How to Plant Snapdragons


Snapdragons grow on tall spikes covered in rainbow hues of little hooded heads, blooms that open and close like mouths. A favorite annual that sometimes overwinters after self-seeding, the snapdragon provides height and interest steadily throughout the summer. Enjoy the snapdragon's blooms into the cool days of fall by planting and maintaining starts properly.

Step 1

Choose a location with good drainage and full sun.

Step 2

Cultivate the soil and incorporate peat moss to aid in drainage. Add a balanced slow-release fertilizer at the rate suggested by the manufacturer. Snapdragons are heavy feeders.

Step 3

Prepare the starts by allowing them to harden before planting. Set starts in the shade outdoors. Gradually expose them to more light each successive day for several days.

Step 4

Plant tall snapdragon varieties 12 inches apart, and dwarf varieties 6 to 10 inches apart.

Step 5

Water well after planting. Provide an inch of water a week, including any rainfall. Avoid soggy soil, however, as snapdragons are susceptible to root rot in poorly drained soils.

Step 6

Apply liquid fertilizer at the base of snapdragon plants every 2 weeks once starts are mature to promote growth and blooms.

Step 7

Remove spent blossoms to ensure continuous blooms. Cut back the spikes or racemes to below the last flower or even at the base of the plant to avoid seed setting and the end of the blooming cycle. New, bunchier stalks will emerge profuse with flowers.

Things You'll Need

  • Snapdragon starts
  • Peat moss
  • Trowel
  • Balanced slow-release fertilizer
  • Liquid fertilizer


  • Fort Valley State University Extension Program, Snapdragons
  • Michigan State University Extension, Antirrhinum majus--Snapdragon
  • University of Illinos Extension, Greene County: The Greene Thumb

Who Can Help

  • University of Arkansas, Plant of the Week: Snapdragon
Keywords: planting snapdragons, growing snapdragons, snapdragon starts

About this Author

Desirae Roy began writing in 2009. After earning certification as an interpreter for the deaf, Roy earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Eastern Washington University. Part of her general studies included a botany course leading to a passion for the natural world.