Also known as ‘’Toadflax’’ or ‘’Baby Snapdragon,’’ this colourful annual is originally native to Morocco and has naturalized in the warmest regions of North America. The plants grow shrubby upright stems, usually 12-24 inches tall and are covered with a multitude of small snapdragon-like flowers.
Truly spectacular when planted en masse in an isolated area, the numerous blooms occur in shades of pink, yellow, red, purple, yellow and white. Northern Lights snapdragons are quick to flower, only 50 days from seedlings. You can also sow directly in the garden in early spring to be rewarded by lovely flowers until early summer. A good choice for beds, borders, meadows and cottage gardens, Northern Lights snapdragon is also adaptable to containers, baskets and window boxes.
- Latin Name: Linaria maroccana
- Life Cycle: Annual
- Days to Maturity: 110-120
- Planting Depth: 2-3 mm
- Plant Spacing: 20-30 cm
- Growth Habit: 60 cm tall
Popular and colourful, impressive snapdragons adorn many flower gardens. The perennials, usually grown as annuals, are a classic inclusion in cut flower arrangements. The blossoms, opening from the bottom of the stalk to the top, resemble the snout of a dragon, snapping open and closed as it welcomes grateful pollinators. Snapdragons bloom prolifically in cool weather, showcasing their vivid flowers and brightening up spring and fall gardens.
Seeds can be sown directly a couple weeks before the last frost date, but because of their slow growth, they can also be started indoors 8-12 weeks before the last frost. Press seeds into the soil without covering, mist and keep moist during the germination process. Place flats beneath a bright grow light for 16 hours per day. Keep light just above the seeds and sprouts and adjust as they grow taller.
When seedlings develop a couple of sets of true leaves or reach 10 cm tall, pinch the top of the plant to encourage a sturdy and bushy base. Young snapdragons will survive a light frost and can be transplanted outside a couple weeks before the last frost date.
Choose a sunny site with rich, well-drained soil. In colder regions, full sun is ideal. Snapdragons should bloom all year. In warmer climates, afternoon shade is desired to help flowers withstand the heat of summer. Flowers will be most prosperous with overnight temperatures around 4 degrees and when daytime temperatures hover around 21 degrees.
Young plants should be provided cool, moist and bright conditions. Snapdragons will benefit from being mulched and watered properly. When established, snapdragons will need about 3 cm of water per week. Supplement garden beds with compost.
Not much other feeding is necessary because of the short life of the flowers. To encourage blooming, remove spent blossoms.
Try mixing snapdragons into your vegetable garden. The fragrant blossoms are deer-resistant and will likely help keep other critters at bay. Germination to flowering will take two to three months. But by starting seeds indoors, snapdragons will have the chance to get acclimated to the garden in the cool, early months of spring. Count on having bunches of beautiful blooms in cool seasons and climates when you grow your own snapdragons.
- Originally native to Mediterranean Europe, snapdragon has been cultivated at least since the times of ancient Greece.
- Snapdragon was the most popular variety of cut flowers until the 1950s, before the mass hybridization of other flower varieties.
- The edible flowers taste somewhat bland but they make an outstandingly elegant garnish on salads, drinks and cold desserts.
- Snapdragons are named after their flowers that resemble dragon’s faces. When the flower is pressed gently on the sides, its ‘’dragon’s mouth’’ opens and closes.
- Snapdragon seeds will remain viable for 3 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!