As a horticulturist, I often find myself recommending plants to people. I feel bad when I get asked for the impossible plants; something like an evergreen that flowers all year long, is hardy in Zone 3, loves deep shade, and deer won’t eat it.
There is one incredible flower that I frequently recommend, though, because it does cover so many bases. I absolutely LOVE it! The plant is called angelonia, and despite how wonderful it is, not a lot of gardeners have heard of it.
What does angelonia have going for it?
- It blooms nonstop all summer long.
- It comes in blues and purples (my favorites), as well as pinks and whites.
- It holds up well in hot spots.
- It handles drought like a champ.
- It can grow in wet soil. I hear (never tried it myself, though), that you can even put it in a water garden.
- It attracts butterflies.
- Some varieties are fragrant.
- Deer and rabbits usually leave it alone.
Because it’s so versatile and wonderful to work with, plant breeders have come out with a number of series. Upright versions like the Angelmist or Carita series can get 2 (or more) feet tall. Spreading varieties, such as Serena and Carita Cascade, are perfect picks for hanging baskets. And new-for-2012 Archangel has exceptionally large blooms that really stand out in containers or the landscape.
There’s a spot for angelonia in virtually every sunny garden. Give it a try and let me know what you think!