Richard Bogren, Owings, Allen D.
News Release Distributed 03/22/13
By Allen Owings
LSU AgCenter horticulturist
HAMMOND, La. – 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.
Angelonias have been one of the top, new, annual flowers for the Gulf States over the past 10 years. Some of us have planted angelonias in the past few years, but they are relatively new to many home gardeners. Some folks refer to angelonias by a common name of “summer snapdragon.”
Angelonias are tough, sustainable plants. It is best to plant them in April or May. They perform well and do best in the landscape when we get to hot days and warm nights. Angelonias last until the first killing frost.
When planting angelonias, select a full-sun location with adequately drained soil. Serena angelonias have very good drought tolerance once they’re established. 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 continual blooming characteristic of the plant.
Angelonias do best under minimum fertilization and minimum irrigation situations. They will not perform as well when heavily fertilized and/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 homeowners can plant 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, too, require little care to maintain its low-mounding form. This care-free, continuous bloomer is well-suited to landscapes, gardens and mixed containers. Individual plants reach 12-14 inches tall by 10-12 inches wide. Space plants 8-12 inches apart.
Serena angelonias are great low-maintenance, no-fuss plants. They make a great addition to a “cottage garden”-type flowerbed. 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.
You can see more about work being done in landscape horticulture by viewing the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station website. Also, like us on Facebook. You can find an abundance of landscape information for both home gardeners and industry professionals.