The versatile snapdragon offers the gardener an easy-to-grow plant that can be started from seed indoors. Snapdragons provide an array of colors to serve as one of the most useful bedding plants available to the home gardener. This plant comes in three varieties: dwarf, medium and tall. The wide variety of sizes creates opportunities for many uses in the garden. Snapdragons perform well in containers and as bedding plants used to add spice to the landscape with interesting foliage and flowers.
Snapdragons feature a uniquely shaped flower with petals that resemble pursed lips. These beautiful annuals grow easily from seed and feature cone shaped rows over blooms that cover half of the plant stalk. Foliage is bright green with small pointed leaves that form the perfect backdrop for the flowers. Snapdragons range in size from 6 to 36 inches depending on the cultivar. Flower color choices include pink, orange, yellow, white and purple. Blooms appear in late spring and last throughout the summer.
Snapdragons offer the gardener an accommodating plant that tolerates partial shade to sunny locations. These plants have a low drought tolerance, so soil must be kept evenly moist in full sun. Snapdragons are quite hardy and can handle the cool evening temperatures in spring. Plant in a sunny location and the snapdragon will thrive in the early spring garden despite incidences of frost.
Amend the soil of the garden bed with organic material to promote healthy growth of your snapdragon plants. Enriched soil also promotes good drainage in the garden bed. Snapdragons prefer evenly moist soil, so add a layer of mulch to the garden surface to keep roots cool and to retain soil moisture.
The number of different cultivars and sizes of snapdragons offer a host of options for using this plant in the landscape. Dwarf varieties work well in all types of container gardens. Medium height snapdragons work well as massed border plants or in large container gardens. The tallest varieties of snapdragons form a beautiful frame when placed along the rear portion of a garden bed.
Snapdragons produce heavy blooms, especially the taller cultivars. Stake plants in the medium-to-tall range to prevent snapping off of the flower stem. Snapdragons require little maintenance but should have dead blooms pinched back to promote new flower stalk growth. Flowers will bloom in succession with continual pruning to remove dead flowers.