Will snapdragons come back?

Learn About Snapdragons

Common Disease Problems

Bacterial Leaf Spot: First signs are small translucent spots with a broad yellowish edge that slowly enlarge and become angular or irregularly circular with a reddish center. It thrives in cooler temperatures. The disease may also affect and disfigure flower heads. Burpee Recommends: Remove infected plants. Rotate crops with plants in a different family. Avoid overhead watering. Do not work around plants when they are wet.

Botrytis: This fungus causes a grey mold on flowers, leaves, stems and buds. It thrives in cool wet weather conditions. Burpee Recommends: Remove affected plant parts, avoid watering at night and getting water on the plant when watering. Make sure plants have good air circulation. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for fungicide recommendations.

Damping Off: This is one of the most common problems when starting plants from seed. The seedling emerges and appears healthy; then it suddenly wilts and dies for no obvious reason. Damping off is caused by a fungus that is active when there is abundant moisture and soils and air temperatures are above 68 degrees F. Typically, this indicates that the soil is too wet or contains high amounts of nitrogen fertilizer. Burpee Recommends: Keep seedlings moist but do not overwater; avoid over-fertilizing your seedlings; thin out seedlings to avoid overcrowding; make sure the plants are getting good air circulation; if you plant in containers, thoroughly wash them in soapy water and rinse in a ten per cent bleach solution after use.

Powdery Mildew: This fungus disease occurs on the top of the leaves in humid weather conditions. The leaves appear to have a whitish or greyish surface and may curl. Burpee Recommends: Avoid powdery mildew by providing good air circulation for the plants by good spacing and pruning. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for fungicide recommendations.

Rust: A number of fungus diseases that causes rust colored spots on foliage and stalks. Burpee Recommends: Practice crop rotation. Remove infected plants. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for fungicide recommendations.

Common Pest and Cultural Problems

Aphids: Greenish, red, black or peach colored sucking insects can spread disease as they feed on the undersides of leaves. They leave a sticky residue on foliage that attracts ants. Burpee Recommends: Introduce or attract natural predators into your garden such as lady beetles and wasps who feed on aphids. You can also wash them off with a strong spray, or use an insecticidal soap.

Cutworms: These insects cut off the seedlings at the soil level. Burpee Recommends: Place a paper cup collar (use a coffee cup with the bottom cut out) around the base of the plant. They are usually mostly a problem with young seedlings. You can also control by handpicking and controlling weeds, where they lay their eggs.

Cyclamen Mite: These mites damage plants by sucking juice from stems and leaves. They multiply rapidity in hot, dry weather. They can only be seen using a magnifying glass. Plants will look distorted and stunted, and may not bloom. Flowers will be distorted, streaked and blotched. Leaves can become cupped, curled, dwarfed and thickened. Burpee Recommends: Discard plants that are severely infested. Avoid working with infested plants. Keep plants watered in dry weather. For heavy infestations consult your Cooperative Extension Service for insecticide recommendations.

Leafminers: These insects bore just under the leaf surface causing irregular serpentine lines. The larvae are yellow cylindrical maggots and the adults are small black and yellow flies. They do not usually kill plants, but disfigure the foliage. Burpee Recommends: Remove affected foliage.

Spider Mites: These tiny spider-like pests are about the size of a grain of pepper. They may be red, black, brown or yellow. They suck on the plant juices removing chlorophyll and injecting toxins which cause white dots on the foliage. There is often webbing visible on the plant. They cause the foliage to turn yellow and become dry and stippled. They multiply quickly and thrive in dry conditions. Burpee Recommends: Spider mites may be controlled with a forceful spray every other day. Try hot pepper wax or insecticidal soap. Check with your Cooperative Extension Service for miticide recommendations.

How to Prune Snapdragons

The snapdragon is a flowering plant named for its dragon-face blossom. Check out its namesake by placing your fingers gently on each side of a snapdragon blossom. Squeeze carefully so that the upper and lower blossom lips open and snap like a dragon mouth. Snapdragons are showy with flower clusters from solid brilliant colors to tricolor blooms. Heights range from 6 to 48 inches, making the snapdragon suitable for most flower gardens. With light pruning, the snapdragon provides a wealth of colorful blossoms on a sturdy plant.

Prune young plants early in the season. The snapdragon is a leggy plant if it grows unchecked. This makes the slender-stemmed plant vulnerable to wind and rain damage. The plant is a cool season favorite, and pruning makes it more resistant to the vagaries of seasonal weather.

When the young plant is about 6 inches tall, pinch or cut stem tips to spur growth of secondary and side stems. This branching out helps the plant grow as a bushy, fuller plant.

Continue pruning during the flowering season. The snapdragon has a long blooming season. The plant continues producing new flowers if old flowers are removed. Deadhead the flowers by pinching off or cutting spent blossoms. Cut back to the greenery so the growing plant shifts its energy to producing more blooms rather than feeding old blossoms.

Many snapdragons have one main central stem and smaller stems at their base. Consider pruning these varieties and others during the growing season by cutting the full-flowering stem by half to two-thirds its length or down to the next main flowering stems. This gives you prime-cut flowers for bouquets or table arrangements while boosting new plant growth.

When the mature plant is well into its spring flowering and shows signs of languishing, prune by shearing it back to about 6 inches tall. Add fertilizer, and water the plants well. It will often bounce back and reward you by reblooming in late summer or autumn.

Finish pruning at season end in autumn. Snapdragons are a perennial in very mild climates but rarely survive a hard freeze. Cut back severely, and mulch well if you expect the plant to survive and grow back after winter.

In harder climates, cut to ground level except for a few seeding stalks. Mulch and let the plant self-seed for the next season.

Planting Snapdragons In The Garden: How To Grow Snapdragons

Growing snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) in the flower bed provides cool season color and a mid-sized plant to balance tall background plants and shorter bedding plants in the front. Learn how to grow snapdragon for early spring blooms.

Numerous varieties of snapdragon exist with dwarf, intermediate and tall flowering stems that provide a range of colors to work with in the garden. Snapdragons are available in most colors except blue and co-ordinate or contrast with other early spring bloomers. Height of the snapdragon may reach 3 feet (1 m.) or as short as 6 inches (15 cm.).

Planting snapdragons out can be among the first late winter gardening tasks. This fragrant specimen can handle frost, so start planting snapdragons early in the gardening season for most abundant bloom and performance.

How to Grow Snapdragons

After planting snapdragons in a full sun location with well-draining soil, snapdragon care should include a few well-placed clips to manipulate this plant into a bushy, filled-out specimen. Clip the top stem and any long side shoots to encourage more flowers and more attractive planting.

Tall varieties of snapdragons may require staking to remain upright. When blooms begin to fade due to summer’s heat, clip the plant by one-third to one-half and expect more blooms when temperatures begin to cool in fall. Intermingle plantings of snapdragon with heat-loving Angelonia for a similarly formed plant in the summer flower bed.

Further care of snapdragons includes appropriate watering. When growing snapdragon, keep moist for the first few weeks. Once established, snapdragon care includes regular watering. Provide approximately an inch of water per week in times of no rainfall.

Water near the crown of the plant and avoid overhead watering to keep your snapdragon healthy. Once established, let the soil dry about an inch deep before watering.

Snapdragon care includes the removal of spent blooms. Mulch is appropriate when growing snapdragon. Though mostly sold as an annual, proper care of snapdragons may encourage them to return next year, as they are actually a short-lived perennial plant.

Ideas for Planting Snapdragons

This Mediterranean native is deer resistant and grows well in sunny, outlying areas where these pests are prone to nibble. Planting snapdragons in the vegetable garden may offer some protection from browsing deer as well.

Take advantage of the showy blooms of growing snapdragons and bring indoors for arrangements. Many snapdragons are fragrant.

Add snapdragons to those bare sunny areas of the landscape. Work organic material into the bed prior to planting. Proper care of the snapdragon provides a wealth of early blooms in the garden.

How to Deadhead Snapdragons

red snapdragon flower image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com

Snapdragons are striking in both formal and informal garden beds. The tall flower spikes produce a profusion of blooms along their length in colors ranging from scarlet red to pale yellow. They are grown as annuals in most areas, as they do not tolerate frost at all. Snapdragons bloom from early summer until fall, adding an ongoing display of color in the garden. To keep them blooming profusely throughout the season they must be regularly deadheaded. Deadheading is the process of removing spent flowers before they go to seed, as once a plant begins producing seed it stops flowering.

Fill a bucket with 1 part bleach and 9 parts water. Rinse your pruning shears in this solution to sterilize them so you don’t spread disease while deadheading the snapdragons. Rinse the shears in this solution each time you begin deadheading a new plant.

Examine the snapdragons for flower stalks that have petals beginning to whither and die. Cut off these stalks at the base where they emerge from the main plant. Compost or throw away the spent flower stalks.

Look for flower stalks that are already mostly bare, as these are starting to produce seeds. Look closely as you may mistake them for bare stems. Cut these stalks off at the base and dispose of them.

Deadhead the snapdragons at least once a week throughout the blooming period to prevent the plants from going to seed. When they are at the height of bloom in midsummer, you may need to deadhead twice a week.


snapdragon flowers image by mefanti from Fotolia.com

What Color Blooms Do Snapdragon Flowers Have?

Tall and dwarf snapdragons both bloom in bronze, red, red-violet, orange, yellow, white, blue-violet, purple, bi-colored and mixed colors. Tall snapdragons also can be pink.

Tall and dwarf snapdragons both bloom in bronze, red, red-violet, orange, yellow, white, blue-violet, purple, bi-colored and mixed colors. Tall snapdragons also can be pink.

How to Deadhead Snapdragon Flowers

Watch the snapdragons for the first round of blossoms that will occur early in the growing season. When you see these blossoms begin to fade, cut them from the plant with the pruning shears immediately under the blossoms.

Place the spent blossoms in the bucket to collect them as you remove them from the snapdragon plants.

Dump the spent blossoms into a compost heap (if you have one) to use them to create beneficial compost to amend your soil.

Continue to watch the snapdragons as the growing season progresses, and remove the blossoms immediately when they fade on the plants by cutting them off with the pruning shears.

How to Propagate Snapdragons

snapdragon flowers image by mefanti from Fotolia.com

Collect seedpods from the snapdragon. Seedpods form where the flowers grew after the blooms on the snapdragons dry out. Pull the seedpods off the plant and cut them open to remove the seeds from inside. Store the seeds in a cool, dark place until they are due to be planted indoors, two months prior to the last winter frost.

Freeze the seeds in your freezer for two days before planting.

Fill a flower pot with standard, moist potting soil.

Fertilize with a light fertilizer designed for potted plants to help the snapdragon seeds sprout.

Sprinkle the seeds of one pod lightly over the surface of the soil, but do not bury them. If you have more than one pod to grow, plant them in a separate flower pot. The snapdragon seeds will germinate in one to two weeks.

Keep the growing snapdragons inside on a full-sun windowsill until the last frost. Keep the soil lightly moist at all times. Continue to fertilize once monthly to encourage the growing snapdragons to flower. When the weather turns warm, after the last frost, transplant your propagated snapdragons outside.

How to Identify Snapdragons

Examine the blossoms of a snapdragon closely. Snapdragon blossoms may be white, yellow, pink, red or maroon (but never blue or violet). The blooms grow in clusters along the tops of the stems of these flowers. Snapdragon flowers open slowly as the flowers bloom to reveal blossoms that move to open and close.

Look for dwarf snapdragon varieties that range between 6 and 15 inches in height. Middle-sized snapdragons range between 15 and 30 inches in height. Tall snapdragons may reach as high as 4 feet tall.

Notice that snapdragon foliage is a vibrant green color. The leaves are narrow and pointed, and they grow up and down the entire flower stem to cover the stems with attractive foliage.

Find snapdragons growing prolifically in sunny flower gardens. They typically bloom during the entire growing season. Gardeners often stake the taller varieties to keep them erect in a flower garden.

Snapdragon Fast Facts

Dwarf varieties are excellent as borders, accent plants around rocks and in pots. Taller types are good cutting flowers that might need staking.

Soil Conditions

Snaps are well-suited for rich soil and prefer regular fertilizing. A hardy, drought-tolerant plant, they survive in well-draining or dry conditions.

Sun Requirements

Snaps thrive in full sun but will grow in areas with mostly sun throughout the day.


Most varieties of snaps drop their flowers after they have been pollinated by bees, with new buds forming above, making them a favorite cut flower for indoors. Deadheading helps with new blooms because the plant can concentrate on new growth instead of expelling withering flowers. Support might be needed for tall varieties.

Growing Season

Snapdragons reseed in cooler zones and grow as a perennial in warmer zones. They bloom from early spring until frost.

Fun Fact

Snapdragons are available in just about every color, in solids and blended shades.

How to Trim Snapdragons

Deadhead the snapdragons throughout the summer blooming period. Cut the dead or withering blooms off the plant just beneath the flower with a sharp, clean knife or gardening shears.

Cut back the entire plant in mid-summer when the snapdragons begin blooming less profusely. Cut the plants down to 6 inches tall and dispose of or compost the garden debris.

Fertilize the snapdragons immediately after cutting back with a phosphorus-rich flower fertilizer, which encourages further blooming on the flowers. Follow the fertilizer label instructions for dosage.

Water thoroughly after trimming and fertilizing, providing approximately 1 inch of water per plant.

How to Grow Climbing Snapdragon

Plant snapdragon seeds in a sunny area outdoors in all-year warm climates. Scatter the seeds and water well. Keep the ground moist for several weeks. Alternatively, plant seeds indoors in a small planting tray with all-purpose potting soil. Scatter the seeds, water lightly, cover them loosely with plastic wrap and place in the sun. It will take between 8 and 12 weeks before you can move the climbing snapdragons outdoors, so plant them indoors 8 to 12 weeks before the last frost.

Dig holes as deep as the root and several inches wide. Plant multiple climbing snapdragons about 6 feet apart. They will grow to fill in the gaps over the next few seasons. If planting in a hanging basket, plant several snapdragons together in one pot.

Thin the snapdragons out, as necessary, as the vines may naturally multiply. If you planted seeds outdoors, thin them out after the seedlings begin to grow so there is one plant per 6 feet.

Water periodically, especially during dry spells in the warmer months.

How to Dead Head Snapdragons

Deadhead snapdragons as soon as the flower begins to wither and turn brown. Spend a few minutes deadheading the snapdragons once or twice every week.

Pinch the stem between your thumb and forefinger, down to the next leaf, bud or stem to avoid leaving a stub. If the plant is getting leggy, pinch down a bit further, removing two or three leaves.

Discard the deadheaded blooms and don’t allow them to pile up under the plant; wilted blooms and other debris can attract slugs, insects and mildew. Toss the blooms on your compost pile or in the garbage.

How to Plant & Grow Snapdragons in Baskets & Pots

How to Grow Snapdragons

Choose a site that has full sun (afternoon shade in warmer climates) and well-drained, fertile soil. Plants can be planted in the spring after the last frost or, in Southern areas of the United States, in the fall.

Dig a hole with the trowel and place it in the hole. Fill in the soil, compacting as you go to remove any air pockets. Water generously. If planting more than one, space them 6 to 8 inches apart.

After young plants are about 3 or 4 inches high, pinch back the stems with your fingers to encourage a bushier plant that will yield more flowers.

Remove any spent flowers throughout the growing season by pinching them off with your fingers. This will keep the plant flowering well into the fall.

To keep your snapdragons for the following year, leave the flowers intact after the last bloom. These will go to seed. New seedlings in the spring can then be transplanted elsewhere.



The Snapdragon’s botanical name is Antirrhinum, from the Greek words ‘anti’ (like) and ‘rhin’ (a nose), which refers to the resemblance the flower is said to have to a snout.

Snapdragons come in a wide variety of bright colours and a range of heights, from dwarf to medium and tall. They are commonly found in English hedgerow borders, with a single plant producing seven or eight spikes of blossom in a season. Regular deadheading helps them bloom again and again throughout the summer.

Snapdragons are perennials that flower for most of the year and their peak season is April – June and August – October. Sow the seeds indoors early in the year, moving the seedlings outside once the ground is frost free. It is advised to plant 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) apart depending on the size of the variety.

This flower originated in the Mediterranean area but now thrives in the UK when planted in well-fertilised soil in full sun.

Snapdragons used to be treated as part of the Scrophulariaceae family but DNA sequences now include them under the umbrella of the much larger Plantaginaceae species.

Care Tips
They should be planted in well-drained soil as their roots are prone to rotting. They also react to ethylene gas, so keep them away from ripe fruit and vegetables, flowers that are dying and too much heat. To promote the flowering of upper buds and prevent wilting stems, the top 5 to 8cm of the stem should be cut.

Any wilted flower heads can also be removed, although some people feel that this spoils the appearance of the flower. However, it does force the plants to produce additional stems that will bloom later in the season.

Did You Know?
The English name derives from the flower’s imagined appearance as a dragon’s face. The variety is much loved by children, who delight in gently squeezing the sides of the flower to see the ‘dragon’s mouth’ open and close or ‘snap’ shut.

Snaps are perfect for any flower garden — they add height to containers and make great cut flowers to bring indoors. Pinch off the tip top of each plant when transplanting into the garden to encourage fullness. Snaps grow best in fertile, well-drained soil that is kept evenly moist. Plant in fall in warm climates and in early spring in the rest of the country. Feed with a timed-release fertilizer at planting.

Snapdragons get their name from the snapping action of each bloom. When you squeeze the sides of the flower, its jaws open and snap shut when you let go. Try it to impress children of all ages!

Some Bonnie Plants varieties may not be available at your local stores, as we select and sell varieties best suited to the growing conditions in each region.

  • Type Annual
  • Light Full sun
  • Plant spacing 12 inches apart
  • Plant size 18 to 24 inches tall

Some Bonnie Plants varieties may not be available in your local area, due to different variables in certain regions. Also, if any variety is a limited, regional variety it will be noted on the pertinent variety page.

Category: Flowers SKU: 2066

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