Angelica can turn into quite a talking point in the garden. Its is a fast growing and impressive looking herb with tubular stems and glossy, dark green foliage that can easily grow to over head height. Flower heads start greenish yellow before opening out into white broad, umbrella-like structures. The stems are peeled, steamed and eaten in some countries and the seeds are part of the traditional flavouring for gin. The stems can be crystallized for using in cakes and the leaves are made into a herbal tea. Bees, lacewings and labybugs are all attracted to Angelica when it flowers.
Companions Cabbages, cauliflowers,
Quantity 1 plant per household
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Plant seedlings in early spring.
Angelica needs plenty of space to grow and often looks good at the back of a bed. It likes a shady spot with perhaps a little midday sun. It can handle a sunny spot but soil will need to be deeply mulched to retain moisture.
Angelica likes a fertile soil that has been enriched with rotted manure or compost.
Plant shop-bought seedlings with about a half a stride’s clear space all round.
Water young seedlings in dry periods. Mulch to retain soil moisture. Dress soil with a scattering of blood and bone meal every 4 to 6 weeks during summer.
If using stems, cut them around mid summer when they are fresh and succulent. Foliage becomes bitter once plants have flowered – if picked when still young can be added to salads or steamed.
Allowing Angelica to flower and set seed means the end of the plant. It normally takes two to three years before this happens though. You can slow the process by cutting off any flower heads as they appear.