80523They are short term annuals in spring or autumn. Where winters are cold, they may last from spring through autumn. Where summers are hot, they may last from autumn through spring. So what are snapdragon, Antirrhinum majus, here? They can be either or both, depending on where and when they get planted. For most of us, they are a cool season annuals that finish before summer.

Although they prefer to be in full sun, the warmth of such exposure is what limits their practicality through summer. They bloom a bit less in partial shade, but are more likely to last through summer if kept cool, particularly in an innately cool microclimate. Like many annuals, they want rich soil, and regular watering. Because they are susceptible to rust and mildew, foliage should be kept dry.

Snapdragon blooms in white and many cheery hues of yellow, orange, red and pink. Some of the older varieties, particularly those developed for the cut flower industry, can get very tall, and might almost reach low eaves! Modern garden varieties are shorter and fluffier. The biggest are less than four feet tall, and less than a foot and a half wide. Deteriorating flowers should be pruned away.

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8 thoughts on “Snapdragon

    1. They do better in Palm Springs out in the higher desert, although they die in the warmth of summer. They do quite well in the arid air. Mine always get rust and mildew. Those that I just took out at work had rust rather badly, although some are still doing well for now.

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  1. I spent my childhood in England and these were one of my mum’s favourites. If they survived in the dust and industry of London, then I suppose they could survive everywhere. I have also had them in my garden, growing them from seed, the tall ones and the smaller ones, but rust is a problem I noticed.

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    1. Rust is the main reason I do not grow them at home, even in our semi-arid chaparral climate. However, those at work are doing somewhat well in a more humid climate. I just pulled some that were rusted quite badly, but the majority that remain are quite happy.

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  2. It’s a summer annual that seeds itself for next year here. Such pretty little flowers and they come in a nice array of colors. It’s an old time-y plant that a lot of people don’t want to fool with any more, but I like them. I’m old time-y too.

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    1. You know, I am about as old time-y as I can get, but I do not grow them because the rust really grosses me out. I did not plant those at work, but they are doing surprisingly well. Someone planted them in my downtown planter box many years ago, and seedlings STILL come up. They never do well because I let them get overwhelmed by other plants, but they bloom enough to throw a few seed for later, and somehow keep going. Although I would not plant them there, they also do surprisingly well with neglect. I wish they had done that well with more pampering. (Perhaps I should try them again.)

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