How to plant snapdragon seeds indoors in spring
As temperatures rise, so do our garden’s plants. We can take advantage of those warmer weather conditions to encourage your snapdragons to grow faster and flower earlier in the year. You can still plant snapdragons outdoors, but I’m sharing here several tips to plant the seeds indoors if you don’t want to risk cold-weather germination.
We’ll walk through three types of snapdragon varieties, including the popular Zinnia ‘Double Trouble’. I’ll also list my favorite varieties and how to grow them.
What is a snapdragon?
Snapdragons are the perfect spring flower because of their bright colors and compact, trumpet-shaped blooms. When you plant snapdragons, you are starting a new perennial. Most snapdragons are annuals and die in summer. Because they’re easy to grow and colorful, you can expect them to be around for years.
Plant snapdragons at around four weeks, when the soil is still cool. You may choose to sow snapdragons in trays, in a soil mix, or in individual pots. (As an added bonus, you’ll learn to mix your own soil mix. You can also save time by buying soil mix.) Use a 1-inch potting soil mix.
Tips for planting snapdragons
Sow snapdragons seed directly into the soil. Don’t plant the seedlings into individual pots. Sow one or two seeds per pot or tray. (Sow in three rows across.) Sow the seedlings 18 inches apart. Use a spacing that works for you, such as 18 inches apart.
When you’re transplanting seedlings, pinch back the growing tips to encourage the seedlings to grow bushy. If you want to transplant seedlings at 12 inches, just leave the growing tip (the top of the seedling) in the soil. Be sure to gently pull the seedlings out of the seedbed.
How to grow summer snapdragons
During the warmest months, keep your plants watered to avoid plants turning yellow.
You don’t need to fertilize your plants. However, you can take your snapdragons outside when they are 8 to 12 inches tall. Cut plants back at the top and then let them grow through the summer.
If you’ve harvested your snapdragons, you will be able to see the flowers fall to the ground after the seeds have ripened. If you leave the seedpod to dry, it will be easier to remove the seeds. This may take several days.
For seed production, snapdragons may need to be reseeded every year. To harvest, simply wait for the seedpods to turn brown, or for the seed to begin to germinate. Remove the pods by pulling up the seedpod at the base. If you need more seeds, you can either cut the seeds off at the pod, or cut them from the seedpod.
About the Author
Kathleen McInerney has been writing since 2008, including her weekly column for the "Irish Examiner," a newspaper in Northern Ireland. McInerney is a gardener, and she has two small dogs and a horse that she adores. She has a Bachelor of Science in plant sciences and has worked as a production grower, as well as in sales, marketing and event management.