ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Grow Snapdragon

Updated on March 14, 2013
'Lemon Sherbet' Snapdragon grows up to 3 feet.
'Lemon Sherbet' Snapdragon grows up to 3 feet. | Source

Snapdragon Plants (Antirrhinum)

Whether you grow them as temporary annuals or tender perennials, snapdragon plants can be a great addition to flowerbeds, lending them color and height. Dwarf varieties of snapdragon may also serve as striking ground covers, reaching heights of a foot or less.

Depending upon the cultivars that you plant, you could have snapdragons in bloom practically year round—in spring, summer, fall and, in warm climates, early winter.

Lemon Sherbet Snapdragon 50 Seeds - Perennial
Lemon Sherbet Snapdragon 50 Seeds - Perennial
A luscious two-toned yellow, 'Lemon Sherbet' Antirrhinum is a good plant choice for a cutting garden or the back of a flowerbed.

Selecting Snapdragons

Snapdragon Colors

Snapdragon plants bloom in just about every color imaginable, from fluttery white cultivars like 'Snowflake' to vivid beauties like 'Orange Wonder,' 'Lemon Sherbet,' 'Ruby' and A. nuttallianum or violet snapdragon.

Some snapdragon plants produce multi-color blooms. 'Oriental Lanterns' snapdragon, for instance, is a fall-blooming dwarf cultivar that produces striking red and yellow blossoms. 'Night and Day,' another bold bicolor snapdragon, produces tall stalks of crimson and white blossoms as early as spring and as late as fall, depending upon the climate.

'Twinny Bronze Shades' snapdragon is a tricolor beauty, producing orange, pink and rose blossoms on short, sturdy stalks in summer or fall, again depending upon the climate.

Many varieties of snapdragon bloom primarily in summer. No matter when they flower, however, cutting snapdragon plants back and feeding them with a slow release fertilizer will usually produce a second blooming—and even a third flowering. Often, summer-blooming snapdragon can survive the light frosts of autumn and may bloom into fall if protected from heavy frosts.

Snapdragon Heights

Snapdragons grow to varying heights, from one to three feet or more, depending upon the cultivar.

Dwarf cultivars that grow to only one foot or less are also available. Bicolor dwarf snapdragon cultivars like 'Oriental Lanterns' make a colorful ground cover. 'White Spanish' snapdragon is another low-growing beauty, and 'Dwarf Magic' produces a lively carpet of red, orange, yellow and bronze snapdragon flowers.

Annual or Perennial?

Although gardeners often treat snapdragons as annual flowers, they can also grow as "tender" perennials. In Zones 7-10, they will live year after year with a bit of care and protection.

Planting Snapdragon

Grow snapdragon plants in a full-sun location. Before planting, add organic matter. Snapdragon likes rich, moist soil with good drainage.

Snapdragon plants require little care, although they may need shade if the weather is extremely hot and staking if the plant stalks are very tall. Because they're prone to mildew, rust and aphids, it's also a good idea to keep them free of weeds, which attract insects and trap moisture.

Starting Snapdragon from Seed

To sow snapdragon seed, sprinkle it over moist growing medium. Then either lightly cover the seed with additional seed-starting mix or gently press the seed into the soil with your hand.

Next, to increase the likelihood of germination, stratify the seed. Stratification, the process of chilling moistened seed, encourages it to germinate.

If direct sowing snapdragon, do so in fall or early winter, and let nature take care of the stratification process for you.

Seed Buying Tips

  • Check the date. Although snapdragon seed is viable for up to 4 years, older seed will have lower rates of germination.

  • Avoid bulk buys. Discounted or bulk-buy seed is often old seed. It may also be impure, containing seed that you don't want, including weed seed.

  • Buy specific cultivars. By purchasing the specific snapdragon seed that you want, you'll be less likely to get nuisance plants that have traits you don't want, such as invasive proclivities and a tendency toward disease.

If starting snapdragon indoors, place the moist pots in the refrigerater. Some gardeners recommend a quick bout of cold (one to two days at most) to spur germination. Others recommend a one to two week period of stratification.


Without stratification, snapdragon seed is slow to germinate. Even with stratification, it may take the seed up to 2 weeks or more to sprout, even under perfect conditions: grow lights and temperatures at a steady 65 degrees F.

Once snapdragon seed does sprout, it tends to be leggy as it grows and may require careful staking. Snapdragon seedlings are also prone to damping off diseases caused by fungi. For this reason, it's best to start the seed in a soil-less mix, which is less likely to contain fungal spores.

About 9 weeks after germination, snapdragon seedlings should be large enough to transplant.

Snapdragon seeds are very small.
Snapdragon seeds are very small. | Source

Collecting Your Own Snapdragon Seed

If collecting your own seed, cut the snapdragon stalks when about 70 percent of the seed capsules have dried. Place them on a screen to dry or upend them into a brown paper bag. After a week or two of drying, shake them to dislodge the seed.

Snapdragon plants self-pollinate, so you're likely to get seedlings that are very like their parent plants; however, thanks to the efforts of bees, which love snapdragon flowers, cross-pollination may occur.

If a cross does happen, the plants produced from collected seed are likely to have dark-colored flowers rather than light ones. Yellow and white blooms, for example, are a recessive trait, while red flowers are a dominant trait. Hairy stems are also a recessive trait, so crossed snapdragons are more likely to have smooth ones.

State Fair Zinnia
State Fair Zinnia | Source


The Dirt Farmer has been an active gardener for over 30 years.

She first began gardening as a child alongside her grandfather on her parents' farm. Together, they would plant acres of vegetable gardens, setting tomato, eggplant and bell pepper plants; sowing row after row of beans and corn; and building up mounds of soil for white squash, pumpkin, cantaloupe and potatoes.

Today, The Dirt Farmer gardens at home, volunteers at community gardens and continues to learn about gardening through the MD Master Gardener program.

Copyright © 2012 by The Dirt Farmer. All rights reserved.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      8 years ago from United States

      I love them, too! They're so ... exuberant, I guess. Ours live here as perennials and bloom all summer into fall. I'm sure you could grow them all winter long in Florida! Thanks for taking the time to comment, Radcliff. (: --Later, Jill

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 

      8 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I love snapdragons! I haven't planted them in years, but when I did I had a huge mound of them in all different colors. They're so beautiful. Thanks for reminding me--I'll have to plant them again.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)