From tiny seed to towering treasure! This beginner-friendly guide shares the magic of growing snapdragons from seed to bloom. Learn planting tricks, care secrets, & watch your garden blaze with color!

From the first year, I grew a snapdragon garden bed, I knew they’d be a staple in my gardens. Have you grown them before?

The bright, colorful flowers resemble the snout of a dragon that adds a lot of texture and interest to any garden. While you can find options at the nursery, it’s best to start snapdragons from seed because there are so many more gorgeous varieties to choose from that are not readily available.

They are deer-resistant, make incredible cut flowers, and give all the cottage garden feels during the growing season.

Learn how to grow, care for, and enjoy snapdragon flowers with these simple tips.

(Posts on may contain affiliate links. Click HERE for full disclosure.)

A picturesque garden scene featuring a stone ledge lined with vibrant snapdragons in a variety of colors ranging from pink to orange, creating a cascading effect of blooms

Understanding Snapdragons: A Beginner’s Guide

Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) are a popular garden plant known for their showy, brightly colored flowers that bloom in a wide range of hues, including pink, red, purple, yellow, white, and bicolors. The flowers are distinctive in shape, resembling the face of a dragon with an open mouth and a tongue-like lower petal. Don’t they sound cool?

Snapdragon plants are native to the Mediterranean region but are now widely grown throughout the world. With a USDA hardiness zone of 7-10, they range in height from 6-36 inches tall, depending on the variety.

The plant’s leaves are narrow and pointed, and the flowers bloom in spikes that can reach up to 2 feet long. The blooms can get pretty heavy, so taller varieties may need staking.

It’s important to note that snapdragons bloom more in cooler temperatures. So in early summer, you may notice them not loving the heat and start slowing down their flower production. But don’t worry, because they will bounce back when colder temperatures arrive in late summer/early fall.

Snapdragons are often used as ornamental plants in flower beds, borders, and containers. They are also a favorite of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, making them an excellent choice for pollinator gardens. These deer-resistant plants are also a great addition to cottage gardens and make excellent cut flowers.

Are Snapdragons Perennials or Annuals?

Depending on your climate, they are generally short-lived tender perennials that are grown as annuals. Here in New Jersey, they are grown as annuals. I start mine from seed every year, they bloom in spring, summer, and fall. They seem to tolerate a light frost but are done shortly after as the temps dip and we get a good freeze.

A close-up view of delicate pink snapdragons with soft white accents, nestled among lush green leaves, presenting a tender display of floral beauty
Snapdragon Close Up

Top Snapdragon Varieties to Grow in Your Garden

I am a HUGE fan of growing Antirrhinum majus. These are the varieties I’m growing, and I ordered them all from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

  • Madame Butterfly Bronze with White
  • Madame Butterfly Rose
  • Chantilly Light Pink
  • Chantilly Purple
  • Chantilly Light Salmon
  • Potomac Pink
  • Bridal Pink
  • Costa Apricot
  • Legend Light Pink
A hand extending a vibrant bouquet of garden flowers at dusk, featuring pink and coral snapdragons, magenta celosia, and cream dahlias, symbolizing the last colorful harvest of the season against a backdrop of a softly lit garden

5 Compelling Reasons to Plant Snapdragons This Season

If you are not already growing snapdragons, you are missing out on the fun and joy of growing them. Here are five reasons to grow snapdragons in your garden.

The Remarkable Beauty of Snapdragon Flowers

Antirrhinum majus produces showy, colorful blooms that add visual interest to any garden that can’t be beaten. Not to mention, they make great cut flowers for arrangements too.

The bright snapdragon flowers come in a wide range of colors with a distinctive shape that resembles the face of a dragon. Their petal shapes add a lot of texture, dimension, and interest while giving all the cottage garden feels to any border.

Close-up of peach-colored snapdragons with soft yellow accents, the ruffled petals providing a delicate texture against the greenery of the garden
‘Madame Butterfly Bronze’ Snapdragons

Extended Blooming Season of Snapdragons

Snap dragons have a long blooming season, typically from late spring to early fall. With proper care, they can bloom for several months, providing continuous color, and interest in the garden.

Because they prefer cooler temperatures during the growing season, snapdragons produce fewer flowers in the summer. But even still, my snapdragons bloomed. The key to keeping them going during the heat of summer is to keep them well-hydrated.

Deer-Resistant and Pollinator-Friendly

One of the biggest reasons I grow them is because deer tend to leave them alone. They don’t need to be sprayed with deer repellents and seem to do well with other critters as well. If you want to attract more pollinators to your garden, snapdragons are a great flower to include. By planting snapdragons, you can help support local pollinators and promote a healthy ecosystem.

Lush garden beds filled with a stunning variety of larkspur, calendula, and snapdragons in shades of purple, pink, and yellow, complemented by green foliage and a whimsical out-of-focus terracotta pot in the background.

Why Snapdragon Plants Are Ideal for Cut Flowers

While snap dragons look amazing in the garden, they look even better in flower arrangements. They are cut and come again flowers, so the more you cut, the more flowers you’ll get.

Snapdragon gardens need to be deadheaded anyway, so instead of waiting until the flowers start to brown out in the garden, why not enjoy them in a vase? During the last growing season, I cut my snapdragons from spring through fall. So if you are looking for a flower that keeps on giving, Antirrhinum majus is one to grow.

Growing Snapdragons: A Simple and Rewarding Process

The snapdragon flower bed is relatively easy to grow and maintain, making it a good choice for novice gardeners or those dipping into the cut flower garden scene. They are hardy plants that can tolerate cooler temperatures and some drought, and they don’t require a lot of fuss to thrive. And because they are so easy to grow, they are a staple in my gardens.

A tranquil garden pathway edged by vibrant snapdragons and towering sunflowers, leading to a backdrop of lush trees and a white garden fence in the soft light of dusk
Snapdragons in mid-summer cottage garden at sunset.

Guide to Starting Snapdragon Seeds: Tips for Success

If you want more options to grow, it’s best to start snapdragons from seed. And they couldn’t be easier to grow either. The seeds germinate with ease, the seedlings are not very fussy, and they transplant well.

Choosing the Best Snapdragon Seeds for Your Garden

When you start shopping around, you’ll see there are several different varieties of snapdragons to choose from with a range of heights. Keep in mind that the tall varieties will need staking as the large flowers add a lot of weight to the plant.

In terms of local availability, I’ve found dwarf varieties at the local nursery but not the taller varieties. As such, I purchase snapdragon seeds from quality growers like

I’ve grown both short and tall plants but I LOVE growing the taller varieties. They look stately and beautiful in the garden. And the snapdragon blooms can’t be rivaled.

Essential Supplies for Starting Snapdragon Seeds

Snapdragon seedlings growing in biodegradable pots under a purple glow of LED grow lights, with the early stage of plant growth visible, set in an indoor seed starting tray.
Snapdragon seed starts under grow lights

Step-by-Step Guide to Seeding Snapdragons Indoors

Here are the steps for starting snapdragon seeds:

  • Snapdragons can be started indoors about 8-10 weeks before the last expected frost in your locality. Use a seed starting tray or small pots with drainage holes filled with a quality organic seed starter mix that is pre-moistened. I start mine under grow lights and have found great success starting them in both my basement and sunroom.
  • Sow the seeds on the surface of pre-moistened soil, pressing them lightly into the soil and lightly covering them with vermiculite. Snapdragons need light to germinate, so don’t bury the seeds too deep. Sow only one variety per cell tray as the different plants will germinate at different times.
  • Cover seed trays with a clear dome and move them under the grow lights. They do not need a heat mat to germinate. Snapdragons typically germinate within 10-14 days at a temperature of 60-70°F (15-21°C).
  • Remove the cover when the seeds start to germinate. It’s okay if they didn’t all germinate, more will grow after the cover is removed.
  • Keep soil moist by bottom watering only.
  • Before transplanting snapdragon seedlings outdoors, harden them off by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions over a period of 14 days.
  • When seedlings are hardened off and ready to plant in the garden, space snapdragon transplants about 6-8 inches apart after the last frost date.
  • Water young plants regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. Feed with an organic fish fertilizer for a few weeks and then use a slow-release fertilizer so feeding them is set-and-forget. This will help promote healthy growth and lots of blooms.

How to Winter Sow Snapdragon Seeds Successfully

Did you know that you can also start snapdragon seeds outdoors too? They are a great cold-tolerant annual that works well with winter sowing. If you lack indoor growing space or want to try a more low-maintenance approach to starting seeds, head over to my winter sowing guide to get my tips for starting snapdragon seeds outdoors.

snapdragon bouquet with view of front porch garden and gomphrena truffala pink

How to Plant Snapdragons Outdoors: A Step-by-Step Guide

When seedlings are hardened off and ready to plant in the garden, it’s time to find the right location, prepare the soil and plant.

Selecting the Optimal Location for Snapdragon Planting

Selecting the right location is crucial for the success of snapdragons. They thrive in full sun to partial shade, so choose a spot with at least six hours of sunlight per day. Additionally, ensure the soil is well-draining to prevent waterlogging because snapdragons are susceptible to root rot.

How to Prepare Soil for Planting Snapdragons

Before planting snapdragon seedlings, prepare the soil to create an optimal growing environment. Start by removing any weeds and debris from the planting area. Loosen the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches using a garden fork or tiller. Incorporate organic matter such as compost or aged manure to improve soil fertility and structure.

A hand holding a vibrant bouquet of multicolored snapdragons, with shades ranging from soft pink to rich yellow, set against a lush garden backdrop featuring a classical fountain and terracotta pots, highlighting the beauty and serenity of a well-maintained garden.

Steps for Planting Snapdragon Seedlings

  • Once the soil is prepared, it’s time to plant the snapdragon seedlings.
  • Dig holes in the prepared soil that are slightly larger than the root ball of the seedlings. Space snapdragon transplants about 6-8 inches apart, planting after the last frost date.
  • Carefully remove the seedlings from their containers, gently teasing apart any tangled roots. Place each seedling into a prepared hole, ensuring the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface.
  • Fill in the holes with soil, gently firming it around the base of each seedling to provide support.

Best Practices for Watering Newly Planted Snapdragons

Water young plants regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. Feed with an organic fish fertilizer for a few weeks and then use a slow-release fertilizer so feeding them is set-and-forget. This will help promote healthy growth and lots of blooms.

Applying a layer of organic mulch around the base of the snapdragon seedlings can also be helpful to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and moderate soil temperature.

Lush garden scene with vibrant snapdragons in shades of yellow, pink, and purple, complemented by blue larkspur and yellow straw flowers. The image captures a variety of snapdragons in full bloom, beautifully arranged with terracotta pots hanging whimsically in the background, creating a picturesque summer garden
Snapdragons and larkpsur

Essential Care Tips for Thriving Snapdragons

Snapdragons prefer cool weather but can tolerate a light frost. They do best in full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil that is kept moist but not waterlogged. Overall, snapdragons care is pretty easy. They don’t need a lot of coddling to keep them happy, healthy, and looking amazing.

Here are some tips.

  • Plant snapdragons in a location that receives full sun with well-draining soil.
  • As plants grow, pinch them back when they gets about five to six sets of leaves. This means you’ll cut the plant down to roughly the second to the third set of leaves. This will encourage the plant to produce more flowers.
  • Water snapdragons deeply once a week, or more often in hot, dry weather. Water the base of plants and avoid watering from above to help prevent fungal diseases.
  • Apply a slow-release fertilizer to promote healthy growth and lots of blooms.
  • Remove spent flowers regularly by pinching or cutting them off to encourage new growth and blooming. The more you cut the more flowers they will produce.
  • If your snapdragons are a taller variety, they may become top-heavy and fall over. Stake them early to provide stem support. There’s nothing worse than spending time growing flowers to watch them fall over after a heavy rain or windstorm. Grow through hoops or trellis netting are great supports for them.
Lush garden display featuring pink snapdragons with delicate white accents surrounded by vibrant pink petunias and deep purple foliage, creating a striking contrast and colorful garden arrangement - close up of snapdragons potomac appleblossom.
Snapdragons Potomac Appleblossom, Supertunia Fuschia and Coleus

Optimal Timing for Pinching Snapdragon Seedlings

To create bushier snapdragons overflowing with blooms, it is important to pinch back the seedlings. When they have 4-6 true leaves, snip off the top just above a set of leaves. This encourages side shoots, resulting in a fuller plant that will produce more flowers. Now you can skip doing this, but the plant will not grow as many flowers. And the whole point is to get a lot of blooms, so don’t skip this step!

How to Deadhead Snapdragons for Longer Blooming

Another key snapdragon maintenance step is deadheading spent blooms. Deadhead snapdragons by pinching off faded flowers or cutting back the entire flower stem to the nearest set of leaves. 

By promptly removing faded flowers, either by pinching them off or cutting back the entire flower stem to a set of healthy leaves or nodes, you’ll encourage the plant to redirect its energy towards producing new blooms rather than setting seeds. 

This helps prolong the blooming period of snapdragons but also promotes a more compact and bushy growth habit. Regular deadheading also helps prevent the formation of seed pods, which can detract from the plant’s appearance and may result in self-seeding in unwanted areas of the garden.

A vibrant bouquet of colorful flowers, including zinnias, snapdragons, and other mixed blooms, sits in a clear glass vase on an ornate metal table. The background features a sign with partial text reading "Standard Large Medin." The scene exudes a fresh, cheerful ambiance.

Best Companion Plants for Snapdragons: Enhance Your Garden

Since I love to grow a snapdragon garden, there are some annuals and perennial plants that look really good with them and organically keep them healthy. Here are some of my favorites to plant with snapdragons.

An array of colorful larkspur and snapdragons (Antirrhinum) in full bloom, showcasing tall spikes of purple, pink, and yellow flowers, creating a vivid tapestry in a lush deer resistant garden with scattered terracotta pots overhead."
Snapdragons and Larkspur

Using Snapdragons as Cut Flowers: Tips and Techniques

Snapdragons make great cut flowers and can last for several days in a bouquet if properly cared for. Here are some tips for prolonging the life of snapdragons in an arrangement.

  • Cut snapdragons in the early morning or later in the day. They should be cut when the flowers are just starting to open. Avoid cutting them in the heat of the day.
  • Immediately place snapdragon cuttings in fresh room-temperature water to keep the flowers hydrated before arranging.
  • Leave the stems in water for several hours to allow the flowers to condition themselves to life in a cut flower arrangement.
  • Remove any leaves that will sit below the waterline to prevent bacteria growth.
  • Add flower food to the water to help extend the life of the flowers.
  • Keep the bouquet in a cool location away from direct sunlight and heat sources to help the flowers last longer.

And if you need some flower arranging tips, I shared design techniques here. By following these tips, snapdragons in a bouquet can last for several days, adding color and beauty to your home.

For more information about snapdragons see:

Close-up of Antirrhinum, commonly known as snapdragons, displaying vibrant pink and peach blossoms amid green foliage, with a soft-focus background of a garden fence and terracotta pots - Madame Butterfly with Bronze with white
Snapdragon with orange flowers ‘Madame Butterfly Bronze with White’

FAQs: Growing Snapdragons Successfully

Whether you’re a seasoned green thumb or a budding horticulturist, you likely have questions about how best to cultivate these gorgeous flowers. I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you grow snapdragons successfully. From starting seeds to caring for mature plants, find all the expert tips and tricks you need to ensure your blooms thrive.

What month do you plant snapdragons?

Snapdragons are typically planted outdoors in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. Depending on your location and climate, this usually falls between March and May. However, snapdragon seeds can also be started indoors several weeks before the last frost date and transplanted outdoors once they have established seedlings.

Bright and sunny garden scene showcasing tall snapdragons with yellow blooms accented by deep purple flowers and green foliage, set against a vibrant natural background, inviting a close connection with nature - costa apricot snapdragons
Snapdragons ‘Costa Apricot’

Do snapdragons do well in pots?

Yes, snapdragons can do well in pots and containers as long as they have sufficient space for root growth and get enough sunlight and water. Choose a pot with good drainage holes and use a well-draining potting mix. 

Container-grown snapdragons may require more frequent watering than those planted in the ground, especially during hot weather, because the soil can dry out faster than in garden beds.

How tall do snapdragons get?

Snapdragons’ height can vary depending on the variety and growing conditions. Most snapdragon varieties range from 6 inches to 3 feet in height. 

Dwarf varieties typically reach heights of 6 to 12 inches, while taller varieties can grow up to 2 to 3 feet tall. Make sure to choose your varieties carefully to ensure they suit your garden space and the aesthetic you’re going for.

Do snapdragons need a trellis?

Although they can grow to be quite tall, snapdragons do not typically require a trellis for support. They have sturdy stems that usually remain upright on their own. But some taller varieties may benefit from staking if they become top-heavy or start to bend or flop over. 

In most cases, proper spacing and adequate support from neighboring plants are enough to keep snapdragons upright.

A person holds a bouquet of vibrant snapdragon flowers in shades of yellow and pink amidst a lush garden with greenery, rocks, and more flowers in the background. The scene is bright and colorful, emphasizing the vibrant and fresh nature of the flowers.

Final Thoughts on Growing Snapdragons

Snapdragons are one of my favorite flowers to grow in my cutting garden. They are incredibly easy to start from seed, perform well, look amazing, and are wonderful in a vase. Because they add cottage charm, height and drama, you can’t beat these pretty blooms both in and out of the garden.

Do you grow snapdragons? If so, do you have a favorite variety? I would love to know more in the comments below.

For more information about growing them, please read this article from the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

To drill down on more beginner gardening techniques and tips, please read these posts:

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear! And feel free to share this post with anyone you think would find it helpful too.

Happy Gardening!

Stacy Ling
close up of snapdragons butterfly bronze with white
Front yard cottage garden in fall with rubeckia and small birdhouse from Good directions with copper roof
Snapdragons in the Fall Cottage Garden
snapdragons flowers
close up of bouquet with snapdragons, zinnias and larkspur
sElegant indoor floral arrangement in a white textured vase called milk glass, combining pink snapdragons, deep red dahlias, and vibrant zinnias, set against a vintage wooden shutter, creating a charming and inviting home decor elemen
Gentle hues of pink snapdragons gracefully standing in a garden bed, complemented by soft green foliage, offering a peaceful and natural setting in a vibrant garden landscape.
A rustic arrangement of various garden flowers in a clear glass jar, featuring vibrant snapdragons, zinnias, and sunflowers, set against a wooden backdrop, capturing the essence of a country-style floral display
The bricks \'n Blooms guide to a beautiful and easy-care flower garden book by stacy ling
The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy Care Flower Garden
  • Have you never met a plant you couldn’t kill?
  • Have you dug around in the dirt with nothing to show for it except a sunburn and a sore back?
  • Do you currently enjoy growing flowers, but are looking for more tips and ideas to level up your gardening game?

Then the Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide is for YOU

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Stacy
    These flowers are stunning. I’d love to add some to our garden. Thanks for the info.

  2. I learned so much from your post! My followers will too. I’m sharing it in my weekend round up post.