foot tall. This pretty pink stunner pairs well with other plants in a mixed container or in the landscape.
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The blossoms have evolved to be pollinated by special types of bees that seek out floral oils instead of nectar. The tiny hairs deep inside the flower produce these oils. When the bees crawl in to harvest the oil, they inadvertently gather pollen on their legs and bodies. Then they spread pollen to the next flower as they travel.
Next, discover more of the best flowers that attract bees.