Mr. D's Plant of the Week Series: The Snapdragon

Snapdragons in Tallahassee, Florida.jpg

Throughout Tallahassee and Leon County, you have probably seen scores of Snapdragon flowers, especially when driving down one of our gorgeous canopy roads like Centerville, North Meridian or Old St. Augustine.

Or maybe you were given a stunning flower arrangement filled with beautiful multi-colored blooms with names like Madame Butterfly, Royal Bride, or Lucky Lips. Well, more than likely, you were in the presence of a Snapdragon array.

The Antirrhinum majus, (the Snapdragon’s scientific name; pronounced: an-tur-RYE-num MAY-jus), from the family of Plantaginaceae, is not native to North America.

However, this noninvasive herbaceous is suitable and resilient enough that all USDA hardiness zones are potential planting ranges. In our Zone 8 region, your ideal planting months for this annual are February, March, October, November, and December.

How to care and manage the Snapdragon annual

The Antirrhinum majus must get planted in soil that has adequate drainage. Not doing so causes the Snapdragon’s roots to rot. They also react poorly, getting planted or growing near ripe fruit and vegetables. Another flower concern to be aware of, besides too much heat and dying flowers, ethylene gases will be troublesome for this annual.

Any wilted flower heads do need removing. When cutting the stem, measure down from the top of the stem about 3 inches to clip the bud. That step does two things, 1) prevents a wilting stem, and 2) allows any upper buds to flower. Furthermore, this procedure will produce additional plant stems that will bloom later in the year.

Mr. D’s eight interesting Snapdragon facts

  1. According to the National Garden Bureau, 2019 is the year of the Snapdragon.

  2. The origins of snapdragons are not known. However, there is speculation they made their way to North America from Europe. Primarily, from the Italy and Spain regions.

  3. There are 18 different types of Snapdragon flowers. Their color variations are in the burgundies, lavenders, oranges, pinks, purples, whites, and yellow categories.

  4. Of the 18 different types, there are 40 subtypes, i.e., Aroma Series: Hybrid French Vanilla, Hybrid Fresh Lemon, etc. or Chantilly Series: Chantilly Cream Yellow, Chantilly Velvet, etc.

  5. The scientific name “antirrhinum” associated with the snapdragon originated from Greece. It comes from the Greek word “antirrhinon” which quite literally translates to “like a snout/nose” because the blooms have a snout shape design.

  6. The snout-shaped blooms come in smallest and tallest varieties. The tallest will grow up to 48 inches high, and the lowest between 6 to 15 inches tall.

  7. The snapdragon blooms grow their best with ample sun in damp soil, but in turn, they will also rust under hotter and drier conditions.

  8. For individuals that like to taste or eat flowers, some restaurants and bars use Snapdragon flowers to garnish food and drinks. That may not sound appealing, given that it has a slightly bitter taste, but none the less it is edible.

If you’re not sure, the Snapdragon flower blends well in your garden, give us a call and speak to one of our landscaping specialists for alternative flower choices. Or stop by the Dickerson nursery at 12 Hayfield Spur, over in Lloyd. We have a vast selection of annuals you can browse through.

If you found the Snapdragon interesting, then check out our Yarrow plant column and let us know your thoughts!