Snapdragon, Antirrhinum majus, are known for their spikes of fragrant, vibrant colored flowers. Snapdragons are perennials, but are most often sold as cool-season annuals. Find facts and information on growing and caring for snapdragons, as well as a list of popular varieties to bring your yard and garden to life.
Snapdragons Flower Facts and Plant Information
The snapdragon names comes from the flowers resemblance to the face of a dragon, and how it has a mouth that can be pushed together as if it opens or 'snaps'. Snapdragons are grown in Zones 6-9 and require full sun. They will grow from 9-72” high by 6-24” wide. The size will depend on the variety that you choose. For example, dwarf snapdragons grow from 6-8", medium-sized snapdragons from 14-30", and taller varieties reaching from 31-48" tall.
The snapdragon plant has an upright form that adds texture and eye-catching charm to a flower bed. It is primarily used as a bedding plant, or as a container plant. Snapdragons are known for their beautiful colors. They extend the color palette for bedding plants into cooler temperatures in the South. Snapdragons attract butterflies and are excellent cut or dried flowers. They prefer fertile but well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5-7.0, but they will tolerate dry or moist soil. You will also find that snapdragons are fragrant and will go very well in a perfumed garden.
Snapdragons come in pink, yellow, orange, red, bronze, maroon, bronze, white, salmon, and shades in between colors, as well as bi-colors and double varieties. They are definite a favorite in my flower beds, especially the fluorescent yellow snapdragon.
Care of Snapdragons
Plant snapdragons in spring in cooler climates or in early spring or fall in hotter areas. Apply slow-release fertilizer granular plant food at the time of planting or being using water-soluble plant food 3 weeks after planting. Water deeply whenever the soil begins to dry. Deadhead any spent blossoms to encourage re-blooming. You should remove the plants after the first frost in cooler zones, and leave in the ground in warmer climates and remove before the heat of the summer.
Propagation of Snapdragons
The snapdragon is propagated by planting seeds. Chill the seeds for several days prior to sowing to improve germination. Sprinkle them over the soil mix and leave exposed to light. You may also choose to start your seeds indoors. Germination should occur in 7-14 days at 70-75 degrees. Transplant 15-20 days after sowing, and reduce the temperature down to around 45 degrees.
Snapdragon Pests and Diseases
You might find fungal leaf spots, aphids, beetles, spider mites, slugs,and caterpillars on snapdragon plants. Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is effective against caterpillars. Spider mites and aphids can be managed by hosing them off from the plants, or by usisn an insecticidal soap or a chemical insecticide. For slug problems, sprinkle diatomaceous earth or slug bait around the base of the plants. Beer baits have also been effective for slugs.
Related Species of Snapdragons
Commonly found series: Rockets, Sonnets, Liberty Classics, Solstice and Ribbons. Tahiti Series cultivars are dwarf and rust resistant. Sonnet Series are intermediate plants that hold their color well in wet weather. A taller variety would be ‘Madame Butterfly’ with double flowers.
Newer series, which may or may not be available yet, include: Snapshot Series include dwarfs by Pan American Seed, Luminaire Series by Ball Floraplant, has 'Sugarplum' which is great for hanging baskets or container plantings, S & G Seed has a couple of new series, Montego Series, and taller varieties in the Crown Series which features a variety known as 'Candy Corn'.
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