Snapdragon Mix - Antirrhinum majus
1/4 teaspoon open pollinated seeds from our gardens for $4.00.
Snapdragons are sure to bring back fond childhood memories of gently squeezing these flowers to make their "mouths" move. I grew up with these plants being an annual and was delighted when I moved to a cooler area to discover they are actually a short lived perennial. So, if you live in a cooler area, don't remove them at the end of their flowering cut them back. You will get three to four years from these plants.
Snapdragons are versatile plants, they are perfect for cottage gardens, cutting gardens and containers. I direct sow my seeds in autumn and spring. They are slow growing and may not flower until the following season. However, if you succession sow your seeds, you will never be without these flowers. I grow mine in a semi shaded position to ensure they are protected from the summer heat and keep them well watered.
Snapdragon flowers are edible but their flavour leaves a lot to be desired. It is best to use these flowers solely for decoration on cakes etc.
Snapdragons have a vase life of 5 to 12 days. Cut when half the spike is open. Stems are cut at a 45 degree angle, just above a leaf node. Remove flowers and foilage so none will be submerged in water. Place the flowers in tepid water for at least 8 hours or overnight. Recut the flowers at a 45-degree angle, under warm, running water. Place them in the vase immediately and set the vase in a cool area away from direct sunlight.
Seeds can be sown in either autumn or spring. I direct sow my seeds in a prepared bed that is rich in organic matter and well draining. Seeds prefer a temperature of 20C for germination. You can start your seeds indoors, note that heat mats are not recommended as these plants prefer cool soil. Germination takes up to 14 days. To encourage better branching, pinch the tops off when the seedlings reach around 10cm in height. If you started your seeds inside, ensure to harden them off before transplanting into the garden. Since snapdragons are not frost tolerant, wait until after the last frost to transplant. Note that some varieties of snapdragons will require staking or some sort of support. I prefer to use a hoop of wire, staked into the ground for them to grow through.