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13 Tips on How to Grow Snapdragons

How to Grow Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) will show you how to add these delightful flowers to your garden or landscape. Their showy blooms bring vibrancy and charm anywhere you place them.

If you want more garden ideas, 35 Best Cottage Flowers to Grow and How to Grow Violas will help you on your gardening journey.

How to Grow Snapdragons
How to Grow Snapdragons

Snapdragons, with their botanical name Antirrhinum, are popular short-lived garden perennials that have become a mainstay of classic flower gardens. With their wide range of vibrant colors and beautiful blooms, snapdragons will surely capture the attention of garden enthusiasts and visitors alike. They are highly valued for their long period of bloom. In cooler temperatures, the snapdragon plant can provide color up until the late fall.

The snapdragons display a remarkable variety in the shape of the individual flower heads, ranging from slender spires to round clusters bursting with vibrant colors. Both short and tall varieties add an enchanting touch to gardens and landscapes.

In early summer, when the cool weather lingers, snapdragons eagerly blossom, adding a burst of vibrant hues to the garden as the young plants reach their full potential. The seed pods of snapdragons, resembling small capsules, house an abundance of tiny seeds, ready to disperse and sow the promise of future blossoms.

Are Snapdragon Plants Annuals or Perennials?

Snapdragons are a both an annual and perennial flower. Some varieties of the snapdragon flower are true annuals. Other varieties are short-lived perennials, but they come back less hearty the next year. It’s best to grow snapdragons as annual flowers.

Why Should You Grow the Snapdragon Flower?

  • Beautiful Blooms: Snapdragons come in a wide variety of vibrant colors. Pink, white, yellow, purple, orange, and red are just some colors to pick from. They have a unique vertical spike of blossoms that add an eye-catching element to gardens or bouquets.
  • Variety of Sizes: Snapdragon plants have varying heights, ranging from dwarf varieties that grow as low as 6 inches to taller plants that can reach up to 3 feet.
  • Attracts Pollinators: Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are all known to be attracted to snapdragon blooms.
  • Easy to Grow: Snapdragons are easy to grow, making them suitable for even novice gardeners. They thrive in both partially shaded gardens, as well as sunny areas.
  • Long-Lasting Flowers: Snapdragon flowers do best in spring and fall. In cooler climates, snapdragons can last all summer long.
  • Low Maintenance: Once snapdragons are established, they require minimal maintenance.
  • Garden Design Versatility: One of the best qualities of snapdragon flowers is the ability to work in various garden designs. They can be grown in rock gardens, borders, mixed flower beds, and containers. Mass planting will give you a burst of flower color.
  • Cut Flowers: The tall stems and long-lasting blooms of snapdragon plants make them an excellent cut flower for arrangements. They also make beautiful wedding flowers.
How to Grow Snapdragon Plant - Close Up of Yellow Snapdragons
How to Grow Snapdragons – Yellow Snapdragon Flower Spike

Where Can You Plant Snapdragons?

Snapdragons can be grown in a variety of settings. Depending on your climate, they can grow in full sun or partial shade. Be sure to find a location with well-draining soil.

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Here’s How to Grow Snapdragons

1. Choosing the Varieties of the Snapdragon Plant

When choosing varieties of snapdragon plants, there is a wide array of options to suit various preferences and gardening goals. You can find snapdragons at your favorite garden center.

These charming blooms come in a range of colors, sizes, and growth habits. This allows gardeners to create visually stunning displays in their landscapes with bright snapdragon flowers.

One can opt for classic varieties such as the tall plants like the “Rocket” series or dwarf varieties like the compact “Tom Thumb” series. Use the dwarf snapdragon flowers for edging and container gardening.

For those seeking a unique touch, double-flowered varieties, such as the “Madame Butterfly” series, that have ruffled blooms.

Additionally, snapdragon flowers are available in a range of hues. Vibrant reds, soft pinks, rich purples, and bi-colored bloom options are available.

How to Grow Snapdragons - Snapdragon Flowers in the Garden
13 Tips to Growing Snapdragons – Snapdragon Flowers Come in a Range of Colors

2. Seed Starting

Start snapdragon seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost. Use a seed tray or pots filled with a well-draining seed-starting mix. The snapdragon seed is tiny, so sprinkle them across the potting mix and top with a light layer of soil.

To start seeds outside, snapdragons benefit from a gardening practice that involves gently pressing their seeds into the top inch of soil and covering them with a protective layer of pine straw mulch, creating an ideal environment for germination and establishment.

YouTube video
How to Start Snapdragon Flowers from Seed

4. Preparing the Soil

Prepare the soil for snapdragons by adding organic matter or aged manure. Adding these elements, provides the nutrients for growth and helps improve the soil’s drainage.

3. Transplanting

Once the snapdragon seedlings have developed a robust root system and the threat of frost has passed in early spring. Plant snapdragon seedlings outdoors, spacing them 8-12 inches apart in well-drained soil. Plant the young plant where you need a pop of color.

When to plant snapdragons outside will vary depending on where you live and your climate.

How to Grow Snapdragons - White Snapdragon Flowers
White Snapdragon Flowers

5. Sunlight

You’ll want to find a sunny spot in your garden for snapdragons because they thrive on sunshine. Aim for at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.

6. Watering

Keep the soil evenly moist, but avoid overwatering. Root rot can be a serious concern for snapdragons, as the excessive moisture and poor drainage in the soil can lead to the deterioration of their root system.

Water deeply when there are times of no rainfall. Avoid overhead watering to prevent powdery mildew.

7. Fertilize

Feed snapdragons with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. You can also use a water-soluble fertilizer. Using fertilizer will ensure healthy foliage and abundant blooms.

8. Mulching

Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plants to suppress weed growth, retain moisture, and regulate the soil temperature.

9. Support

If you have taller varieties of snapdragon plants, installing stakes or a trellis will help prevent them from bending or breaking in strong winds.

How to Grow Snapdragons - Close-Up Photo of a Snapdragon Bloom
Close-up of a Pink Snapdragon Bloom

10. Deadheading

Regularly pinching spent blooms encourages continuous blooming and prevents the plants from diverting energy into seed production.

11. Disease Prevention

Downy mildew is a common fungal disease that affects snapdragons. It causes significant damage to their overall health and appearance. The disease appears as grayish-white patches on the undersides of leaves, giving them a downy or fuzzy appearance. The crown of the plant, which is the area where the stem meets the soil, is particularly vulnerable to downy mildew. Infected crowns may exhibit rotting or discoloration, leading to stunted growth and weakened plants.

In addition to downy mildew, snapdragons are also prone to fungal leaf spots. It’s sometimes called snapdragon rust or rust fungus. These spots can vary in color, ranging from brown to black and can cause a significant problem to the snapdragon plant if not treated.

One of the things to help prevent disease is to provide good air circulation. Dispose of any infected plant material promptly.

12. Pest Control

Look for common pests like aphids, spider mites, and snails on the stem, leaves, and bloom. Avoid the use of pesticides in the garden for the most common pest problem, use natural pest control to keep them at bay.

13. Winter Care

In colder regions, protect snapdragons from the elements by adding a layer of mulch around the base of the plants. You can also bring potted plants indoors.

Do Snapdragon Plants Grow in the Wild?

Snapdragon flowers are not typically found growing wild in their natural state. They can escape cultivation and establish themselves in fields or along roadsides. These occurrences are relatively rare. The most likely explanation is that they are likely the remnants of a previous garden.

We’ve reached the end of How to Grow Snapdragons. I hope you liked it.

Let me know in the comments below if you grow snapdragon flowers and where they bloom in your garden. They make an excellent cut flower.

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