How To Grow & Care For Snapdragons

Snapdragons, known scientifically as Antirrhinum majus, are popular garden plants renowned for their vibrant colors and unique, dragon-shaped blossoms. These flowers’ distinct appearance, with their open-mouthed blooms, is not only visually stunning but also whimsical, leading to their enchanting common name.

These captivating flowers have a rich history and symbolic meaning, often representing grace and strength. Originating from the Mediterranean region, snapdragons have been a beloved choice among gardeners for centuries. They are suitable for borders, containers, and even as cut flowers, adding charm and vivacity wherever they are planted.

Snapdragons come in various colors, sizes, and types, ranging from dwarf varieties to those reaching several feet in height. With proper care, they can thrive in various climates and settings, making them a versatile choice for gardens and landscapes.

Common NamesSnapdragons
Botanical NameAntirrhinum majus
Plant TypeAnnual or Perennial (depending on climate)
Mature Size6-36 inches tall
Sun ExposureFull sun to partial shade
Soil TypeWell-drained, moderately fertile
Hardiness Zones4-11
Native AreaMediterranean region

Snapdragons Care

Caring for Snapdragons is relatively straightforward, as they are adaptable and resilient plants. They require ample sunlight, consistent watering, and well-drained soil to flourish.

Snapdragons also benefit from regular deadheading, which encourages further blooming. Whether grown in containers or garden beds, these plants will reward attentive gardeners with continued blossoms and vibrant color throughout the growing season.

Light Requirement for Snapdragons

Snapdragons thrive in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. In hot climates, a bit of afternoon shade can prevent the plants from becoming stressed. The right balance of sunlight will promote vigorous growth and abundant flowering.

Soil Requirements for Snapdragons

Snapdragons prefer well-drained soil that is moderately fertile. While they can tolerate various soil types, ensuring good drainage is essential to prevent root rot and other moisture-related issues.

Water Requirements for Snapdragons

While Snapdragons need consistent watering, especially during dry periods, they don’t like to sit in soggy soil. It’s essential to allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings and adjust based on weather conditions.

Temperature and Humidity

Snapdragons can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but prefer cooler spring and fall weather. They can even withstand mild frosts. Humidity is generally not a significant concern, but proper spacing can prevent disease in more humid areas.


A balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied in the early growing season can enhance growth and flowering. Over-fertilizing can lead to leggy growth and reduced flowering, so moderation is key.

Pruning Snapdragons

Regular deadheading of spent blooms encourages continual flowering. Cutting back the plants after the first bloom can also lead to a second wave of blossoms in late summer or fall.

Propagating Snapdragons

Snapdragons can be propagated through cuttings or by collecting and sowing seeds. Cuttings can be taken in late summer, rooted in a potting mix, and overwintered indoors.

How To Grow Snapdragons From Seed

Growing Snapdragons from seed can be done indoors or directly in the garden. Indoor sowing should begin 6-8 weeks before the last frost, while outdoor sowing can occur after the threat of frost has passed.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


Small insects that suck plant sap, causing distorted growth. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil.


Fungal disease that causes orange spots on leaves. Ensure proper spacing and remove infected parts.

Common Problems With Snapdragons

Leggy Growth

Caused by insufficient light or over-fertilizing. Adjust light and fertilizer accordingly.


May result from root rot due to overwatering. Check soil drainage and watering practices.

Failure to Bloom

Often due to extreme heat or poor soil conditions. Amend soil or plant in a cooler season.

Pro Tips

  1. Choose the right variety for your space, as Snapdragons range significantly in height.
  2. Deadhead regularly to encourage continuous flowering.
  3. Plant in well-draining soil and be cautious not to overwater.
  4. Consider mixing different colors and types for a visually stunning display.
  5. Protect from strong winds, as taller varieties may require staking.