How to Grow Snapdragons

snapdragon flowers

CC Flickr photo of snapdragon flowers courtesy of ingamun.

Want to know how to grow snapdragon flowers?

Snapdragons are particularly famous for their snout-like flower bulbs which will snap back like a jaw when pulled apart and then released. They come in three size categories: dwarf (6-8 inches), medium (15-30 inches), and tall (30-48 inches). The different sizes allow for them to be used for different landscaping designs. The tall snapdragons sometimes require stakes in order to remain standing correctly. Snapdragons come in nearly every color except for blue.

Growing Requirements for Snapdragons

Snapdragons need rich soil that drains of water quickly and easily. The roots of a snapdragon can rot if left in damp soil but need to be watered in dry, hot weather. These flowers do particularly well in the cooler seasons of climates similar to those of the Mediterranean and California.

Depending on the height of the plant the snapdragon should be planted twelve to eighteen inches apart minimum. The seeds should be planted in late winter in areas that experience full sunlight.

Taking Care of Snapdragon Flowers

The blooms of snapdragons are at their prime during spring and early summer. Once the weather turns too hot the plant stops growing and eventually wilts. Snapdragons should not be watered from directly overhead because of potential disease spread. For the best blooms the ends of the young plant should be pinched because it will increase the branching process and maximize the flowering buds.

Because snapdragons are self-sowers, that is once planted they grow on their own generation after generation, they do not require too much attention. They should be thinned in order to avoid overcrowding and watered regularly.

History of the Snapdragon Flower

The history of the Snapdragon is most prominent in Victorian Era gardens. All the various types of snapdragons were used in landscaping designs, floral arrangements, and basket floral arrangements. Snapdragons are known for being favorites in the garden of families with young children because of how their flowers can be opened and snap back like a jaw. Many children liken them to living toys.

Diseases and Pests Affecting Snapdragon Flowers

The most common disease affecting the Snapdragon flower is known as the Rust. This disease causes pustules and blisters on the stems and leaves of the plant. The disease also causes a brown-reddish color, reminiscent of rust, on the green stems and leaves. The disease is extremely contagious because every one of the blisters contains thousands of spores that can burst from the plant and be carried by the wind to the next plant.

This is why the flowers should not be watered from directly above. The act of watering can burst open the blisters and spread the disease. There are snapdragons available through various nurseries that are rust resistant.

Snapdragons can also be subjected to other various garden problems such as insects like mites and ticks.

More Information on Snapdragons

Additional information can be found on Snapdragons at these websites:

This pdf file at UC Davis gives growth details.

Further details on horticulture and history of the Snapdragon can be found at the University of Nebraska.

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