How to Grow Snapdragons From Seeds


Plant snapdragons in a flower garden for months of brightly-blooming plants that require very little maintenance. Snapdragons are half-hardy perennials, which means they will survive a mild frost but won't tolerate cold winters with hard freezes. Snapdragons usually will self-seed in the garden, so a few flowers will return year after year. Snapdragons are available in a variety of sizes, and in bright colors and soft pastel shades. Plant snapdragon seeds indoors eight to 10 weeks before the last frost.

Step 1

Fill a cell pack with commercial potting soil. Place the pack in a tray with about 1 inch of warm water. Allow the cell pack to sit in the water until the potting soil is damp but not soggy.

Step 2

Sprinkle the snapdragon seeds on top of the soil. Press the seeds lightly into the soil by hand. Do not cover the seeds with soil. Plant two seeds in each cell or individual peat pots.

Step 3

Slide the cell packs into a clear plastic bag with the plastic about 1 inch above the potting soil. Seal the plastic bag securely to create a warm, humid greenhouse environment.

Step 4

Place the cell packs in a low-light area until the seedlings emerge, which will be approximately 10 to 20 days. Remove the plastic when the seedlings emerge. Move them into a room with bright sunlight for at least six hours daily. Maintain the room temperature between 65 and 70 degrees F during the day and about 10 degrees cooler at night.

Step 5

Place the cells in a tray filled with 1 inch of warm water. Leave the cells in the water only until the potting soil is damp, as too much moisture will rot the seedlings.

Step 6

Fertilize the snapdragon seedlings with a general purpose liquid fertilizer. Follow the directions on the package, but dilute the fertilizer to half of the recommended rate. Fertilize the plants every three to four weeks during spring and summer.

Step 7

Transplant the seedlings into 3-inch containers when they are 2 to 3 inches tall. Place the seedlings in low light for four to five days after transplanting, then move the seedlings back into bright light.

Step 8

Move the seedlings outdoors when they have three or four sets of leaves, the last frost has passed and daytime temperatures are at least 45 degrees F. Harden off the seedlings before planting them outdoors by placing them in a shady, protected area for three to four days. Gradually move the seedlings into bright light, leaving them for a short time at first, then increasing until they are in bright light all day.

Step 9

Plant the snapdragon seedlings in a sunny spot and well-drained soil. Dig a small hole with a trowel and plant each seedling in a hole that is no larger than the roots of the seedlings. Fill the hole with the same soil and tamp the soil gently around the roots.

Step 10

Pinch the top of each snapdragon when the seedlings have five or six leaves. Pinching just above the uppermost set of leaves will promote a full, bushy plant.

Step 11

Pinch off spent snapdragon blooms to encourage the plant to continue blooming throughout the season.

Things You'll Need

  • Cell pack or small peat pots
  • Commercial potting soil
  • Tray for warm water
  • Snapdragon seeds
  • Plastic bag
  • General purpose liquid fertilizer
  • 3-inch planting containers
  • Trowel


  • N.C. State University: Starting Plants from Seeds
  • Planet Natural: Growing Snapdragon
Keywords: grow snapdragons, snapdragon seeds, plant snapdragon seeds

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.