Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Summer Snapdragons

Posted in Gardening Tips on July 14 2011, by Sonia Uyterhoeven

Sonia Uyterhoeven is Gardener for Public Education.

Now that you have the perfect container for your summer container garden, it’s time to think about what to put inside it.

Snapdragons (Antirrhinum) are a terrific addition to an early season annual display but unfortunately once the heat of summer is upon us they tend to fade quite quickly. An easy solution to recapture the look of elegant vertical spires covered with blossoms is to swap them out with summer snapdragons (Angelonia).

This year in the Home Gardening Center our first Trial Bed is full of a number of varieties of summer snapdragons. There are two cultivars in this bed that I am unfamiliar with and am excited to watch them grow.

One is the cascading Angelonia ‘Carita™ Cascade Raspberry’. It reaches only 8-10 inches tall, yet spills over to form a 20 inch cascading mound. It doesn’t require any deadheading and like other summer snapdragons it is deer resistant and heat and drought tolerant. This is a candidate that would be ideal spilling over the edge of a container or at the front of a border. It would partner beautifully with a dark-leaved coral bell (Heuchera).

The other cultivar is called Angelonia ‘Serena™ Lavender Pink’. She gets 10 to 12 inches tall and just as wide. ‘Serena™ Lavender Pink’ has already filled out beautifully in the garden and formed a nice clump. The lavender pink color of the blossom will blend with just about anything. This cheerful annual looks genteel with the silvery foliage of trailing licorice plant (Helichrysum petiolare) and white fan flower (Scaevola ‘Bombay White’).

Other summer snapdragons in the Trial Bed are from the AngelFace® and AngelMist™ series. These summer snapdragons tend to be 18-24 inches tall and fill out beautifully during the course of the summer to form a substantial plant. The other year I accidentally paired the bicolored (purple and white) ‘AngelFace® Wedgewood Blue’ with an apricot nasturtium (Tropaeolum ‘Tip Top Apricot’) for a beautiful display.

While these summer snapdragons are advertised as requiring no deadheading, they do benefit from occasional deadheading which cleans them up and encourages more new growth. They will grow and flower profusely regardless. While they can handle drought they also grow well in average garden soil. This is an easy, no fuss annual that performs consistently all season long.

See a slideshow of the Home Gardening Center’s Angelonia below!

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