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2019- The Year of the Snapdragon
Sarah Browning, Nebraska Extension Educator
2019- The Year of the Snapdragon

This year theNational Garden Bureaufeatures Snapdragon, Antirrhinum majus, as its annual flower of the year. Snapdragon is often thought of as an old-fashioned flower, evoking childhood memories of a grandparents’ garden. But snapdragons are an easy to grow, multi-purpose plant, which add great color, fragrance and pollinator habitat to any garden. If you haven’t used snapdragons in your gardens in recent years, give them another try. You’ll be happy you did.

Intermediate types range in size from 16-24 inches tall and 12-18 inches wide. Look for plants in the Chimes, Crown, Freesong, LaBella and Montego series.

Tall snapdragons are 24-30 inches or taller and 14-16 inches in width. Look for the Panorama, Rocket and Sonnet series. In the garden, stake tall types to prevent them from falling over and breaking. They can easily become top heavy because of their large flowers.

Snaptastic is a new type of intermediate height snapdragon that combines the bushy habit of dwarf types with taller flower stems typical of the medium types. This cultivar offers better branching in the garden and requires less staking, but retains the classic look of traditional snapdragons.

The Candy Showers series is also unique as the first trailing snapdragon series from seed. It is ideal for hanging baskets, window boxes, and patio containers.

In the Garden
Snapdragons are cold tolerate plants, so they can be planted early in spring along with pansies and violas. They do best in full sun locations and are tolerant of many different soil types, as long as it is well-drained. Incorporating additional organic matter into heavy clay soil is a good idea and will reward you with healthier plants due to better root systems.

Purchase transplants or grow your own from seed. Sow seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last spring frost to have nice-sized transplants ready for your garden. Snapdragon seeds are very small and require light for germination, so use a seed starting soil mix and press the seeds lightly onto the top of the soil. Expect germination in two to three weeks at 55º-60ºF. Growing under cooler conditions is preferable since it results in shorter, studier plants.

Flowering may slow down during the hottest part of summer. To get plants over this late summer lull, keep plants well-watered, fertilize weekly with a water-soluble product and deadhead as old flowers fade. Deadheading prevents plants from putting energy into seed production. Cut stems back to a sturdy point, which will be strong enough to hold up the new growth.

For more information on this year's featured plants, visit the National Garden Bureau. The National Garden Bureau recognizes and thanks David Kuack and Syngenta Flowers as author and contributor to this fact sheet.

Images from the National Garden Bureau.

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