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”.

 Type

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

Read more: Snapdragon | Garden Guides http://www.gardenguides.com/103-snapdragon-garden-basics-flower-annual-antirrhinum-majus.html#ixzz1nPIobewI

(1) Antirrhinum – Wikipedia

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Rust infects snapdragons October 30, 2008

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.   

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