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.
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