Growing Snapdragon

Snapdragon

Snapdragons are a perennial plant that is native to the Western Mediterranean region and Western North America with about 20 different varieties.

They have been grown by gardeners dating back to the 1700s and they have been developed into many different varieties.

Snapdragons are short-lived perennials with some varieties being annuals. Because of their short life span, some gardeners treat them as annuals and replant them every season.

Their blooms and leaves are used as a natural plant medicine to treat tumors, ulcers, liver issues, scurvy, and diuretic.

PLANTING SNAPDRAGON

Snapdragons are best planted in hardiness zones 7 through 11 and in well-drained soil.

If the hardiness zone you are living in is lower than 7 you can treat them as an annual and collect the seeds for the next season.

They are best planted 6 to 8 inches apart for dwarf varieties and 12 to 18 inches apart for tall varieties.

They prefer full sun but they can also be planted in partial shade but they will produce fewer blooms.

If your snapdragons are going to be sprouted from seed then it is suggested to use a cardboard seed starting container and start them 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost.

When planting snapdragon, it is best to make the hole twice the width of the root ball.

Mix some compost in with the soil from the hole before filling it back in. This will give nutrients to the soil and help with water retention.

FERTILIZING AND WATERS

Snapdragons require a balanced fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 or a homemade liquid fertilizer.

They require about one inch of water weekly and they may need more during the hottest and driest times during the summer months.

MULCHING

Adding mulch to your snapdragons will help the soil retain water and will reduce the amount of time it takes to water them.

The thickness of the bed of mulch is best between 1 to 2 inches thick but the thickness may need to be reduced if you live in a rainy climate or if you are receiving more rain the usual.

The mulch will also help with weed control and it will need to be added or replaced yearly when the majority of it has decomposed.

BLOOMS

Snapdragon Blooms

Snapdragons produce blooms that are tubular in shape that form on a stem in a towering cluster that is available in red, orange, peach, yellow, pink, white, and bi-colored.

Their blooms mainly attract bumblebees because their blooms have to be forced open to get to the nectar.

When their blooms become wilted you can remove them which will cause the plant to rebloom.

This is called deadheading and when the blooms are not able to go to seed, the plant will rebloom to produce seeds.

PRUNING

Snapdragons that have their tips pruned when they are young will develop into a thicker and bushier plants with more foliage and blooms.

This can be done multiple times throughout the year to increase the thickness of the plant from the soil to the top.

PROPAGATING

Snapdragons can be grown with seeds that are purchased or from blooms that are allowed to go to seed.

The seeds can be started indoors with a cardboard seed starting container 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost.

Snapdragons can also be propagated from cutting by removing a stem with at least three sets of leaves and using root tone.

They should be divided every 3 to 4 years by digging the plant up, with a spade or small shovel, and dividing the plant into two plants.

One plant is planted back into the garden and the other plant can be planted elsewhere or gifted to friends.

This is done so the plant is kept within its area in the garden.

PEST

  • Aphids
  • Spider mites
  • Mealybugs
  • Whiteflies
  • Cabbage looper
  • Cutworm
  • Nematodes

DISEASES

  • Anthracnose
  • Botrytis blight
  • Downy mildew
  • Powdery mildew
  • Pythium root rot
  • Rhizoctonia stem rot
  • Rust

OVERWINTERING

To help protect snapdragons during the winter months 3 to 5 inches of mulch or compost should be added.

VARIETIES

Snapdragons come in a wide variety of sizes from dwarf plants to ones that are about four feet tall and even varieties that work well in hanging baskets.

There are also hybrid varieties that have been bred for their fragrant blooms and plant size.

Snapdragons come in series with several different bloom colors in each series.

CANDY SHOWERS SNAPDRAGON

Candy showers snapdragons are great for potting containers especially hanging baskets because they will drape of the sides of the container.

  • Plant size – grows to about 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – orange, yellow, red, purple, and pink blooms that appear in spring and last into the fall
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green foliage
  • Deer resistant – yes

FLORAL SHOWERS SNAPDRAGON

Floral showers snapdragons area a dwarf variety.

  • Plant size – grows to about 8 inches tall and 8 inches wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – orange, yellow, red, purple, pink, white, and bi-colored blooms that appear in spring and last into the fall
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green foliage
  • Deer resistant – yes

FROSTED FLAMES SNAPDRAGON

Frosted flames snapdragon is a large variety that may need afternoon shade because the Sun may burn the leaves.

  • Plant size – grows to about 18 inches tall and 14 inches wide
  • Drought tolerant – yes
  • Blooming colors – orange, yellow, red, purple, pink, white, and bi-colored blooms that appear in spring and last into the fall
  • Foliage – lance-shaped green foliage
  • Deer resistant – yes