Tips for Growing and Caring for Snapdragons in Containers: Everything You Need to Know

Tips for Growing and Caring for Snapdragons in Containers: Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to adding charm and color to your garden, snapdragons are a popular choice for many gardeners. These vibrant blooms come in a variety of sizes and colors, making them an ideal choice for container gardening. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or new to growing snapdragons, there are a few tips and tricks that can help ensure your container-grown snapdragons thrive.

One of the first things to consider when growing snapdragons in pots is the type of container you choose. Snapdragons have long roots, so it’s important to select a pot that can accommodate their growth. A pot that is at least 8 to 10 inches deep should allow enough room for the roots to develop, ensuring a healthy plant.

Snapdragons can be grown from seeds, but if you want to skip the germination process, you can purchase young snapdragon plants from a nursery. These young plants can be gently planted in your chosen pot, being careful not to damage the delicate roots. Water them well after planting to encourage healthy rooting.

When selecting a location for your snapdragon container, choose a spot that receives full sun or partial shade. Snapdragons prefer a cooler temperature, so avoid placing them in areas that get too hot. If you live in an area where the summers are particularly hot, consider growing snapdragons in pots with dwarf or intermediate varieties, as they are more tolerant of higher temperatures.

Proper watering is essential for healthy snapdragons. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot and other issues. Instead, water the plants deeply and allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Be sure to provide good drainage, as snapdragons prefer well-drained soil.

In terms of fertilization, snapdragons generally don’t require a lot of feeding. However, a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer can be applied once a month to encourage healthy growth and abundant blooms. Be mindful of using fertilizers that contain too much nitrogen, as this can result in tall, leggy plants that may require staking to support the weight of the flowers.

How To Grow And Care For Snapdragons

When it comes to snapdragons, they are relatively easy to grow and care for. Here are some important points to consider:

  • Growing: Snapdragons are cool-season plants that prefer full sun or partial shade. They can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, but the soil should be well-drained and moistened before planting.
  • Germination: It is best to start snapdragons indoors about eight to 10 weeks before the last frost date. Press the seeds lightly into the growing medium and keep them warm and moist. Germination usually occurs within five to 14 days.
  • Transplant: Once the snapdragon seedlings have grown tall enough (about three to four inches), they can be transplanted outdoors. Be careful not to disturb the roots and consider using rooting stimulants to help with transplant shock.
  • Watering: Snapdragons need regular watering, especially during dry spells. Water them deeply and frequently, making sure the soil remains evenly moist.
  • Container Care: If growing snapdragons in containers or pots, make sure to use a well-draining potting mix. Water the plants thoroughly and allow excess water to drain away. Fertilize regularly to provide the nutrients it needs.
  • Plant Care: Snapdragons are relatively low-maintenance plants. Deadheading (removing spent flowers) and snipping browning stems will help prolong blooming. If any pest issues arise, simple insecticidal soap or organic treatments can be used to control them.
  • Propagation: If you want to propagate snapdragons, it can be done through stem cuttings or by collecting and planting seeds. Both methods are relatively simple and can result in new plants.
  • Common Issues: Snapdragons may face issues like drooping or pests. To prevent drooping, stake taller varieties and provide support. As for pests, keep an eye out for aphids, spider mites, or snails. Regular inspection and taking necessary steps can help prevent or control these issues.
  • Where To Plant: Snapdragons can be planted in flower beds, containers, or gardens. They add a colorful touch to any outdoor space.
  • Companion Planting: Consider planting snapdragons alongside other cool-season flowers like pansies or primroses. They can create beautiful combinations and attract pollinators.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to grow and care for snapdragons successfully. Enjoy the vibrant display of these stunning flowers in your garden!

Plant Attributes

When it comes to planting snapdragons in containers, there are a few important plant attributes to consider. Snapdragons, scientifically known as Antirrhinum, are flowering plants that have been a favorite in the gardening world for centuries. They are available in a wide range of colors and forms, including tall spires and shorter, bushier varieties. Snapdragons are known for their showy blooms that resemble the face of a dragon when the flowers are gently squeezed.

Snapdragons are considered intermediate-temperature plants, which means they prefer temperatures in the range of 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (15-21 degrees Celsius). They can tolerate slightly warmer or cooler temperatures, but extreme heat or cold may cause issues. Snapdragons also prefer a slightly acidic soil with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.

One of the key features of snapdragons is their ability to attract insects such as bees and butterflies to your garden. However, if you’re not a fan of pests, you may want to consider growing snapdragons in containers. This way, you can easily control the environment and keep pests at bay. Containers also make it simpler to deadhead the flowers and keep the plants looking their best.

When choosing containers for your snapdragons, make sure they have good drainage holes to prevent waterlogging the roots. You can use pots, boxes, or even hanging baskets, depending on the available space and aesthetic preferences. Scatter a layer of stones or broken pottery at the bottom of the container to improve drainage. Fill the container with a well-draining potting mix previously stopped with some organic matter for better nutrition.

Water your snapdragons frequently, especially during hot or dry periods. The soil should remain slightly moist but not saturated. Also, make sure to feed your snapdragons regularly with a balanced fertilizer to promote healthy growth and blooming. Avoid overfeeding, as this may lead to lush foliage but fewer flowers.

Another common issue with snapdragons is powdery mildew, which may appear as a grayish-white film on the leaves. To prevent this, provide adequate air circulation around the plants by spacing them properly. Also, avoid overhead watering as this can create a humid environment that is favorable for mildew growth. If you’ve seen signs of powdery mildew, you can treat it with a fungicide specifically labeled for snapdragons.

When your snapdragons are done blooming, you can either take cuttings and root them to grow new plants or continue caring for the plant as it enters a dormant state. Snapdragons are considered perennials in mild-winter regions, so you can overwinter them if your area experiences light frosts. In colder regions, it’s best to treat snapdragons as annuals and replant them each year.

In conclusion, snapdragons are versatile and easy-care plants that can bring a pop of color to your garden. Whether you choose the pink hues of Snapdragon ‘Snow Bunny’ or the vibrant reds of Snapdragon ‘Rocket Red,’ their bold blooms and attractive form are sure to enhance any space. Plus, with their ability to attract beneficial insects and garnish floral arrangements, snapdragons are a safe and appealing choice for any gardener.

Snapdragon Care

When it comes to growing snapdragons in pots, it’s important to provide them with the proper care. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a beginner, these simple tips will help you keep your snapdragons healthy and blooming.


Watering is one of the key factors in snapdragon care. It’s important to water them either early in the morning or late in the afternoon, while avoiding watering the flowers and leaves. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the plants to die. You’ll likely need to water your snapdragons frequently throughout the growing season to ensure they have enough moisture.


Snapdragons thrive in full sunlight. They require at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to ensure proper growth and blooming. Placing the pots in a spot that receives ample sunlight will help the snapdragons grow fuller and produce more flowers.


Using an intermediate to high-quality fertilizer every couple of weeks will help the snapdragons bloom well and for longer periods. A fertilizer with balanced nutrients will provide the necessary nourishment for the plants’ growth.


Pruning snapdragons is important to maintain their shape and encourage continuous blooming. Prune off any spent or fading flowers to encourage the plants to produce more blooms. Also, consider cutting the plants back by about one-third if they become leggy or stop blooming. This will help them grow bushier and produce more flowers.


Overwintering snapdragons can be a bit challenging, as they are not frost tolerant. To keep them safe from frost, either transplant them to a protected area or bring them indoors. If you choose to bring them indoors, place them in a cool room with ample sunlight. Reduce watering frequency during the dormancy period.


If you’ve been growing snapdragons for a few years, you may consider propagating new plants from cuttings to introduce new varieties or replace older plants. Take cuttings from healthy, disease-free plants in late spring or early summer. Remove the lower leaves and plant the cuttings in a well-draining rooting medium. Keep the medium moist and mist the cuttings frequently, and they should root within a couple of weeks.

Common Problems

Snapdragons can be prone to a few common problems, including aphids, spider mites, and powdery mildew. Inspect the plants regularly and take appropriate action if you notice any signs of pests or diseases. Insecticidal soap or a mixture of neem oil can help control aphids and spider mites, while a fungicide can be effective against powdery mildew.

By following these tips for snapdragon care, you’ll be able to grow beautiful and healthy snapdragons in pots. They make a great addition to any garden, either as a focal point or as a filler plant in flower beds or containers. Choose from the wide variety of snapdragon cultivars available, including the classic Antirrhinum majus that grows in a spike-like shape, or the double-flowered varieties that add an extra touch of beauty to your garden.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.