The Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) is one of the most colorful flowers you can add to your garden. They come in almost every color (aside from true blue), including vibrant brights, soft pastels and shaded bi-colors. The common name ‘Snapdragon’ comes from the way the flowers resemble the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when squeezed on the sides. When not being squeezed, the blossoms are snapped tightly shut. Because of this, the Snapdragon requires the more robust pollination of the bumble bee, which has the strength to pry the flowers open, where the honeybee is unable to do so. Snapdragons prefer cooler weather, blooming from the bottom up on tall, spiky stalks. If the weather becomes too hot, the Snapdragon may stop blooming altogether. Plant them in partial shade and water them well and they may make it through the summer, blooming again in the fall. Dwarf varieties grow to about 6-15 inches, while tall varieties can reach up to 30-48 inches. Regular deadheading will keep your Snapdragons full, beautiful and blooming. They can make it through to the next season if you prune them back in the spring to encourage new growth, but they are best replaced every year. They are fairly resistant to pests and disease, just be sure that the soil is kept moist but not wet enough to cause fungal infections. Snapdragons grow best when started indoors, so simply press the seed lightly on top of the soil, as they need light to germinate.
Snapdragons originated in the Mediterranean region and southern Europe, and were brought to America when colonists began to populate the states. Colonists were only too happy to plant them in gardens in nearly every state, with the flowers being very easy to grow. They were given the title of flower of the year in 1994 by the US National Garden Bureau.
The Romans and Greeks thought snapdragons had the power to protect them from witchcraft, and Descorides, the Greek physician, insisted that one could wear Snapdragons around their neck as a form of protection. In the medieval period, snapdragons were thought to be guardians of European castles, and were planted all along the gates. They also were claimed to have the power to restore youth, so many women boiled the flowers and applied the resulting liquid to their faces.
Aside from the claims of their magical properties, Snapdragons are a very popular breed of flower to grow, and have won many awards since their inception.
Magic Carpet Mix
7-8 inch plants produce a wide variety of colors, including reds, pinks, whites, and a host of others.
Tall Deluxe Mix
Plants exceed 2 feet in height, and this mixture includes virtually all the colors of the rainbow.
Grows 6 inches tall and is specifically bred to be both trailing and self branching. Colors include oranges, pinks, roses, whites, and bi-colors.
Rocket Special Mix
Bronze, Cherry, White, Golden, Pink, Lemon, Orchid, and Red – 50 seeds each color. Rocket grows to about 2 1/2 to 3 foot plants. The bloom is very bushy and the more you cut them, the more spikes they produce.
Beautiful 14″ tall plants carry blooms of pastel colors and bi-colors.
Foliage is a dark green with reddish maroon overlay, and the blooms are a dark velvety crimson. Relatively tall at 16-18″ and large flowered.
Dark yellow blooms, grows 22 to 26 inches tall.