How to Start Snapdragons


Snapdragons produce bright, showy blossoms in the flower garden. They are commonly used as cut flowers. Snapdragons originated in the Mediterranean region. They need garden space that receives 4 to 5 hours of direct sunlight each day. They thrive in cool weather, so they should be planted in late winter or early spring. Once established, snapdragons do well in heat and will bloom all summer.

Step 1

Place your snapdragon seeds in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days before planting in early February. Chilled seeds have the best germination rate.

Step 2

Mix together 4 parts peat moss, 2 parts perlite and 2 parts vermiculite to produce a lightweight, soilless seed-starting mixture that drains well.

Step 3

Fill a tray with your potting mixture and tap the bottom of the tray to settle the mix. Do not compact it down by pressing on the mixture with your hands. The seeds do better if the soil stays loose.

Step 4

Sow your seeds directly on top of your soil mixture in your tray. Do not cover the seeds since they require lots of light for germination.

Step 5

Gently mist the tray with water in a spray bottle. Do this gently so you do not dislodge the seeds. You want the snapdragon seeds to be scattered in the tray, not pushed up against one side.

Step 6

Cover the tray with a clear plastic cover to let the light into the seedlings and to create a humid environment. If you use plastic wrap, poke a few holes in the top so air can reach the seedlings when they sprout. Leave the plastic on for at least 10 to 14 days until green leaves appear sprouting from most of the seedlings.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not let the snapdragons sit in standing water. Snapdragons are sensitive to root rot diseases and require well-drained soil. Raise the flowerbed to help improve drainage. Another option is to add peat moss, pine bark or rotted sawdust to the garden soil to create better drainage.

Things You'll Need

  • Snapdragon seeds
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Vermiculite
  • Seed tray
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Clear plastic cover


  • Fort Valley State University: Snapdragons
  • Colorado State University: January Is the Time to Start Spring Blooms
  • University of Florida: Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Keywords: snapdragon, seed starting, flower seedlings

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.