Growing Guide
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Annual Flower

Antirrhinum majus
Scrophulariaceae Family

Easy to grow from seed, snapdragons have spiked flowers that mingle well in the garden. Flowers may be classic (having two puffed petals that look like stacked berets) or azalea-flowered (fringed or ruffled). They often overwinter in protected areas up to Zone 5, and bloom best in cool weather well into fall.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil
Prefers light soil, high in organic matter.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual

A short-lived perennial grown as an annual. First-year plants may overwinter with protection in Zones 5 to 7.

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 1 to 3.5 feet

Spread: 1 to 1.5 feet

Loose and open growth habit, unless pinched to be compact and staked for regular cutting of straight upright spikes.

Bloom time:

  • mid-summer
  • late summer
  • early fall
  • mid-fall

Flower color:

  • red
  • orange
  • yellow
  • violet
  • white
  • pink

The flowers may be in single-colored or bicolored, some with mottled coloration.

Foliage color: dark green

Foliage texture: medium

Shape: upright

Shape in flower: flower stalks with upright spikes

The flowers are clustered on spikes.

Special Considerations
  • frost
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Mediterranean
  • fragrant
Special uses:
  • cut flowers - The Rocket series is particularly good as cut flowers.
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed - Start seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost. The seeds need light to germinate. Plants tolerate frost and grow best in cool weather, so you can transplant them outside before last frost date.

Germination temperature: 60 F to 70 F

Days to emergence: 10 to 14

Maintenance and care:
Pinch tips when plants are 2 to 4 inches tall to produce more flower spikes. Cutting flowers as they mature will encourage plants to produce more flowers later in the season. Deadhead to prolong flowering. Tall varieties may require staking, but other plants may provide support in a planting with mixed flowers.

More growing information: How to Grow Annuals

Spider mites
Powdery mildew
Rhizoctonia root and stem rot
‘Sonnet’ Series produces 1.5-foot tall plants with flowers in shades of red, yellow, pink, purple and white.

‘Liberty’ Series produces 2- to 2.5-foot tall plant in nine different flower colors.

‘Rocket Series’ produces 3-foot tall plants with upright spikes of flowers in shades of red, pink, yellow, purple and white. Good for cut flowers.

Azalea-flowering varieties include:

‘Bright Butterflies Mix’ produces 2.5-foot tall plants with 10 to 12 flower spikes per plant. Flowers in shades of yellow, red, pink, purple and white.

‘Madame Butterfly Mix’ produces 2-foot tall plants with double azalea-type flowers in shades of red, pink, yellow, purple and white.