Snapdragons are a popular flowers. Children like them because they can pinch off the individual blossoms and make the "dragon mouth" open and close. Adults like them because they bloom in a variety of colors, including purple, bronze and crimson, and are faintly fragrant. The plant does very well in beds and borders. It may wilt in the summer heat, but it perks back up as the weather cools.
Snapdragons have vertical flower spikes that start opening at the bottom and move to the top. They are available in two heights: dwarf varieties grow to be about 10 inches and taller varieties grow to an average of 18 to 24 inches. One variety grows to 5 feet but must be staked.
Snapdragons require well-drained soil with a neutral pH--not too alkaline or acidic. They need average moisture and grow best in full sun. If the soil is nutrient poor, a general purpose fertilizer should be added prior to planting.
Plant snapdragons outside after the last frost. Fertilize once a month to encourage the best growth. Flowers begin blooming in June. Once the flowers have died, cut the plant back to 6 inches; this will encourage new blooms.
Snapdragons are very pretty cut flowers. Older adults may remember a time when the blossoms used to fall off shortly after the bees fertilized them, limiting snapdragons' appeal as cut flowers. However, breeders have created snapdragons with much longer shelf lives in recent years.
Snapdragons are hardy and can handle a heavy frost. If the flowers are still blooming into the fall, leave them be until they die on their own.
Important Facts On The Snapdragon Flower
Snapdragons grow best in cool weather in sites with full sun exposure and organically rich, well-drained soil. Hummingbirds and butterflies love fragrant snapdragons, which blossom in white, red, pink, orange, yellow, purple and bicolor, and in both pastel shades and brilliant hues. They are frost tolerant and easily propagate by seed. Tall snapdragons measure from 30 to 48 inches in height. The “Madame Butterfly” variety sports double, azalea-like blossoms and grows to 3 feet tall. Tall snapdragons are grown along back borders and in cutting gardens and may require staking to prevent breakage. A fungal disease called sooty mold develops on the honeydew, causing the plant to turn black.
- The Gardener's Network
- Cornell University Home Garden : Growing Guide -- Snapdragon
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Antirrhinum Majus
- University of Nebraska Extension: Snapdragons -- An Easy-to-Grow Annual Flower
- Sunset: Snapdragon (Antirrhinum Majus)
- USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service: Antirrhinum Majus L.
- The American Horticultural Society: A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants; Christopher Brickell and H. Marc Cathey
- Cornell University Home Garden: Growing Guide -- Snapdragon (Dwarf)
- University of Illinois Extension: Insect Damage -- Aphids