growing snapdragons

11 Things You Wish You’d Known Before Growing Snapdragons in Your Garden

Are you looking to add a splash of color to your garden? Well, then chances are you’ve already contemplated planting a few snapdragon seedlings. Whether you have a dainty terrace garden or an extensive backyard, growing snapdragons is a great way to give your garden a quick makeover.

Named after a dragon’s snout because of the shape of the flowerheads, snapdragons come in a wide array of colors and sizes. Common varieties of these vibrant flowering plants include the rocket series, chandelier mix, and madame butterfly mix. Irrespective of the type of snapdragons you choose, rest assured that they’ll uplift your garden’s visual appearance. Often grown as annuals, these plants are synonymous with the freshness of spring. The best part is that they’re easy to grow and need minimal maintenance.

You simply have to follow the right techniques to sow the seeds and nurture the seedlings. In this blog, we’ll discuss a few useful tips to help you add snapdragons to your garden. Let’s get started.

growing snapdragon
Pink Snapdragons(left) and Lavander(right)

1. Watch the Weather

While snapdragons are fairly easy to maintain, they need an optimal amount of sunlight and shade to thrive. Prolonged exposure to sunlight and heat might lead to fewer flowers and wilted leaves. That’s why it is important to keep an eye on the weather and move your plants to a shaded area at the peak of summer.

You can check the weather tomorrow, for the week, and the entire month on a hyperlocal weather intelligence platform to get an idea of the temperature and humidity forecasts. It’ll help you decide whether your snapdragons need to be shifted to a shaded area.

Monitoring the weather forecast is just as important when you’re growing snapdragons from seeds. The seeds need to be sown and germinated a few weeks before the last winter frost. It’ll ensure that the seedlings are established and healthy by the onset of spring.

Similarly, you need to consider the weather while watering your snapdragons. These plants need at least an inch of water every week when there’s no rainfall. Make sure you monitor the precipitation levels in the weather forecast before watering your snapdragon plants.

Also, checking the winter weather forecast and adding pine straw mulch on top of the soil will ensure that your snapdragon plants will beat the chill.

So, if you must remember one thumb rule of growing snapdragons, make sure you change the watering levels and location of the plants based on the weather.

2. Deadhead and Trim

Who enjoys the sight of wiry snapdragon plants with wilted flowers? Absolutely no one. If you want to create an abundance of multi-hued snapdragons in your garden, here’s a useful hack – try trimming the stem tips of the plants while they’re still young. It’ll increase branching and make your snapdragons bushier.

Another clever tactic is to deadhead spent flowers. It’ll ensure that your plants keep blooming all through spring and fall, right until the first winter frost. It’s a great way to increase the blooming season of snapdragons.

3. Support Is Key

Depending on the amount of shade your snapdragon plants receive, they can grow pretty tall and straggly. This, in turn, will cause the plants to become top-heavy and bend forward. An easy way of avoiding this is to provide your snapdragons with something to latch onto. It’ll give them the support they need to keep standing tall.

4. Consider Seedlings

While it’s possible to grow snapdragons from seeds, the process is time-consuming. If you want to add an instant touch of color to your garden, it’s wiser to get snapdragon seedlings from a local nursery. Make sure you water the seedlings well to help them thrive and get established into the soil.

grown snapdragon seedlings

5. Check for Fungal Diseases

Snapdragons are vulnerable to fungal leaf spots and mold. If your plants develop yellow flecks on their leaves, chances are they have a fungal disease called snapdragon rust. If left untreated, the infection could spread to other leaves, and result in brown or black spots.

That’s why it is important to keep an eye on the leaves and pay attention to any yellow spots. If a plant develops snapdragon rust, make sure you isolate the affected leaves and dispose of them in a sealed bag. Also, you can use horticultural oils to protect the remaining leaves.

6. Water With Caution

Snapdragons need adequate water to bloom and thrive. Moisture is particularly crucial during the first few weeks of planting the seedlings.

However, it’s important to provide them with well-draining soil. Accumulation of water near the roots will take a toll on the well-being of your plants. If you’re planting your snapdragons in a container, make sure it has plenty of drainage holes to eliminate excess water.

Also, make sure you never water snapdragons near the crown. Otherwise, they won’t bloom to the fullest. Once the seedlings have been established, it’s important to check that the top layer of the soil is dry before watering the plant.

Related: Watering Guide for Beginners

7. Soil pH Is Crucial

The pH level of the soil plays an important role in keeping your snapdragon seedling healthy. Ideally, you should maintain a neutral soil pH (between 6.2 and 7). Any minor deviation could cause the leaves to wither. Also, it could affect the growth of your plants.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to amp up the soil’s nutrient profile with high-quality fertilizers. Make sure you use organic fertilizers to avoid altering the soil pH. Also, make sure you adequately water the plants to minimize the risk of nitrogen burns.

Related: Fertilizing Guide for Beginners, 8 Best Fertilizers for Gardens

8. Choose the Right Variety of Snapdragons

Even if you’re remotely familiar with the world of gardening, you’d know that snapdragons come in several varieties, such as:

  • Madame butterfly mix
  • Rocket series
  • Tutti frutti
  • Candy tops mix
  • Chandelier mix

Apart from these, you’ll also find numerous unnamed varieties of these flowering plants. Each variant comes in specific shades and sizes. The important thing is to choose a variant that’ll blend with other plants in your garden.

Also, you need to have a clear idea of the purpose of adding snapdragons to your garden. While the Madame butterfly mix is suitable for cut-flower arrangements, the candy tops mix is ideal for edging plants. On the other hand, the multi-hued rocket series is an excellent choice for central displays in gardens.

Snapdragon varieties
Types of Snapdragon

Related: 25+ Bushes With White Flowers

9. Learn to Propagate

Once you’re impressed with the vibrant color and sweet fragrance of snapdragons, you’d want to add more of these plants to your garden. The good news is that you don’t always need seeds or seedlings to grow snapdragons. It’s possible to propagate new snapdragon plants from existing ones.

All you need to do is find a healthy parent plant, and cut a tiny 2-inch section of the stem under a leaf node. Use a rooting hormone to dip the bottom of the cutting before planting it into a seed starter mix. Make sure you cover the cutting with a plastic bag to provide it with adequate humidity.

You’ll need to wait for a few weeks before the root system develops. Thereafter, you can remove the cover, and place the plant under direct sunlight to let it grow.

Related: Propagating Guide

10. Overwintering Is Possible

Even though snapdragons are grown as annuals, these perennial plants have a tendency to overwinter. That means you don’t have to worry about planting new seedlings every year. While repeat blooms may not be as impressive, they’ll still add bright hues to your garden. If you’re lucky, the plants will even from seed pods and self-sow.

11. Watch the Heat

While snapdragons need plenty of sunlight to bloom, overheating will have an adverse impact on the flowers. The plants may even stop blooming when the mercury levels rise during peak summer days.

It further emphasizes the importance of keeping an eye on the weather forecast and temperature breakdown. Make sure you move the plants to a shaded area before the mercury levels rise. Providing them with the right amount of light, shade, and water will ensure that they continue to bloom well into fall.

Jazz Up Your Garden With Snapdragons

Growing snapdragons in your garden can instantly change its appearance. They’re easy to grow and maintain. That makes them one of the best options for adding a pop of color to your garden.

Depending on the variety, these plants might emit a pleasant aroma as well. Make sure you take care of the plants according to changing weather conditions. Provide them with adequate water to keep the plants blooming. Also, keep an eye out for fungal diseases and pests.

Similarly, it’s important to watch the soil pH, and enrich its nutrients with organic fertilizers. Taking proper care of snapdragons will ensure that they continue to bloom throughout the season and even overwinter for the next year.

Have you ever tried growing snapdragons in your garden? Share your experience in the comments section below.