Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

Fruits & Nuts



Special Topics



Cornell University

Antirrhinum majus
(ann-ir-rye-num may-jus)

Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

There are over 40 species of this herbaceous plant, all of which belong to the Figwort family. This species is a horticultural annual with untoothed lance-shaped leaves that will grow up to 3" long. It has lipped flowers with 2 lobes on top and 3 on the bottom.

What is it used for?

The Snapdragon is a showy plant with lavender, red, yellow, violet, or white flowers that bloom throughout the summer. It grows from 1-3 feet tall. The shorter mound-type varieties are used as bedding plants, intermediates (15-24") require no stakes and therefore make good border plants, and the tall columnar snapdragons are best for cuttings.

Where does it grow 9 How do we grow it?

The snapdragon likes moist, fertile, well-drained soil. It needs full sun and good air circulation at the base of the plant. Small types can be spaced 6" apart; larger varieties should be staked 12" apart. Remove the faded flower spikes.

What are its primary problems?

Snapdragons are plagued by snapdragon rust, an orange fungus found on the underside of its leaves. Rust resistant strains are available. Spider mites can also be a problem.

How do we propagate it?

Sow the seeds indoors, 6-8 weeks before the last frost of the season. The Snapdragons will germinate in 7-14 days and will need to be pinched to promote branching when they reach 2-4 inches.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.