The Snapdragons Flower
Snapdragon flowers grown in tall spikes with double sided, round petals One of the more interesting snapdragon flower facts that a lot of people don’t know is that whenever you pick a flower and pinch it in the middle it will open so that you can see its colorful (everything from a purple snapdragon to a pink snapdragon flower is available), hairy throat.
The scientific name for snapdragons is Antirrhinum Majus(Anti- meaning “like” and –rhin meaning “nose”).
The snapdragon is native to the Mediterranean region (North Africa, Spain, Italy). However, today it is a popular garden flower in the United States. In fact, this flower has actually become naturalized in some parts of America because of its overwhelming popularity.
Description and Characteristics
There are five types of the snapdragon.
- The dwarf snapdragon, which only grows to 12 inches tall at most
- The tall snapdragon, which reaches three or feet tall
- The intermediate snapdragon, which grows up to two feet tall
All of these varieties will produce six to eight blooming spikes per season.
The snapdragon essentially has three meanings:
- Deception in the form of an accusation, query or a private meaning
- Graciousness that is benevolent, courteous or obliging making it a great flower to give to a host to show appreciation for their kind hospitality
- A wish for a blessed marriage whenever used in a bridal bouquet
Cultivation and Care
The snapdragon is perennial that does best in full or partial sunlight. This is important because they will wilt in 80 degree Fahrenheit or better weather. They should be planted in a soil that drains well so that their roots will not rot.
Make sure that this soil is full of organic matter – simply add compost or some cow manure. Once they are planted in this type of an environment, you will find them easy to care for. They simply need to be pinched back at their stems, removing any old flowers, after they are done blooming.
You will also need to water them frequently when you first plant them because you don’t want them to go into shock. After the first two weeks simply water them whenever the soil is dry one inch down.
In order to propagate snapdragon seeds you will want to sow them indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost. Make sure that the seeds are not buried in the soil as they will need light to germinate.
Instead, simply sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil and then gently water them (don’t knock the seeds out of their pots). Now they will grow until you are ready to work on bedding flowers in the ground after the last hard frost.
Tips For Caring For Snapdragons:
Some of the tips that you should keep in mind whenever you are caring for your snapdragons include:
- Make sure they have plenty of air circulation. Plant them so that there is six inches of space around their stem and between each plant.
- Snapdragons need lightly pruned on an infrequent basis. Snip it right above the healthy green foliage in order to encourage more flowers to grow.
- Remove the whole plant whenever the growing season is over (whenever the fall season begins).
Diseases and Pests
The most common snapdragon diseases include:
- Black root rot occurs whenever the roots begin to decay and their tops begin to slowly die.
- Soilborne fungus produces dark spores that spread in water.
- Cottony rot attacks the plant’s stem with large, black fungal growth.
- Damping off or stem rot will both kill seedlings. This causes stems to rot at the soil line.
- Downy mildew causes the leaves’ tips to turn a dull green color and begin curving downward.
- Gray mold causes brown, water soaked decay of the entire plant.
- Powdery mildew is a white, powdery fungus that grown on the surface of the leaf.
- Rust causes dark brown and purple powdery spores to grow on the leaves and stems.
- Verticillium wilt causes the plant to root on just one side.
- Water mold root rots stunt, wilt or suddenly cause the plant to collapse.
Some of the common pests whenever it comes to snapdragons include:
- Beet armyworms
- American serpentine leafminer
- Corn earworm
- Pill bugs
- Tobacco budworms
- Foliage feeding caterpillars
You should also know that while very few animals eat snapdragons (because they are toxic), birds will eat them. This is especially true of Cliff swallows and woodpeckers.
There are only a few uses for snapdragons. To begin with you can use the tall ones for the back border of your flower garden. The shorter ones can then be used for borders and edgings. These flowers also look great in container gardens or as part of a cut flower arrangement.
Click thumbnails to see pictures: