Snapdragon Planting and Care Guide
Quick Facts About Snapdragons
Snapdragons are old-fashioned favorites for the cutting garden. They produce long-lasting, sweet-smelling, colorful spikes. Their unique shape and bold color makes them a showy attraction. Snapdragons are native to the Mediterranean and southern Europe. They are visited often by bees - especially bumblebees.
Snapdragon seeds benefit from a cold period, so after the time in the refrigerator, start Snapdragon seeds indoors 8 - 10 weeks prior to the end of frost season. Transplant outdoors in mid-spring. They do tolerate a light frost and cold nights will produce sturdier stems.
Snapdragons thrive in the cooler part of spring and summer in a full sun location. They do best in rich, moist, well-draining soil. They are suitable for beds, borders and containers.
How to Plant Snapdragons
- Place a small amount of damp soil in a ziploc bag, add the seeds into the soil, and place this mixture into the refirgerator for 2 weeks
- After the cold period, fill trays with moistened seed starting soil
- Lightly press the Snapdragon seeds into the soil but do not cover them - they need light for germination
- Snapdragons do not need any heating mats - they prefer cooler conditions for germination - temperatures in the mid-60s F are best
- Clear plastic wrap can loosely be placed over the trays to help hold in moisture
- Lift the plastic each day and mist the surface
- Remove the plastic as soon as seedlings emerge
- Once the seedlings have emerged, place the trays under grow lights for 14 - 16 hours each day
- Make sure there is adequate air movement, a fan on the lowest setting is helpful to prevent fungal disease such as "damping off"
- After 3 - 4 weeks, apply a water soluable fertilizer diluted to half-strength
- Harden the seedlings off for 7 - 10 days, and transplant after the last hard frost
- Pinch the seedlings back at the time of transplanting to encourage branching
Care And Maintenance
- Snapdragon plants need to be kept moist - especially during dry periods
- Mulch around the base to suppress weed growth and help to retain moisture
- Adequate spacing and air movement is important for Snapdragons
- Apply a balanced water soluable fertilizer 2 or 3 times during the growing season
- Taller varieties of Snapdragons may need staking or protection from winds
- Remove spent flower to encourage continued blooming
- Cut the blooms for flower arrangements - cutting will bring on more blooms
- Snapdragons may stop blooming in the heat of summer, but trim back the plants and keep the watered, and when the temperatures cool, they will bloom again