How to Grow Antirrhinum Majus Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Snapdragon

Antirrhinum majus, more commonly known as a snapdragon, is an incredibly popular perennial flower.

It belongs to the Plantaginaceae family, the same family as the broadleaf plantains.

Snapdragons come in a variety of colours, ranging from yellow through to violet, with many strains of this common garden flower being multi-coloured.

The Flower Fields photograph by Rob Bertholf.

Snapdragons are commonly grown due to the intense level of colour they bring to garden designs and landscapes.

Typically, they bloom in the middle of the summer, although if proper care is taken, blossoming can continue throughout the fall. How much the snapdragons bloom is usually dependent on the amount of sun they receive.

Antirrhinum majus cream flowers
Antirrhinum majus with cream flowers, photograph by Dinesh Valke; CC.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Snapdragon

Snapdragon can be successfully planted outside in late fall, although it is more common to first grow seedlings indoors at 65°F (18°C), starting 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost, and then later transplant them outdoors.

While Antirrhinum majus plants are pretty cold resistant once successfully established in outdoor soil, it is a good idea to cover them with pine straw mulch during exceptionally chilly periods. This greatly helps this flower's longevity.

Antirrhinum majus hybrid
Antirrhinum majus hybrid, photograph by 阿橋 HQ; CC.

Snapdragons do not require a significant level of nutrients to grow, with only a minimal amount of organic material necessary. That being said, fertilizer is recommended once the flowers start to bloom as it can greatly lengthen the blossoming period.

Perhaps the most crucial detail to keep track of when growing snapdragons is watering.

When a snapdragon is first growing, it is important to keep the surrounding soil constantly moist.

As the flower reaches maturity, it will require to be saturated to roughly one inch (2.5 cm) deep once per week, with a moderate period in between watering to allow the soil to dry.

Antirrhinum majus plants
Antirrhinum majus plants, photograph by cultivar413; CC.

Antirrhinum majus Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Antirrhinum majus
  • Common Name: Snapdragon
  • Growing Zone: USA: 7 to 10
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Annual

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 6 to 36
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 18 to 24
  • Time of Bloom: Late spring to early autumn
  • Flower Details: Blue, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
  • Leaf Foliage: Green
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Upright / erect

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Full sunlight
  • Rate of Growth: Average pace
  • Suitable Soil Types: Acidic, Adaptable, Loamy, Neutral, Well drained
  • Soil Moisture: Dry to Moist (Medium Moisture is likely gives best results)

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance: Medium
  • Propagation: Seeds sown at 16-18C in late summer, early autumn or early spring. Overwinter young plants under glass
  • How to Prune: Deadheadto prolong the flowering display
  • Pests: May be attacked byaphids
  • Diseases: Subject to powdery mildew. Some resistance to antirrhinum rust

Further Information

  • Can Attract: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
  • Tolerant of: Deer
  • Best Garden Use: Border, Container, Foundation, En masse , Specimen, Woodland garden
  • Family: Plantaginaceae
  • Closely Related Species: Chelone, Digitalis, Veronica.

  • Miscellaneous: Non-native to North America, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers, Fragrant flowers
  • Genus Detail: Anthurium
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

Snapdragon Golden gate cultivar
Snapdragon Golden gate cultivar, image by Andrey Zharkikh; CC.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Antirrhinum majus,. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Plantain and Armeria.