Plant These Giant Jaw Dropping Orbs in Your Garden Now and Enjoy a Specatular Show Come Summer
With its huge architectural stems crowned by umbrella-shaped luminous green or dusky purple blooms, angelica turns heads like nothing else! These breathtaking plants reach up to a stately two metres tall, and their fabulous exploding flower heads will grab the attention of whoever steps foot into your garden. The flowers appear in summer with some varieties lasting into autumn, turning into sculptural seed heads that are just as attractive. These gigantic seed heads help them to spread around, so, if you buy just two or three plants this year, you’ll probably get some free ones next summer if the conditions are right. They like shade and rich soil, so this is a really useful plant to brighten up those tricky, not-so-sunny spots.
PICK A HEALTHY PLANT
In its first year, angelica is a simple rosette with a small stalk, then it grows much larger in its second. Look for healthy leaves and a firm stem, avoiding limp or floppy growth. Angelica archangelica (Height 2m Spread 1.2m, 7.99/1L pot, waitrosegarden.com) is the most widely available variety, and it’s great for a modern garden, with pretty leaves, pink flushed stems and crowns of lime-green flower heads in early summer.
KEEP IT ALIVE
Get a few things right to begin with and angelica is easy to grow and very undemanding. Choose a full or partially shady spot, where the soil is moist, as angelica isn’t drought-tolerant and you’ll need to keep it well-watered. Give it plenty of space, too. Angelica is a biennial plant, which means it flowers in the second year, then dies. But because it has lots of seeds that happily sow themselves without any help from you, it continually makes new plants. So, for the best show year after year, make sure there’s room for plants in their first and second years. Young plants are a tasty snack for slugs and snails, so you might need to protect them with a cloche.
HELP IT THRIVE
Angelica likes the soil to be deep, moist and fertile. For strong and healthy plants, sprinkle Rootgrow Mycorrhizal Fungi (£11.50/360g, sarahraven.com) into the base of the planting hole to boost the root system and water in well after planting. In addition to self-seeding, there is another easy way to add to your display. In the autumn of the second year, cut back the stems and dig up the plant, dividing the roots using a sharp knife. Repot each into compost or directly into the soil where you would like them to grow, and you’ll end up with a flourish of plants next summer.
GO BIG OR GO HOME!
Purple angelica is a stunning plant with deep plum flowers that bees love. The red-tinted stems look good, too. This one is a late flowerer, with the ruby-red heads appearing in August and September (Height 1.8m Spread 1.2m, £6.99/9cm pot, waitrosegarden. com). Purple-flushed Angelica syvestris purpurea ‘Vicar’s Mead’ is another dark-stemmed beauty that can reach up to two metres. It has dark purple leaves and dusky lavender flowers (Height 1.5-2m Spread 75cm, £5.95/9cm pot, sarahraven.com).
GET FREE PLANTS!
It’s easy to dig up angelica, slice up the roots and pop into pots to make new plants.