Early Spring Snapdragons

snapSnaps are probably the earliest drama plants we sell in the spring. Plant them about the same time as pansies and they will go into full bloom production shortly thereafter. They thrive in the cool nights of the early spring.

It’s good to have snapdragons in your retail mix because the snapdragon is one of those gateway plants that will introduce gardening to the next generation. Many customers have early memories of squeezing snapdragon blossoms to make them “talk”—or roar! When we leave the nest and get a place of our own it’s only natural for us to begin our garden with those plants that are familiar to us.

Snapdragons bloom with the day length, so we seek out those cultivars that bloom with the shortest day trigger. We also think strong stems are important, because snaps are often the first blooms in cut flower gardens. Most snapdragons have a soft scent that you can catch if you hold the flower to your nose. One plant will produce several flower spikes throughout the season—maybe seven or eight if it is in a happy place.


We offer three kinds of snapdragons: a dwarf, a standard, and a tall. The dwarf series is the Montego, probably the earliest and the best of the short snaps. It grows about 8–10 inches high and provides strong garden performance until the heat shuts the plants down. Stems are strong and sturdy, so you can consider them for a cut flower garden. We sell Montegos in yellow, purple, scarlet, white and a mix—the orange bi-color is pretty showy.


Speedy Sonnet is the standard we like. It is early-blooming and grows almost twice as high as the Montegos, about 14–16 inches when happy; to make snapdragons happy, you need to plant them in full sun with only a minimal amount of shade at best. They survive in part shade; they thrive in full sun. We sell the Speedy series in white, yellow, rose, crimson and a mix—for those who want a little bit of everything.


For TALL snapdragons consider the Rocket Mix. Bear in mind, these guys get really tall—about 2-1/2 to 3 feet high. Staking will prevent them from falling over once they unfold to their full height. Cut the stems for vases and plants will bloom more vigorously—plus they have a strong cinnamon scent that is great for arrangements. Plants bloom later, but they last later in the season as well. They require more work but offer more rewards. Because they are specialty snaps, we only offer a mix for the Rockets—but they produce the most impressive blooms of the bunch.


We are also experimenting with the Snapshot series. These plants promise to be bushier and more compact than other snapdragons—they are lower and wider than the Montegos. Think of them as short, squat and fluffy. For now we are trying out the mix to see what happens. Feel free to bring in a tray or two and let us know what you think of them.

Our 1203 trays are ready this week. In about a week or two our six-inch pots will be shipping as well.