The Snapdragon or Antirrhinum exists in a multitude of varieties. Their name comes from the fact that when you squeeze the delicate sides of the flowers you see a shape like a dragons jaws. In bloom, they provide vibrant and gorgeous colors. They have all types of flowering stems from small, medium to tall ones. They will give a range of options in terms of colors in your garden. Snapdragon flowers are available in almost all the desired colors except blue. The maximum height of some snapdragons could reach 6 feet, though generally they are 3-4 feet. Snapdragons in your flowerbed provide cool color and balance other mid-sized and small plants.
Basics of Snapdragon Flower
The leaves are arranged in a spiral manner around the stem.
Snapdragons are poisonous if ingested so even though the vibrant colors of the flowers are enticing handle them with caution.
The common names for Antirrhinum are snapdragons, Lions and toads mouth.
Snapdragons are mostly grown as annuals but they do not bloom as robustly the following year, leading some people to think of them as biennials.
They are best grown in cool weather. They bloom best in spring and winter. The milder climates are best suited to snapdragons.
New varieties of snapdragons are coming about these days. We see a lot of multicolored snapdragons but individual colors can also be found. Some of the popular new series of snapdragons are the Arrow Formula (2 feet tall with strong colors), Rocket Mix (Multi colored series growing to heights of 3 feet) and La bella Mix (offers a nice blend of colors and grows to more than 2 feet).
Germination takes eight days at a temperature of 70 Fahrenheit.
How to Plant Snapdragon Flower
The time to grow
Snapdragons are preferably sown in the winter. You can toss the seed in late fall even when it's snowing and it will germinate by spring time. Snapdragons however, are often started in controlled conditions indoors about 8-10 weeks before the last frost and grown from seedlings and cuttings.
Snapdragon flowers require light to germinate, but be careful not to expose them to high temperature light as they will not grow at all then. Pressing the seed on the surface of the soil is enough to initiate the growing process.
Pinch off the top stem
Look for the seedlings to have developed at least 6 true leaves. At this point you should pinch the top stem off and encourage the branching so that you get a fuller plant. This can be done to fully homegrown and purchased seedlings as well.
Transplant it outdoors
Snapdragon flowers should be started indoors 8-10 weeks before frost ends and then when it is two weeks till frost-end you should take your snapdragons outdoors. Your snapdragons will be resistant enough to handle a couple of weeks of late frost.
Planting snapdragons in vegetable gardens will offer you protection against deer and other animals. Snapdragons give off a wonderful fragrance due to which they can be brought into indoor settings for that aroma effect. If you have any areas in your landscape that are bare then snapdragons could be placed there. They will only require a bit of organic material and will quickly fill the space up and make it beautiful with vibrant colors.
Gardening Tips: How to Grow Snapdragons
How to Take Care of Snapdragon Flower
Care in winter and summer
Plant snapdragon flower in a sun filled location during the winter and make sure you have great drainage in the soil. Some well-placed clips will help snapdragons take a bushy and filled-out shape. The top of the stem should be cut and so should any long shoots on the side this will encourage a lot more flowers to grow.
In summer heat, you should clip the plant, first by a third then by half as the blooms begin to fade.
In the growing phase try and water regularly, but be sure of proper water drainage so pest and disease to not hit the snapdragons.
When watering snapdragon flowers, water near the crown of the snapdragon plant. Do not water overhead as that might damage your plant. Water again only after the soil has dried up to about an inch deep.
Soil, fertilizers and temperature
Snapdragons require neutral soil. A PH value of 6.2-7 is desired. They do not feed that much as they are short lived. They will however gain health by adding organic fertilizers. They are best grown in cold weather and as the temperature rises their growth may stop. In summer moths it is advisable to give them plenty of shade and water for them to have a chance of growing. Due to the fact that they establish themselves quickly some people grow snapdragons afresh in the subsequent winter.
Protection against diseases and pests
To save snapdragons from pests and diseases the soil must be well drained. Mites, caterpillars, mealy bugs, slugs, snails and aphids are the pests that you may find on snapdragons. The main problem is dampness try and gives your snapdragons enough air and drainage to bloom properly.
Other notes on caring snapdragon
Spent blooms should be removed. A protective layering of organic covering over the soil is best during the growing phase. If proper care is taken these plants might return year after year instead of just being annual.
Garden Tips : How Do to Take Care of Snapdragon Flowers