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Snapdragon

The heady fragrance and fanciful flowers blooming on a central spike make snapdragons a landscaper’s favorite.

SnapdragonSunlight: Full sun
Maturity: 80-100 days from seed to flower
Height: 12 to 36 inches
Spacing: 6 to 18 inches apart in all directions

Growing snapdragons (Antirrhinum Majus) provides months of color ranging from pale pastels to vibrant reds and oranges. Native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean, they are a favorite flower for cutting and will blossom all winter in warmer climates.

In ancient times, snapdragons were thought to have supernatural powers and offer protection from witchcraft. They were also believed to restore beauty and youthfulness to women.

Aromatic plants grow 1-3 feet tall. Expect volunteer plants the following year from this self-seeding annual.

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Snapdragon

Snapdragon Seeds

The heady fragrance and uniquely-shaped blossoms make snapdragons a favorite.

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Tired of the same old flowers? Heirloom flower seeds — the ones that Grandma used to grow — add charm to your garden while stirring memories with their abundant blossoms and arousing scents. Best of all, we ship them FREE!

Quick Guide

  • Available in an exciting array of pale to fiery colors
  • Easily started from seed indoors 8 weeks before last frost
  • Plant seedlings in full sun; amend soil with organic matter
  • For a full, bushy appearance, pinch back growing tip when plants are young
  • Encourage more flowers by fertilizing and removing spent blooms
  • Only rarely bothered by aphids and rust

Site Preparation

Snapdragons thrive in the cooler temperatures of late spring and do best in sunny locations with rich, well-drained soil (watch – video).

Plants will not flourish where temperatures are high for long periods of time. Blooms will tolerate some frost. Under favorable conditions, snapdragons will self-sow in the garden.

How to Plant

May be grown from cuttings or from seed. If planting from seed, sow indoors on the surface of the soil for 8 weeks before last frost (see Starting Annual Flowers Indoors). Seeds will germinate in 10-20 days. For best results, sow in vermiculite and water from below. Plant outdoors after last frost.

Pinch back young plants after 4-6 leaves have appeared to encourage a bushy habit and apply an organic flower fertilizer for optimum plant health. Spent flowers should be picked often to encourage more blooms. If blooms become scarce, cut back plants drastically then feed and water generously. Plants may need to be staked when young.

Insects and Disease

Snapdragons may have problems with aphids. Watch closely, and if found, take the following common sense, least-toxic approach to pest control:

  • Pinch or prune off heavily infested leaves or other plant parts.
  • Commercially available beneficial insects, like ladybugs, are important natural predators of the pest.
  • Apply food-grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for lasting protection. Containing NO toxic poisons, DE works by scoring an insect’s outer layer as it crawls over the fine powder.
  • A short-lived natural pesticide, Safer® Soap works fast on heavy infestations.
  • Do not over fertilize – aphids like plants with high nitrogen levels and soft new growth.

Foliage and flowers are susceptible to rust disease. If found, use these proven, organic techniques to get rid of the fungal problem.

  • Avoid overhead watering whenever possible (use soaker hoses or drip irrigation)
  • Properly space plants to improve air circulation
  • Apply copper or sulfur sprays to prevent further infection
  • If problems persist, remove and discard infected plants

Seed Saving Instructions

Allow flowers to mature and fade on the plant. Seed pods develop at the base of the flower and turn light tan to brown when mature.

Attach a lunch-sized paper bag around seed pods using an elastic, catching the seeds as they fall. When the seeds are fully ripe, cut the stem at the base of the plant and shake the seed head inside the bag to dislodge the seeds from the casing.

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23 Responses to “Snapdragon”

  1. Anonymous on January 11th, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    thank you

  2. ToddRetired on March 7th, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    When you claim snapdragons don’t do well in areas with prolonged heat, that is not necessarily true. I have an entire garden full of snapdragons and I live in the Mojave Desert. From June through September the highs are 100 to 115 and the lows are in the mid 90s. That is definitely prolonged heat.

    They bloom early in the spring and maintain blossoms all the way through the summer and into November or December. Some will die back in mid to late December, although many of them actually live for more than one year before dying off. They most definitely self sow voraciously. They are some of the most beautiful flowers in my garden and easiest to care for. Even in my “test garden” where I subject various plants to conditions with little water and no fertilizer in poor soil, the snapdragon survives.

    • plantmagic on August 1st, 2015 at 5:05 am #

      When I read the directions I was becoming discouraged that i had bought the wrong plant seeds as I live in a country where it is hot the majority of the time. When I lived in Europe I had fond memories of snapdragons in my garden and wanted to recreate the magic. I will certainly try them out now as your comments have given me hope.

    • Dropspun on August 7th, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

      Todd, I’m so glad you posted this article. I live in Sacramento, California with prolonged periods of heat up to 107 degrees, and the only information I could find was for cool climates.

      Has anyone out there attempted planting in summer (indoors) and bringing the plants outdoors when cooler weather comes in October? I’d like to grow some snapdragons for my fall hanging baskets, but can’t find any information on planting for anytime other than spring.

      • Katie on May 9th, 2016 at 6:47 am #

        I would like to plant snapdragons right now (May 9, 2016) however I can not find any for purchase (Louisiana) in any of the gardening stores. However, I have seen many seed packets and have actually planted snapdragons in the past. Unfortunately snapdragons are the only seeds I have never had success with, most other seeds I have planted always sprouted.
        Any ideas, thoughts, or directions you could share would be greatly appreciated!

        • britt on May 3rd, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

          You can order them online.

    • [email protected] on October 24th, 2016 at 4:21 am #

      Great information.

    • Marilyn on June 18th, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

      Thank you I am getting ready to plant some snapdragons and I thought they might thrive in summer and sun. We used to have some but after my husband passed two years ago I haven’t planted any but will do so now. Thanks for the info.

  3. Irene Flynn on April 2nd, 2015 at 10:28 am #

    My snap dragons were planted last Fall, the blooms are spent, If I prune off the spent stems, will they begin to bloom again? How will they tolerate the summers here in Houston? If the answer is no, what can I plant now that will survive and thrive during the hot summer months? l

    • Monica on May 19th, 2016 at 10:48 am #

      I live in Alabama so our weather and heat is comparable to Houston. I’m reading all of these posts and see that yours is over a year old but if you never received an answer, I have a suggestion. Vinca! Vinca is so easy to grow whether in pots or in the ground. It cannot survive frost but will thrive spring, summer, and fall. It is drought tolerant and will literally bloom it’s head off from March through October. Just fertilize periodically and once the plant is established and taken root, you will only need to water a couple times a week.

  4. leslie on May 21st, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

    I also have snapdragons that are still growing and producing beautiful blooms well into their third year. I know these are not self seeded plants because they are in containers on my porch and I know them all by their own names. It is very hot for long periods of time here and they do not seem to mind a bit. I have also started volunteer plants in the flower bed beside the porch by waiting until the blooms have died off and the seed ‘pod’ looks dry enough, then giving the stalk a pretty good shake. Voila – in awhile I’ll have new snapdragons coming along.

  5. Carlos on December 15th, 2015 at 8:13 am #

    I live in Miami,Fl. and minutes ago I planted a few seeds 40 or so in one aluminum tray with local dirt added earthworms castings. On one side I planted Snapdragon. On the other side of the tray I planted Wild Lime seeds. Both am hoping to use for my butterflies garden as host plants. I tried Snapdragons before but I water them from the top. Since I have the tray outside in mid–december am planning to cover the tray in plastic to maintain humidity and keep the rain from falling and watering from the top. I might bring it inside until it germinates. But when I looked at the photograph of the germinating seeds they surely look bigger than the size of the seeds which mine were tiny.

    Any comments appreciated.

  6. Eden on March 30th, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

    We live in Oklahoma, and as long as the pruning and watering schedule is maintained, snapdragons do excellent here through the summer.

  7. margie cox on April 10th, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

    Are all snapdragons perennial? I bought some yesterday growing in pots with no instructions.

    • Johanna on July 16th, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

      I live in Kentucky and have snapdragons that I planted 3 years ago in two big pots. I literally do nothing but water them. Every year they come back in the pots. They self seed every year. They are one of the easiest flowers to take care of in my opinion.

  8. maggie on April 10th, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

    I live in Denver and found a snapdragon about 3 ft tall growing in a window well. I have come to the conclusion that they will grow anywhere.

  9. donna morrison on April 20th, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    i planted snapdragons from seeds – i have tall stems growing with leaves, but no flowers, when do the flowers start to bloom?

    • Ashley on May 17th, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

      Looking for the same answer…please let me know of you find out!

  10. Marilyn on June 27th, 2016 at 6:39 am #

    My snaps are going to seed already and it is only mid summer. Usually the blooms last well into Fall. What can I do for them to continue blooming? And, should I snip off the pods after dead heading to prevent them from going to seed?

    Thanks for any help or advice you can give …

  11. cathy on July 24th, 2016 at 11:33 pm #

    We are having a similar issue. It’s only mid summer, it should not be happening. I pruned them back, and put them under the sprinklers because they are just too hot in pots. They are for sale, and it’s hard to sell stuff that should be in bloom and isn’t. They shouldn’t be going to seeds yet, but they are, I’m getting the seeds off them but that doesn’t solve the issue. I need them back in bloom. I saw somewhere in this article to cut them back and they’ll re-bloom. I’ll try it with some of them and see what happens.
    Our weather has been very strange. The sun gets hotter every year until it feels like you’re in a microwave. It’s desert heat. Plus the angle of the sun has changed – I know because I grow my peppers in pots in the same place every single year and this year there’s no sun there after like 2pm. That’s weird.

    It hasn’t been hot consistently. It’s like 95 then it’s 72 with a hail storm, and 52 at night. It’s been 52 at night for weeks. I have no watermelons. This is odd. Any advice is appreciated. Also there are snapdragons growing here that were here when we moved in, growing against the front foundation of the house under the rose bush. They come back every year. I tried to move them into the sun so we could see them better and it crashed.
    So now I don’t know about them in the sun. I read several articles that said they do well in Spring and Fall because they like cooler temps. Great. I told people they grow in full sun. Surprise!

  12. Laurie Heaton on August 10th, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

    I live in Wyoming. Yellow snapdragons showed up in my garden five to six years ago. Three years ago pink ones started blooming. Last year white ones were there and this year I have a beautiful orange yellow combination. I don’t know much about them but I think the birds planted the first ones. Do they propagate? Do they spread? Do they also change colors as they spread? All the new colors are from new plants. They are a delightful mystery.

  13. Robin on February 15th, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

    Hi.
    I have started some snap seedlings and am wondering if they can be transplanted to cell packs deeper than they are in the seeding medium.
    The seedlings are delicate and the stems could use a bit of bulking up — if they are like tomatoes and can sprout roots along the stem.
    Does anyone have experience with this?

  14. Grace on July 26th, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

    If I planted sunflowers and snapdragon in one flower bed would it grow differently??

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