Although not a conventionally pretty plant, angelica commands attention in the garden due to its majestic nature. The individual purple flowers are very small, but they bloom in large clusters like Queen Anne’s lace, making for a stunning display. Angelica plants can be enjoyed in the garden by being propagated. It is best to grow angelica in groups with other, larger plants. It mixes well with ornamental grasses, large dahlias and giant alliums.
When trying to propagate angelica, be aware that angelica cuttings are difficult to grow because the stems usually fail to root. Instead, start new plants from angelica seeds or divide two- or three-year-old plants. The plants bloom every two years, so plant angelica two years in a row for a continuous supply of flowers.
Starting Angelica Seeds
Angelica seeds grow best when sown when they are ripe. When they are almost ripe, tie a paper bag over the flower heads to catch the seeds before they fall to the ground.
Use peat or fiber pots so as not to disturb the delicate roots when transplanting plants into the garden.
Gently press the seeds into the soil’s top layer. They need light to grow, so don’t cover them with soil. Keep the pots in a bright location with temperatures between 60-65°F (15-18°C) and keep the soil moist.
If you are growing angelica plants from dried seeds, they need some special handling. Each peat pot should have numerous seeds sown on its exterior. They have a low germination rate and using several seeds per pot helps ensure germination of the plants.
After sowing the angelica seeds, store the peat pots in the fridge for two to three weeks by placing them in a plastic bag. Treat them like fresh seeds once you’ve taken them out of the fridge. If you have multiple plants in a pot, use scissors to remove the weakest ones.
Propagate Angelica from Divisions
When the plants are two to three years old, divide the angelica. Cut the plants about 12 inches (31 cm) off the ground to make them easier to handle.
Run a sharp spade through the center of the plant, or lift the entire plant and separate the roots with a sharp knife. Replant the sections immediately, spacing them 18 to 24 inches (46 to 61 cm) apart.
An easy way to propagate angelica is to allow the plants to self-seed. If you have mulched around the plant, pull back the protective covering so that the dropped seeds are in direct contact with the soil. Leave the spent flower heads on the plant for the seeds to ripen. When growing conditions are ideal, the seeds germinate in the spring.
Since you now understand how to grow angelica, you can use these plants year after year.