Antirrhinums also referred to as Snapdragon, are old-fashioned country garden plants that are simple to grow and are adored by both kids and bees. They can be grown in several settings because they are available in a variety of colors and heights.
They have a lengthy blossoming season, lasting from June until October, and are appealing to wildlife. Taller varieties have a longer vase life and create good-cut blooms.
What are Snapdragons?
The perennial garden plant known as the snapdragon is immensely popular and typically planted as an annual. They are a cornerstone of traditional flower gardens and have countless applications, including mixed border gardens, flower boxes, and patio containers. There are numerous snapdragon types with dwarf, moderate, and long flowering stems that give gardeners a variety of colors to work with. Except for blue, most hues are available in samaras, which contrast or complement other spring bloomers. The snapdragon can grow as tall as 3 feet (1 m) or as little as 6 inches (15 cm.).
Here are some brief facts about the popular aesthetic plant:
- Latin name: Antirrhinum majus
- Other names: Dog’s mouth, lion’s mouth, toad’s mouth
- Native to: Mediterranean Europe, Syria, Turkey
- Invasiveness: No
- Tenderness: Herbaceous perennial
- Sun: Full sun to partial shade
- Water: Average
- Soil: Rich, moist, well-draining
- Hardiness zone: 7–11
- When to plant: Late frost
- Spacing: 6–12 inches
- Plant height: 6–48 in.
- Bloom period: Spring to fall; may slow down in mid-summer
- Time to maturity: 2-3 months
- Container friendly: Yes
- Fertilizer: 10-10-10
- Toxicity: non-toxic
- Drought tolerant: Yes
- Deer resistant: Yes
- Pest resistant: No
How to grow
Since Snapdragons grow fairly slowly from seeds, most people buy potted seedlings, which are frequently offered in affordable six-packs. A few weeks before the last winter frost, seeds can be planted indoors and developed pretty quickly.
However, they can take some shade. Rich, well-draining soil in a sunny spot is preferable for snapdragons.
Usually planted as annuals, are short-lived perennials. Snapdragons never appear to blossom as vigorously as they did in their first year, even when they do overwinter. But in the first year, they ought to produce seed pods; if you are lucky, they might even self-sow in the garden.
In full sun to moderate shade, your snapdragons will blossom the most freely. When it gets hotter outside, they can completely stop blossoming. They will likely bloom again in the fall if you plant them in part shade and give them plenty of water during the summer.
Snapdragons prefer nutrient-rich, well-draining soil with a pH balance of 6.2 to 7.0.
The USDA hardiness range for snapdragons is from zones 7 to 11. However, snapdragons prefer cooler weather and thrive in conditions with nighttime lows of 40 degrees and daytime lows of 70 degrees. They are typically grown as annuals to add color to gardens throughout the drier seasons of spring and fall.
Snapdragons can endure below-freezing conditions once they are rooted in the ground and have hardened off.
Before planting indoor-grown seedlings in the garden, they need to be hardened off for ten to twenty days.
When the plants first begin to produce blossoms, fertilize them. Use three pounds of a common, well-balanced all-purpose fertilizer, like a 10-10-10 product. Water thoroughly to reduce the chance of nitrogen blisters and to facilitate fertilizer uptake by the roots.
Growing Snapdragon in containers
Simply push the seeds into the pot using a standard seed starting mix or regular potting soil. Snapdragon seeds require light to germinate, so position the tray beneath bright lights that are just a few centimeters above the tray. As the seedlings grow, raise the light gradually by a full 16 hours each day.
Pluck off the top of the stem when the seedlings are approximately six true leaves tall (about 3 to 4 inches) to promote branching and bushiness. A few weeks before your final frost date, transplant snapdragons outside. Snapdragons may withstand one or two brief frosts.
When to start Snapdragon seeds
Snapdragons are frequently grown several weeks before the final winter frost because it can take up to three months from the germination of seeds to blossoms. As perennials, snapdragons live for around three years.
When to plant Snapdragon
Snapdragons are simple to grow from seeds and somewhat inexpensive to buy as nursery seedlings, but if you want, you may also grow them from stem cuttings.
On a good parent plant, remove a 2-inch portion of the stem right below a leaf node. Take off the lower leaves, then cover the cutting’s base with the rooting hormone. To keep the cutting moist, plant it in potting soil or seed starting mix and cover the pot with a dome or plastic bag. You can take off the cover once a strong root system has formed and keep on growing in a sunny window or with artificial lighting. Around the time of your region’s final frost, transplant outside.
How to collect Snapdragon seeds
It is enjoyable and simple to collect sappy seeds. The seeds should be shaken in your palms or a small bowl once the pods have been removed from the parent plant and checked to make sure they are dry. Before harvesting, wait a few more days for the pods to dry completely if you can not hear the little seeds rattling inside.
Wildlife attracted by Snapdragons
Hummingbirds find these hues to be highly alluring, and they are the ideal shape for their long, hooked bills. The same characteristics also make snapdragons particularly alluring to butterflies. Bright colors are also attractive to butterflies, and they may easily drink from tube-shaped flowers.
Snapdragons can suffer greatly from rust fungus. It is advisable to plant snapdragons in a different area of the garden the following year if rust does occur in a planting. Mold, downy mildew, fungal leaf spots, wilt, and root rots can all affect this plant.
The most frequent insect issues are aphids and spider mites, which in cases of severe infestations may call for the use of pesticides or horticultural oils.
What does a Snapdragon look like
The common name comes from the individual flower heads’ shape, which is similar to a dragon’s snout and even opens and closes with a snapping sound, much like when pollinators open their jaws to access the pollen.
Around the stem, the alternating, lanceolate leaves are placed in a spiral pattern. Antirrhinum majus, which translates to “like a snout,” is the name of a flower that is said to resemble a calf’s or dragon’s nose. Small bees are not able to access the flower’s “jaws,” hence the pollination of snapdragons is primarily carried out by giant bumblebees.