Snapdragons Galore

Learn about the joys and beauty of growing this wonderful old fashioned classic flower

Snapdragon Antirrhinum majus February 25, 2012

Antirrhinum is a genus of plants commonly known as snapdragons or dragon flower from the flowers’ fancied resemblance to the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when laterally squeezed (thus the ‘snap’). The antirrhinums used to be treated as the family Scrophulariaceae, but studies of DNA sequences have led to the inclusion of Antirrhinum in a vastly enlarged family Plantaginaceae. The word “Antirrhinum” is derived from αντίρῥῑνόν “antirrhinon” which in turn was derived from Greek anti (αντί), “like,” and rhis (ῥίς, ινοϛ), “nose”, inus (-ινοϛ), “of” or “pertaining to”. The name literally means “like a nose” in Ancient Greek and probably refers to the nose-like capsule in its mature state. (1)

Snapdragon – Antirrhinum majus

Snapdragons are a particular favorite of children who like to pinch the tiny individual blossoms and make the “dragon mouth” open and close. Their large, blossom-laden flower heads are faintly fragrant and come in in a wide assortment of bright colors. The vertical flower spikes, opening gradually from the bottom to the top, are available in two heights: dwarf varieties grow to about 10 inches while the taller types grow to a height of 18-24 inches. A vareity that grows up to 5 feet has been developed, but it must be staked. A single snapdragon plant may produce seven or eight blossom spikes in the course of a summer. 

Snapdragons make excellent cutflowers and excel in beds and at the front of borders. Gardeners used to be less than enthusiastic about snapdragons as cut flowers because blossoms tended to “shatter”–drop off shortly after being fertilized by bees, but plant breeders have developed shatterproof strains. Snapdragons flourish in well-fertilized soil and full sun.

Sow seeds indoors eight weeks before the last frost. Moving seedlings outdoors as early as a the bed can be worked. They will tolerate frost. In Zones 8-10, seedlings started in a sheltered seedbed may be moved outdoors any time in the fall for winter and spring flowering. Plants should stand from 6 to 12 inches apart, depending on the size of the variety planted. Seedlings purchased from a garden center where conditions are carefully controled will usually bloom earlier than those started at home. If possible, choose rust resistant varieties. When the plants are 2 to 4 inches tall, pinch off the stem tips if shorter but more abundant flower spikes are desired. Then, as the flowers mature, use them freely for bouquets; the cutting will force plants to produce additional stems that will bloom later in the season. These plants will benefit from deadheading, which will prolong their flowering period.

The cultivar shown is “little darling”.


  • annual
  • Propagation
  • Light
    full sun, part shade
  • Flower Color
  • Bloom Time
  • Height
    10 inches (dwarf) 18-24 inches (standard)
  • Width
    6-12 inches
  • Soil Requirements
    neutral pH, average moisture, well drained,
  • Zones
  • Uses
    cutting bed, border

Read more: Snapdragon | Garden Guides

(1) Antirrhinum – Wikipedia


Snapdragon Thumbnail Pictures October 30, 2008

Snapdragon Admiral Crimson 

Snapdragon Admiral Pink 

Snapdragon Admiral Pink Bicolor 

Snapdragon Admiral White 

Snapdragon Admiral Yellow 

Snapdragon Calima Red 

Snapdragon Calima Ivory White 

Snapdragon Calima Pink 

Snapdragon Calima Pure White 

Snapdragon Calima Yellow 

Snapdragon Maryland Red 

Snapdragon Monaco Red 

Snapdragon Monaco Yellow 

Snapdragon Potomac Appleblossom 

Snapdragon Potomac Dark Orange 

Snapdragon Potomac Early Pink 

Snapdragon Potomac Plumblossom 

Snapdragon Potomac White 

Snapdragon Potomac Yellow 

Snapdragon Trumpet Hot Pink 


Snapdragon Trumpet Tangerine 

Snapdragon Trumpet Teracota 

Snapdragon Trumpet Tangerine 

Snapdragon Trumpet Teracota 


Gardeners ready to share ‘secrets’

   Gardeners ready to share ‘secrets’


Annapolis is a town for walkers. It’s also a place where backyards are filled with flower-bordered patios, sparkling fish ponds and conversational settings underneath century old trees.

For four hours tomorrow, walkers who happen to be garden lovers will  have    a chance to visit 14 different garden sites, most of then hidden from sidewalk view, during the city’s eighth annual Secret Garden Tour. This event will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. with all of the gardens within walking distance of the Annapolis City Hall on Duke of Gloucester Street, in the center of the city’s Historic District.

Peggy Waggoner, who has lived for more than 20 years on Green Street, has had plenty of seasons to watch how the sun and the shade hit her small rear yard.

“I would stand at my kitchen window and study the sunlight across the garden,” she said.

From these observations, she was able to arrange plants that like sun and those that prefer shade in locations favorable for all.

Each year, she picks a special flowering annual plant for color. This year her flower of choice is the snapdragon. Last year it was zinnias.

Her colorful snapdragons are planted in the few sunny spots around her small fish pond, just outside the rear door bordering a patio.

A second larger patio is at the end of the garden, bordered by the yard of the Ridout house, a historic house that fronts on Duke of Gloucester Street.

“When I moved in there were two patios and some grass in between,” said Mrs. Waggoner.

She quickly decided to get rid of the grass and did so by adding the pond and a winding brick walkway connecting the two patio areas.

“I sponsor midshipmen and they helped put in the pond and the walks,” she said.

Roses like the dampness of her garden and bloom on the fence that manages to get some sunlight.

Mrs. Waggoner originally planted roses for everyone in her family of five children. But as her grandchildren count, now 15, continued to grow, she decided instead to dedicate a rose bush to each family unit.

Across Green Street from the Waggoner home is a larger garden behind the home of Barbara and John Dugan.

For 10 years the Dugans operated their home as a bed and breakfast known as The Doll House. Now retired from running that business, Mrs. Dugan has more time for gardening.

Her yard is heavily shaded with century old trees, including a deodar cedar which has been designated by horticulturists as a “specimen tree.”

More commonly found in warmer climates, the cedar has long thin needles on sweeping branches that form a lacy canopy above several white-painted wrought iron tables and chairs set for easy conversation or a cool spot for a afternoon cup of tea.

The Dugan’s yard is grass free with the ground covered by small reddish stones.

An extensive back porch and deck area attached to the rear of the house adds to the enjoyment of the outdoors during the warmer weather.

The Dugans are limited with flowers because of the heavy shade but have found that impatiens and hydrangea bring a bit of color to the large expanse of greenery.

For additional interest, they installed a three-tiered fountain at one corner of the yard.

“It’s been a trial and error experience, trying to find out what would grow in the heavy shade,” said Mrs. Dugan. “We also found that nothing grows by the book.”

Tomorrow’s tour also includes the mother-daughter gardens of Carol Safir and Jennifer Christensen who live next door to each other on Charles Street and share backyards and gardens.

When Carol and Harold Safir bought their 1770-era home, it came with a garden of tangled old indigenous bushes, trees and plants.

The Safirs have cleared out the undergrowth and trimmed the trees while retaining the integrity of the old plantings.

With an abundance of sunlight at some areas, the gardens can accommodate roses and flowering annuals.

For added interest. the Safirs have placed curved garden benches, a bird bath, sculptured pieces and a three-tiered fountain.

They have also added the popular Knock Out roses which have become the most talked about flower this summer.

The back yard of the home of Jennifer and Tor Christensen has play areas for the couple’s two young children. There is also a garden house at the rear of the yard which is part of a two-car garage. The house has been refinished to accommodate a study and small kitchen and can function as an adult get-away spot.

Most of the city gardens make use of hanging plants and since they are usually fenced, there is space along the fence wall for placing more plants. This mobility of placing plants at different places not only can change the look of gardens throughout the summer months, it may also add to the health of the plant.


Rust infects snapdragons

Rust infects snapdragons       

05:39 PM PDT on Friday, April 27, 2007

Ottillia “Toots” Bier


Q: I just noticed that some of my snapdragons have bright orange bumps on the underside of the leaves. Should I be concerned?

A: What you have spotted is a fungal disease that affects snapdragons and many other plants such as roses and hollyhocks. It is characterized by yellow spots on the upper sides of the leaves and orange pustules (spores) on the undersides of the leaves. The spores are carried by the wind and may infect susceptible leaves on which they land.

Moisture and moderate temperatures typical of spring weather are necessary for spore germination.

Rust control is a year-round chore. You can reduce the incidence of spore germination by avoiding overhead watering and by watering early in the day so the leaves dry quickly.  

In the fall and winter, gather and destroy all infected leaves, both those on the ground and those still on the plants. While the weather remains favorable to the disease, you can spray your plants every seven to 14 days with a fungicide specifically labeled for rust. As always, the manufacturer’s directions must be followed carefully to ensure effective protection.

A final tactic for the future is to select one of the newer cultivars that have been bred specifically to resist rust infections. Although their degree of resistance may not be 100 percent, their performance will be a significant improvement over older cultivars.




Growing Snapdragons

Filed under: annuals,perennials,snapdragons — patoconnor @ 3:25 pm
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      Growing Snapdragons    

One of nature’s most stunning examples of color and beauty is the snapdragon.

Rows of perfectly formed, beautifully painted flowers adorn many stems. These well-favored annuals come in a wide assortment of colors and varieties. The website “Annuals A-Z: Choosing and Growing Antirrhinums”, written and published by Graham Rice in 1999, says most annuals are not available in as many colors as the snapdragon. Various shades of white, scarlet, yellow, purple, pink, and peach are available. Two-toned snapdragons are particularly showy.

This softly scented flower comes in various sizes as well, ranging from dwarf varieties to varieties that can reach a height of four feet, according to the same article. Taller varieties make beautiful backdrops for shorter plants, and shorter to medium height varieties make nice borders. “Annuals A-Z: Choosing and Growing Antirrhinums” recommends “Lampion” for hanging baskets, which is a lovely cascading variety. Recommended for window boxes is a dwarf variety called “Kim”. It boosts dazzling orange and yellow flowers. “Burpee: Complete Gardener” published in 1995 by Macmillan, suggests planting low-growing varieties as ground cover. One such variety is “Floral Carpet Hybrid”. It also makes a nice flower for a border or window box.


Snapdragons produce more blooms when temperatures are cool, according to “Burpee: Complete Gardener”. Snapdragons are often sold in garden centers and greenhouses, and they can be purchased as fully developed plants. If starting snapdragons from seed, they should be planted indoors approximately two to three months before spring planting.

The same book says snapdragons require light to begin sprouting, so the seeds should be sprinkled on top of the soil in peat pots, trays, or containers. Covering the peat pots, trays, or containers with clear plastic will help retain valuable moisture during germination adds “Burpee: Complete Gardener”. Also, pinching off the tops of snapdragons that are about four inches tall will encourage the plant to branch out. Before you transfer your snapdragons to the outdoors, check the plant hardiness zone for your particular location. The same article says light frost will not adversely affect snapdragons, but heavy frost can be damaging. In addition, they should slowly be introduced to the outdoors before transplanting. Setting them outside for a few hours each day will strengthen and prepare them for outdoor conditions.

“Burpee: Complete Gardener” recommends planting snapdragons while temperatures are still cool in spring or early in the summer. They will do best in a sunny location with soil that drains well. The same book says the first blooms on snapdragons are usually the largest, but a greater quantity of flowers will bloom after the first ones are finished. It goes on to say that flowering will slow down during hot weather and will resume again when the temperature drops. Also, dead flower stalks should be removed to promote new growth. “Burpee: Complete Gardener” recommends supporting taller varieties with stakes.

Snapdragons are a spectacular addition to any flower bed or garden. They are easy to grow, are very versatile, and you will appreciate the touch of color and beauty they add to your property.      




Plant some snazzy summer snapdragons and watch visitors snap to attention

Filed under: annuals,perennials,snapdragons — patoconnor @ 3:16 pm
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Plant some snazzy summer snapdragons and watch visitors snap to attention     


April 2007                                                

Each year, I enjoy helping announce the Mississippi Medallion award winners, but 2007 will be extra special because it includes the first angelonia to win the award: the Serena series.

There are a lot of great angelonias in the market, but the Serena series holds special favor. It is the first seed-produced angelonia in the market. Sure, you’ll buy it as a transplant, but the seed gives the grower that option if he chooses.

The Serena series is among the shortest of the angelonias, reaching 12 to 15 inches tall and spreading almost as wide. Choose a site in full sun for best blooming. Please do not stick this wonderful plant in tight, cement-like soil.  Before planting, work 2 to 3 inches of organic matter into your bed. While preparing the bed, take the opportunity to incorporate 2 pounds of a slow-release fertilizer with a 2-1-2 ratio. Plant at the same depth they are growing in the container, and then apply a good layer of mulch.

Beginning in the spring, they will bloom and bloom and bloom – incredibly long for a plant called summer snapdragon. The angelonia is from Mexico and the West Indies and can take anything Mississippi’s summers can dish out.

Serena angelonias are available in several colors: lavender, lavender-pink, purple, white and a mix. Since they are such heat- and drought-tolerant plants, you will want to plant them in mass with other rock-solid performers such as melampodium, Profusion zinnias, Titan periwinkles or rudbeckias. Their spiky texture is most welcome in the garden world dominated by round flowers.

Pay attention though, because if they should go through a prolonged dry spell, supplemental irrigation will pay dividends with a healthier, more productive plant.

A light, monthly application of the 2-1-2-ratio fertilizer, such as a 10-5-10 with minor nutrients, is all this plant needs to keep blooming. The bloom period is really long, and when it does want to cycle, it responds well to trimming with a pair of pruning shears.

There have been virtually no disease or insect pressures on the Serena angelonia making it a great choice for the novice gardener as well as the more experienced.

Serena angelonias are being promoted as annuals and are a terrific buy. From Hattiesburg southward, keep your eyes open next spring for a repeat performance, especially with good bed preparation where winter drainage will not be an issue.

Look for Serena angelonias to arrive at garden centers this month. Serena is the 43rd Mississippi Medallion award winner since the program began in 1996. The program is sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, The Mississippi Plant Selections Committee and the Mississippi Nursery and Landscape Association. 


Norman Winter is a horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Contact him at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center, 1320 Seven Springs Road, Raymond MS 39154. He can be heard weekdays at 7:19 a.m. on Public Radio in Mississippi.


Snapdragons are easy to grow, colorful

Filed under: annuals,perennials,snapdragons — patoconnor @ 3:11 pm
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 Snapdragons are easy to grow, colorful

By Joan Cobb Washington County Master Gardener

I think every garden should have snapdragons (botanical name: Antirrhinum majus). They are easy to grow, colorful and make nice cut flowers. For grandparents, when you want to act like a child again for a “good” senior moment, and no one is looking, you can pick off the little snapdragon blossom and gently squeeze the sides of the top and bottom bloom and make that dragon roar! When little ones come to your garden you can choose your color of dragon and share in wildly imaginative adventures of dragon wars for a moment or two!

As a rule, snapdragons don’t favor hot conditions, however, my snapdragons do well in my garden. They are treated as annuals, but often self-sow. The seeds can be planted directly in flower beds as soon as the soil is workable, or you can buy nursery-grown hardened-off snapdragons for spring planting. They bloom from summer to fall, and if hot weather temporarily halts blooming, just prune the plants and they will bloom again in the fall. Their colors are white, pink, red, purple, orange, yellow and some hybrids are bi-colored. The flowers are spikes of ruffled, tubular blooms, they prefer moist, well-drained soil and are partial to full sun. There are 30 to 40 species of snapdragon, their height can be 6 inches to 4 feet, their spread 6 inches to 2 feet.

Well-liked cultivars include the low-growing Floral Showers series that reach 6 to 8 inches tall, and Bells, another dwarf variety that provides long-lasting blooms in solid and bi-colored shades. The “Madame Butterfly” variety grows to 36 inches and features rich, double blooms that resemble azaleas. The “Sonnet” and “Liberty” series are two prime, medium-height selections. Both make nice cut flowers for bouquets. The “Rocket” cultivar reaches 48 inches tall and can handle heat, but to avoid toppling over will need to be staked. Deadheading regularly before seedpods form will encourage any size snapdragon to keep on blooming.

Snapdragons are an old-time favorite – they can stir up happy childhood memories and also be the beginning of some happy memories.

As I said, every garden should have snapdragons in it!


Morning Sentinel