Dead Head Snapdragons

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

After the snaps bloom, would I get another flush of flowers if I cut them back to where the first bloom was?

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

It depends on what type of snaps you have.
If they're the tall F1 Hybrid rocket snaps, you'll get a lot of much smaller side blooms vs. a few tall ones. I've never grown the shorter ones, but the same principal probably applies.
Where I am, the summer heat usually does them in so I just plant new ones in the fall.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Mine rebloom but not as big as the first blooms. Even the side shoots look fine when seen in a large group. Ours return year after year.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

I am with Dale. Ours are beautiful in the spring and they are planted in November. But when the heat hits, they are goners.

This year, when I dug them up, I cut them back and sent some to a DG friend in Montana. She is on a trip. I am curious if they would do another spring and how they would bloom.

Photo is them at their peak and a close-up.

Thumbnail by WormsLovSharon Thumbnail by WormsLovSharon
Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I have some that I purchased last fall because I couldn't stand to have anything blooming in my garden. They are burgundy. Not only did they make it through the winter they are about 12 or 13 inches in diameter. I snipped off all of the blooms about a month ago, and they are blooming again. These are "different" snaps than what I have had in the past. I hope to get some seed from them this fall. And, I hope they will come back next year also!
However, the snaps I was referring to in my query was about the tall ones that look like exclamation marks in the garden. I grew mine from seed this year and they are blooming very nicely right now in spite of 90 to 95 degree temps. When the blooms have reached the top of the plant stems, I am going to cut them back and see if they will give more blooms.
They are one of my favorite annuals. Pirl, you are so lucky to have your snaps return. The only one I have been able to consistently return is the 'Black Prince'.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

My husband grows snaps from seed each spring and no matter where we plant them, or where the birds end up depositing seeds, they grow so beautifully from May to November and come back again each spring. I especially like the ones that appear to be holding up one of the porch window boxes.

Thumbnail by pirl Thumbnail by pirl Thumbnail by pirl
(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

So odd, I lived and gardened on the South Fork of LI for years, never had a snap return. Pirl, what's your secret?!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I don't feed them, don't pamper them in any way and generally omit deadheading if it's too hot so I have no secret, Pam. They must like the climate and the soil.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I guess that's it. The north fork is said to be warmer. Curious...

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

We do have more growing days than the South Fork.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

They are probably reseeding for you beautifully, Pirl. I grew them from seed, but will not do that again ass the seeds were so fine that I ended up with a forest of snaps that I had to keep thinning and replanting. However, whether from the seed or seedlings purchased, they always bush up beautifully for us. I only pinch them if they look bad.

To me, snapdragons are another plant the like to be ignored. They just keep growing and blooming until the first frost.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'm sure they are, Marcia. What I don't remove, the wind does. I'm not good at deadheading snaps since there always seems to be more important jobs but today I did do some since I was working in the area.

I agree - they're easy to ignore and just keep on blooming.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Please share where you purchased your seeds...Sharon and Pirl..they are beauties. I have had blooms all summer. Is the stalk coming out of the ground large? I am going to order some more of these seeds from T's flowers and things..that is where I got them last year but I'd love to have one solid color, hers were mixed..I think this late in the season, I'm going to take a chance of cutting them back at least in half to see if they'll continue to grow and bloom. What do I have to lose but blooms?

Yep Cathy, the seeds are so tiny, it's not worth saving them in my opinion too. Almost like dust!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

My husband buys the snap seeds from Park's.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I have been harvesting the snapdragon seeds this past week. I have "a LOT" of seed this year. It's mostly Plum Blossom and Apple Blossom. It "shakes" out of the pods. It's been sort of a pain to harvest, but I like the snaps so much. When I have purchased seed, I have only had about 20 seeds in a packet--that's why I have been saving seed this year. My snaps got about 40 inches tall this year.
I usually don't get many snapdragon to grow from seed. I don't know what I do wrong. This year, however, I had good success. I attributed it to having a warmer spring than usual. I winter sow the seed. If I direct sow it, I have zero plants.
I did dead head some of my snaps a couple of weeks ago.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

I purchase 4" pots already in bloom and plant them in November. After blooming I deadhead them. They just sit there all winter, growing roots. When the warmth hits, they take off grow big time and when they start blooming they are beautiful for over a month. When they are done, I cut them back and then send them to a DG friend in Montana for another spring. Bet that really confuses the plants.

I have a whole bed of self sowed zinnias that are fantastic. Self sowed annuals are always a winner.

One thing I cannot grow are petunias. I tried again this summer and I have finally crossed them off my list.


Pretoria, South Africa


Here in Pretoria (zone 8/9) petunias do best in winter. Maybe it will be the case for you as well.


Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

I will give that a try. I have failed miserably in the summer. Thanks for the info Elsa.

Hanceville, AL(Zone 7a)

these last 2 years I have not had luck with petunias, either. I prefer the un-coated seed. But I have not ben able to get either kind to do for me this summer. I can't even get a rose to root, and I used to have no problems with them. Luciee {;^)

Manhattan Beach, CA(Zone 10b)

I planted about two dozen snapdragons this past May. They're still blooming strong and have several new flower buds. I deadhead them frequently and they're tall yet busy.

I thought these were annuals and would have died back by now.

Am I wrong?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

No, you're not wrong. They are annuals but somehow do keep coming back.

Here's the page on the Rocket Snaps we've grown, from Park Seed Co.

This collage shows how fast the transformation from a dead looking plant into a lush look, happens within a few weeks in spring.

Thumbnail by pirl
Manhattan Beach, CA(Zone 10b)

Pirl, thanks for the pictures. Mine haven't died off yet and have been blooming weekly since I bought them.

Maybe it's the warmer winter we are having. My hydrangeas have just started blooming again too and they used to bloom only in the spring and summer.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

i just received a bunch of snapdragons from my sisters garden that while they are green and gorgeous, she didn't have any sun and they wouldn't bloom. I planted them in my garden and my question is, should I cut them shorter to let the roots take well or should I leave them lush, green and leggy to make their blooms. I'd give up a beautiful flush of flowers to help make the plans take root better

This message was edited Mar 6, 2016 1:47 PM

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I would vote for cutting them back some. Mine (in an opposite climate although also labeled 8b!) bounce back very quickly when I do this.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I cut mine back when I purchase them from garden centers etc. I like to give the plants a chance to develop good roots. However, my snaps like to turn up their toes in my hot, humid climate in the summer (mid-June). So, you have to think about the time line for the snaps and heat.

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