Today let’s talk about Antirrhinum or Snapdragons
Colorful snapdragons are beautiful spiked flowers which last all summer. Perfect for any garden. Plant these from seed and you can have vases and vases of cut flowers all season. These wonderful and slightly fragrant flowers bloom endlessly all summer, so go ahead and enjoy them inside.
And they are deer resistant if you have problems with those critters.
Snapdragons are annuals in the colder zones but can reseed and come back each year. In warmer zones such as 7-9, they act as tender perennials and can live through frosts.
There are dwarf varieties which grow to about 12-15 inches, but the taller variety can be 36+ inches. These are the ones you want for cutting in your flower arrangements. It is so wonderful to wake up in the morning and bring snapdragons into the house. I have more posts about my Backyard Flower garden here.
I would grow snapdragons from seed since these are so easily grown. You can start them early and have blooms by late springtime. These flowers do their best before the heat starts up, since they suffer in the hotter periods of the year. I would plant them in a slightly shadier part of the garden if you are in the hotter zones.
The name antirrhinum comes from the Greek and means “like nose or snout” and that has developed into the common name of snapdragon. Kids love these because they can open the flowers by pressing on the sides of the blossom and using the blossom like puppets. The flowers are pollinated by bumblebees which can open these flowers and force themselves inside.
If you grow snapdragons , be sure to pinch your snapdragons to encourage bushy plants with more fullness and flowers. When they are about 3 inches tall, just pluck out the top and off it goes.
As with almost all flowers, deadheading will promote the development of new flowers and prevent the plant from using its energy on producing seeds
During the latter part of your season, cut the snapdragon back by one-third to two-thirds which will encourage new growth and cause the plant to set flower buds for another round of flowers.
We know to avoid overhead watering because wet foliage can lead to fungal problems with snapdragons.
When you plant these seeds, they just need to be sprinkled on top of the soil and gently pressed in. This is because they need light to enable germination.
If you have not had these yet, try them this year. And if you have had them in your garden, I am sure you will have some “volunteers” return this year. Enjoy them!
Photo credits: By Dwight Sipler from Stow, MA, USA [CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons By Rameshng (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons