Growing Tips: Snapdragon

Quick Reference:

Annual, a plant that completes it’s life cycle in one season. Germination is improved by pre-chilling seed in the refrigerator for 7-10 days before planting. DO NOT cover seed with soil, it needs light to germinate. Germinates in approx. 10 to 14 days with an optimum soil temperature of 65-70 degrees F. Seed spacing ½ to ¾ inches apart. Space plants 6 to 8 inches apart in the garden. Plant height: 8 to 10 inches.

When and where to plant:

In Alaska this slow growing plant should be started indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost to assure satisfactory summer bloom. Fill a container that has drainage holes with a sterilized potting soil, sprinkle seed on soil surface, DO NOT cover, seed needs light to germinate, water well for good seed-soil contact and keep moist until seedling emerge. From when the seedlings first show green until they are transplanted to pots, it is recommended that watering be done from below by setting the container in water until the soil is moist, this reduces the possibility of disease by keeping the tiny stems dry. When seedlings show their first green leaves water from below with a liquid solution of plant food. As soon as the seedlings have 3 or 4 true leaves transplant to individual plastic pots, water with a liquid solution of plant food every two weeks and grow in full sun with cool nights, 50 to 55 degrees F, until the garden is ready. Select sunny to lightly shaded garden location with moderately rich, well-drained soil, cultivate, enrich with plant food and transplant outdoors after all danger of frost is past.

Care:

Pinch the stems back when the plants are small to make them bushy. Remove faded flower spikes to encourage new growth and extend the flowering season. When watering, soak the soil but keep the foliage dry. Keep moist and apply plant food one month after the seedlings are transplanted in the garden.