Add Some Snap to Your Garden with Snapdragons!


Snapdragon’s Latin name is Antirrhinum majus. Snapdragons are native to the southern Mediterranean and are members of the Figwort family.[458]

Snapdragons are easy-to-grow, hardy annual flowers that grow well for most people.  Snapdragons get their name from their flowers that “talk” when the flower’s corolla tube is squeezed.  Kids cannot resist snapping snapdragon flowers.[458]



Snapdragon Flowers
Credit: Terwilliger911

How to Grow Snapdragon Flowers


Snapdragon plants are hardy annuals or short-lived perennials that survive average winters in USDA climate zones 8 to 10. Plant in the fall or winter in southern gardens.  Plant snapdragon plants in spring in USDA climate zones 3 to 7. Snapdragons are cold hardy to 15 degrees. Sometimes, snapdragons will come back for a second year in mild-winter, cool-summer climates.[458]

Snapdragons need full sun (six to eight hours) and moist, well-drained soil.  Plants tolerate acid or alkaline soils. They do not flower well in the shade.[458]

Snapdragons bloom best during cool weather when the temperatures range between 40 F and 80 F.  Keep snapdragon plants well-hydrated and as cool as possible to extend the blooming season as long as possible into the summer.[461]

Fertilize snapdragon plants with a time released fertilizer (like Osmocote) or use a water-soluble fertilizer (like Miracle Grow). Plants grown in well-amended garden soil need less fertilizer.  Too much fertilizer makes tall varieties floppy.  [461]



Can Snapdragons Grow in Pots or Containers?


Snapdragons grow well in containers or pots.  Plant them in the center of a mixed container planting to add height and drama.  Water frequently to keep the soil moist; snapdragons do best when they are not subjected to extremes in soil moisture.[458]



Snapdragons in the Landscape

Plant snapdragons in flower beds and border for spring and summer color.  Mass plantings are stunning and ensure great curb appeal when planted in the front yard.  Tall varieties of snapdragon are good for cut flowers.[458][461]

Snapdragon Height and Plan Form


Snapdragons are free-flowering and make good bedding plants.  [458]

Snapdragon plants are upright in form. Flowers are formed on the upper part of the flower spike.  After the main flower spike flowers, shorter side branches continue to grow more blossoms. Cut off old flowers to encourage new blooms. Flower color ranges from reds, pinks, yellows, white and maroon and lavender, but not true blue or purple.[458]
Space dwarf and intermediate varieties 6 to 8 inches apart.  Plant larger varieties 12 inches apart.[462]


Grow Snapdragons from Seed

Snapdragons are easy to grow from seed. Sow seeds indoors in high-quality seed starting mix.  It can take up to 3 weeks for the seeds to germinate. [461] Snapdragon seeds need light to germinate. Sprinkle seeds on the soil surface and lightly press into the seed starting media to ensure good contact with the soil.  Start six to eight weeks before you plan to transplant the seedlings into the garden. Use fresh seed because germination rates fall rapidly with age.[462]


Best Snapdragon Varieties

Dwarf Varieties (8-12 inches tall) - Bedding or Containers[462]
  • ‘Cascadia’ hybrid mix - trailing stems to 16 inches.  Use in window boxes or hanging baskets.
  • ‘Floral Carpet’ and Floral Showers grows 6 to 8 inches tall. Use as low bedding plants or for edging taller plants.
  • ‘Pixie’ hybrids grow 7 to 9 inches tall and have open, bell-shaped flowers.
  • ‘Sonnet Series’ grows to 12 inches and tolerates high winds better than other varieties.
  • ‘Tahiti Series’ grows 8 to 10 inches tall and comes in a variety of colors.
  • Snapshot Series is a low-growing bedding plant with bright flowers.
  • Snappy Series grows only 6 to 8 inches tall.
  • Playful Series is a cutting-propagated series with grows to 8 inches tall.
  • Montego Series is a strongly branched variety that grows 8 inches tall.
Intermediate Varieties (12-24 inches tall) - Bedding or Containers[462]
  • ‘Liberty’ has traditional snapping flowers and grows from 18” to 24” high.
  • ‘Princess’ grows 16” to 18” high and has attractive, traditional flowers.
  • 'Madame Butterfly' mixture grows 24 inches or more and has double, azalea-form flowers.
  • Solstice Series flowers well during short days and make a good winter-flowering choice for southern gardens. Grows 16-20 inches tall.
  • La Bella Series has open, butterfly-like flowers and grows from 18-22 inches tall.
  • Kim Series is a good choice for pots and containers.  Grows about 12 inches tall.
  • Freesong Series is recommended for flower beds and grows up to 18 inches high.
  • 'Frosted Flames Mix' has white-variegated foliage and traditional flowers.  Grows 12 inches tall.
  • Crown Series grows 18 inches tall and is a great choice for beds and borders.
  • Coronette Series is good for bedding or cut flowers.  Resists wind and rain damage and grows to 24 inches tall.
Tall Varieties (24-36 inches tall) - Best Snapdragon Varieties for Cut Flowers[462]
  • 'Bright Butterflies' mixture has double flowers and grows 24 inches tall.  Good for cutting.
  • ‘Rocket’ is one of the tallest snapdragon varieties (30-36”) with traditional flowers. Best snapdragon for cut flowers.
  • ‘Topper Mix’ grows to 36 inches tall and is a good choice for cut flowers.

Snapdragons as Cut Flowers


Snapdragons make dramatic cut flowers and add height to flower arrangements.  Remove foliage from the lower one-third of the stem and place in luke-warm water (72 F).  Flowers will last for about a week with floral preservative.[462]



Pests and Diseases


Although snapdragons are easy-to-grow annual flowers, there are a few pests and diseases that affect the plants.  Rust, a fungal disease, attacks snapdragon foliage.  Rust causes yellow spots on top of the leaves and orange dots on the underside.  Treat rust with commercial fungicides or organically with Neem oil.  Aphids can sometimes be a problem.  Wash aphids off with a jet of water or use insecticidal soap.



Snapdragons and the Wildlife


Bees pollinate snapdragon flowers. Hummingbirds seek nectar from snapdragon blooms. Butterflies are also attracted to the showy flowers.[459]



Interesting Facts About Snapdragons


The Culinary Snapdragon
Snapdragon flowers are reportedly edible and can be mixed in salads like viola or nasturtium flowers according to [460]  Snapdragons are non-toxic for pets.[463]

Snapdragon Flower Meaning from Florists
Snapdragons have the ability to communicate.  When the flower snaps, it communicates the secrets of the future. (Source: Flower Choice website)