Planting and caring for snapdragons

Snapdragons are nostalgic flowers familiar to many people from their childhood. Snapdragons propagated from seeds are particularly popular because of their long flowering period, robustness and suitability as cut flowers. From bottom to top, new flowers open every day, which serve as a valuable source of food, especially for bumblebees. But bees and other insects are also grateful for the nectar of the mint family. Snapdragons are only partially hardy, in mild years the summer flower survives outdoors. In good conditions, the sowsFlowering plant itself and it delights with colorful flowers in changing places for decades.

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Things to know about snapdragons

Botanical name: Antirrhinum majus
Other names: snapdragon, snapdragon, garden snapdragon, frog goscherl, calf’s mouth, dog’s head, Snapdragon
Use: borders, cottage gardens, semi-natural gardens, cut flowers, rock gardens, cemetery planting, for pots, compact varieties for balcony boxes and bowls
Origin: Mediterranean
Flower colors: white, cream-colored, yellow, orange, pink, red, violet, two-tone
Flowering period: June to September
Special features: The biennial species is very undemanding and robust. Bumblebees and bees in particular love the nectar-rich plant.

In which location does the snapdragon feel most comfortable?

According to their origin, snapdragons are very frugal. At home, the herbaceous plants grow wild between rock crevices, stones and walls. The optimal location for snapdragons in the garden is sandy to loamy with sun. Partial shade is tolerated by the snapdragon, but the fullness of the flowers is smaller and the color of the flowers is not as intense. Make sure you choose a location that is never waterlogged and protected from the wind as much as possible, and is not blazing in the midday heat.

What is the best way to plant my snapdragons in the garden?

Snapdragons are planted out as seedlings from mid-April. Either you buy strong specimens in culture pots or transplanted seedlings, which will grow into stately plants after a few weeks. It is important that you loosen the soil thoroughly and remove weeds before planting. Make sure that heavy soil is loosened up with sand, because standing water is not tolerated.

Plant snapdragons in 5 steps:

  1. Dig a planting hole twice the size of the root ball.
  2. Put good quality potting soil in the planting hole.
  3. Now the well-watered snapdragon is placed in the planting hole and the space between the root ball and the planting hole is filled with soil. Press the earth lightly.
  4. Scatter Kölle organic natural fertilizer around the new planting and lightly work in the organic special fertilizer.

Finally, the new planting is watered with 2 to 3 liters of water. Our gardening tip: you can achieve the best effect with a group planting of 3 to 5 specimens. These groups can be mixed colour, tone on tone or monochromatic. In the rock garden or on graves, individual plants bring a colorful accent for months. Fantastic combinations arise in mixed borders with cornflowers, poppies, marigolds, asters and other summer flowers.

What is the best way to care for and prune snapdragons?

Snapdragons require little maintenance once planted. Needs-based watering and the presence of sufficient nutrients in the soil are important for good development. With tall varieties, the use of perennial rings can protect against wind damage. You can also support the summer flowers with a stick and tie them as a precaution. No pruning is necessary because snapdragons naturally branch and grow harmoniously. The removalof faded flowers helps garden snapdragons to form new buds quickly. If necessary, you can carry out this care measure on Antirrhinum, but it is not absolutely necessary.

What is the best way to water and fertilize snapdragons?

Make sure the soil is evenly moist without standing water. Once the summer flower has established itself at the location, watering is only necessary in dry phases. Basically, Antirrhinum tolerates dry conditions better than waterlogging. Snapdragons in balcony boxes or in bowls need more attention and should be watered regularly. Sufficient nutrients are important for growth and flowering. It is optimal if you have provided the summer flower with an organic fertilizer when planting. This has a lasting effectfor months and also promotes soil life and humus formation.

How do I properly care for my snapdragon in a pot?

Even without a garden, you can plant snapdragons. In pots, balcony boxes, baskets and hanging baskets, the summer flowers can act as seasonal planting for many months. The dwarf snapdragons with a growth height of 15 to 20 cm are particularly suitable for balcony boxes.

Planting snapdragons in pots in 5 steps:

    1. When planting in a container, make sure that the container has a water drainage hole. Cover pots without a hole are unsuitable for long-term enjoyment of snapdragons.
    2. First put a layer of expanded clay in the jar for drainage.
    3. Use structurally stable potting soil, preferably in combination with sand, as the soil should be as loose as possible.
    4. Water the snapdragon thoroughly before planting.

Sprinkle Kölle organic natural fertilizer around the plant and then water the summer flower well. Our gardening tip: make sure that the snapdragon in the pot is sunny and protected from the wind . It is important that even with bucket culture there is never standing water. Caring for snapdragons in pots requires a little more finesse than planted specimens.

What pests and diseases can the snapdragon get?

Snapdragons are hardy summer flowers when conditions are optimal. Sometimes the shoot tips and young buds are attacked by aphids. Most of the time it is only an optical problem and it helps to strengthen the plants with organic active agents. Under unfavorable conditions, Antirrhinum are attacked by the following fungal diseases:

snapdragon rust

If Antirrhinum is affected by snapdragon rust, scattered yellowish spots appear on the leaf surface. Dark brown, dusty pustules can be seen on the underside of the leaves. Snapdragon rust can also appear on the stem. The disease spreads mainly in humid weather. The leaves may wilt and die. In the worst case, the whole plant dies. Strengthen the plants at the first infestation with organic active agents for plants susceptible to powdery mildew and fungi.

powdery mildew

Especially in dry, hot weather, there can be a mealy coating on the leaves of snapdragons. Preventive treatments with herbal cures help to minimize or avoid infestation. It is helpful if you remove the affected leaves at the first infestation and dispose of them in the household waste. It is also important that the plant does not suffer from drought stress and is well ventilated.

Wrong mildew

Yellow spots can be seen on the upper side of snapdragon leaves, especially in wet weather. These leaf spots gradually turn brown and are sharply defined by the leaf veins. When the first infestation occurs, you should remove the affected leaves and strengthen the plants with Kölle Organic Plant Treatment. Also make sure that you never pour Antirrhinum over the leaf if possible.

Are you looking for more information about pests and diseases or do you have questions about a plant problem? Our plant doctors will be happy to help you – in person and online!

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Snapdragon

Are snapdragons annual or perennial?

Snapdragons can be perennials, but they are annual summer flowers. In good conditions, Antirrhinum will survive in the garden and will sprout again after winter. Protection with brushwood helps during the winter. The soil conditions are often responsible for the fact that snapdragons no longer sprout after the winter. Basically, it depends on the variety whether the snapdragon is annual or perennial.

How are snapdragons propagated?

Antirrhinum are propagated by sowing. Snapdragon seeds germinate in the light, so it is advisable to sow the fine seeds on the substrate and not cover it. Furthermore, snapdragons are cold germs, ie they initially need low temperatures. Place the seed trays with soil and seeds in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks. Light and temperatures around 20 °C are recommended for germination and growth. Gradually place the young seedlings at temperatures around 12 to 15°C to acclimate the young plants to outdoor conditionsto prepare (= harden). You can plant the young plants in the garden or on the balcony from mid- May.

Can snapdragons be sown in the garden as no-till?

It is possible to look at the seeds of snapdragons right in the garden. However, the so-called pre- cultivation in the house is advisable, since the seed is very fine and the pre-cultivation means that flowering occurs earlier.

Do snapdragons need to be cut off?

It is not absolutely necessary to cut back the snapdragon, but it helps if you regularly cut off the faded flowers. Due to the care measure, the summer flower does not put an unnecessary amount of effort into seed formation. Cut off the faded inflorescences to encourage the formation of new shoots and flowers.

Can self-collected snapdragon seeds be used for sowing?

You can easily get seeds from the withered flowers of snapdragons. Cut off the dry stalks and let them dry in an airy place. The fine seeds fall out of the dry capsules after a few weeks and can be stored until sowing. In good conditions, self- seeding often takes place in the garden.

Are snapdragons suitable as balcony plants?

The compact varieties in particular are suitable for summer planting on balconies and terraces. Snapdragons are the ideal plants for people who like things natural. Antirrhinum can be mixed and matched or planted tone-in-tone. Snapdragons in balcony boxes are easy to care for and robust. When planting, make sure that you combine snapdragons with plants that have similar soil and light requirements . Good partners are magic snow, dahlias, daisies, cuphea, dichondra, glechoma or gazania.

Are snapdragons poisonous?

No, snapdragons are not poisonous to humans or animals and can therefore be planted in the garden or on the balcony without hesitation.

Are snapdragons suitable as cut flowers?

Snapdragons are magical summer flowers that delight in the vase for 5 to 7 days. It is important that the stems are placed in water immediately after cutting and that the bouquet is not too sunny and warm.

Are snapdragons suitable for mixed cultivation in the vegetable patch?

Antirrhinum are good companions in the vegetable patch. They loosen the soil and keep harmful insects away from vegetables with their scent. As a typical cottage garden plant, the snapdragon is a popular partner in combination with cucumbers, beans, peppers and tomatoes. Bumblebees like to visit the blossom of the snapdragon, which in turn supports the pollination of the vegetables.

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