Oh! this special, fabulous flower! If you don’t grow them yet, give me the pleasure of convincing you to!
I was raised with these dragon-faced flowers. They were my Great Gramma’s favorite (aside from lilacs) and my mom grew them in that tradition. We had a long raised bed running along the side of the house. I remember when it was put in. It was the only time we ever had a professional come to the house to do something. It was new wood from the lumber yard. She didn’t make it. It wasn’t from a garage sale. This raised bed was SPECIAL and she loaded it with rocket mix snapdragons. In the tradition of her Gramma, she would often put two plants into one hole, and then she would fertilize them throughout the summer. Even into September mom’s snapdragons were still going strong and I was given a bouquet to walk to school with. After all, what teacher really wants an apple?
Let’s go through this from beginning to end.
How to start snapdragons from seed –
So easy, darling. Don’t let those little, little seeds intimidate you. Simply sprinkle them on top of your growing medium (that’s gardeners’ speak for ‘seed starting mix’). Keep it moist and well lit (they need light to germinate) and once they sprout – put them under grow lights so they don’t get leggy. (And that’s gardener’s speak for ‘pathetic, straggly looking little plants). You’ll do this about 8-10 weeks before your last frost. A week or so before planting them, you’ll need to harden them off (there’s that gardener lingo ago.) Start by putting them in the shade on a non-windy day for a couple of hours and then simply up the hours and the sun exposure every day still you’ve adjusted your precious seedlings to the real world.
How to plant snapdragons –
Put them in a hole in the ground. I promise. You can’t mess this up. Hit them with some Miracle Grow (just follow the directions) and do that every two weeks ALL season long. These flowers are the gift that keeps on giving and Miracle Grow is your friend. (The ARE edible, so if you prefer an organic fertilizer this would be a good reason). I take about half my plants and I pinch them back on planting day. I simply trim them down to about three inches. It hurts me more than it hurts them but we’re both happy in the long run as this encourages massive amounts of offshoots and blooms.
Water regularly, but –
Snaps are tough. Like I said in the video below, these flowers have grit. If they are drooping that is a sign you should have watered your garden a long time ago.
How to cut snapdragons –
Keep cutting them. Whatever you do. They will come back with a vengeance (all the way into late fall here in zone 5b/6). Cut them when 1/3 of the blooms have opened. If you need them for a special event or will be selling them make that 1/4 of the blooms. Strip the leaves off, especially those that would end up under the water line of your vase.
Can snapdragons overwinter?
I thought you’d never ask. Yes! Yes, they can. It takes some trying but cut them to about 10 inches tall. (Cold works its way down the plant so if you cut them really short they have a much better chance of totally dying)… cut them to 10 inches and then tuck them in for the winter with some rotting leaves or compost. In the Spring (be patient) they will finally begin to grow leaves down at the base and then come roaring back to life. I’m known for being too impatient and ripping mine out thinking they’ve died. Sure enough, always miss one and it thrives showing me I should have bided my time a bit better.
Snapdragons are a fabulous addition to any garden and are sure to bring immense pleasure to your floral experience.
I’ve made a little video with the rest of my thoughts on everything you need to know too. Latin names, plant types, and all that goodness. You might enjoy it.
I appreciate you being here.