Snapdragons are wilting! (also snapdragon growing from seeds tips

anime_lover713March 7, 2014

So I have had this Snapdragon from a week or two, I bought it from a nursery. I read that it loves cool temperatures so I always kept it in the shade (especially if I live in Zone 10 yet the temperatures right now don't exceed 68'F). I accidentally left it out in the sun from dawn to 2 pm some day ago and it looked wilted, so I put it back in the shade and it started to go back a little to being perky and what not.

I come out and find it wilting again, I don't know what's going on. I included some pics, but I REALLY love this snap dragon and need it alive! (Main issue on this post)

Also, I'm growing snap dragons from seeds, any instructions and pointers on how to do so?

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anime_lover713

More pics, this is what the dragon looks like all together

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 5:01PM
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anime_lover713

Last but not least, this is the pot it's been in

(First pic is what the soil looks like, it feels moist but not REALLY moist)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 5:02PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

transport shock

and light intensity shock ... did you buy it from a greenhouse???

put it back in the pot.. and drench it good.. [is that the pot it came in?]

all shade for a week ...

should perk back up ..

try not to kill it with too much love ...

ken

ps: i might go as far as putting it in a bucket.. and insuring all the media is wet ....then weigh the pot in your hand ... and dont water it again until its half the weight ...

looks like someone went after that pot with a shotgun.. whats that all about????

and was the plant using the straw ???

you have interfered with its roots ability to pump enough water.. to hold the leaves turgid.. full of water .. no sun.. until it recovers from that ...

try not to love it to death ...

and no..fertillizer will not help a severely stressed plant ...

ken

ps: go buy a couple more ... in case this one doesnt make it ...

well!!!!! thats a first.. sign it twice.. and two ps's .... lol .. food coma... lol..

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 6:37PM
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anime_lover713

So just have the soil really wet with water?

Transport Shock? How can it be when I got this dragon two weeks ago and it looked fine for a week till I left it in the sun accidently? After that I never moved the plant.

I poked holes in the pot cuz I thought it had no water drainage holes for the excess water to drain out...till I found out that I could have looked underneath and forgot to...laughed on the shotgun joke though.

For light intensity, it was out in the sun a week ago, then I placed it back in the shade, and I just always kept it in a full shade corner, so I'm curious as to how light intensity plays out in this case right now.

No, the plant wasn't using the straw, it's a little sign I made on what the babysitters (my folks n stuff) should do when it comes to taking care of them.

How did I interfere with it's roots being able to absorb water? I just only took the flower out of the pot to show the soil on this post.

No, I didn't buy it from a greenhouse, I bought it from a plant nursery, in which it's an open tent place (think walmart's garden center and stuff)

This post was edited by anime_lover713 on Fri, Mar 7, 14 at 20:17

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 8:12PM
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dave_k_gw

Snapdragons are pretty tough, it should make it. I agree with ken_adrian about giving it a good soak in a bucket. Or, set it in a plant saucer and fill with water 'till it won't draw any more. Sun and wind can quickly dehydrate new plants. The root mass looks small to me. As a last resort consider cutting the top growth back a bunch, making less demand on those roots (hate to cut off those pretty flowers!).

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 9:38PM
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anime_lover713

For the last resort, where do I cut off the growth? Do I just cut off the stem?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 11:09AM
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dave_k_gw

It's common to find outsized plants with small root mass. The grower's irrigation and fertilization allows it. I'd say remove 1/2 to 2/3 of the top, if need be. Each cut should be made just above a node (that point on the stem where leaves connect). New growth comes from a bud at that point.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 11:28PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

transport shock ...

it wasnt grown in a tent in a parking lot ..

so someone took it from a cozy high humidity.. perfect light greenhouse ... dragged it to a parking lot ... under a tent ... and then you left it in sun ... [been there.. done that... ]

a plant.. has a certain 'culture' ... and when you disturb it .. the plant stresses ...

in this case.. this plants sunlight and humidity needs were wildly interrupted ...

it was not properly HARDENED OFF to its new location ...

if you look down the main stem.. you ought to see tiny buds near each leaf node.. simply cut above one .... it will trigger growth in that bud... while you lessen the giant plant above.. so the roots can get back in shape ...

a tray wont work.. because she poked holes in the container.... hence my suggestion of a bucket ...

for a buck or two.. i also suggest you buy a pack of seeds and try growing them from seed ... what do you have to lose????

you are on a learning curve.. we were all there at one time or another... riding the curve is part of the fun .... [and incredibly frustrating at times]

ken

ps: tiny seedlings would be grown in bright shade.. not out in the sun ... until they get a good enough root mass to survive ....

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 9:44AM
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anime_lover713

So wait, do I just cut off part of the stem off? or just remove 2/3 inches of leaves from the nodes? and cut above each node? meaning just pick a node and then cut the one leaf that's above that node by the node? (kinda confused, is there a video on how to do this? I REALLY don't want to screw up)

Yeah I started growing a garden and I'm on that learning curve. It's been frustrating at times but it's been enjoyable to learn new things!

And I do have a pack of seeds, so that's good to know to grow them in bright shade and not out in the sun.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 3:47PM
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anime_lover713

Also do I start removing from the top? or the bottom where the base main stem is??

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 3:51PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I would recommend just cutting the entire plant back to just below where any flowers are blooming. Producing flowers is a very energy intensive process, followed by seed production. If you cut back each branch just below the bottom flower or bud, you'll immediately give the plant a break from all that work and allow it to focus on increasing its root mass. I'd put it in a pot about twice as big as the one it was in and keep it in the shade with a good soaking about twice weekly. Or, if you are in a zone that is warm enough, just plant it in the ground, but cover it with a laundry basket to allow shade and wind protection. Planting seeds is also easy and you'll have many times more flowers in a few months. In my zone, snapdragons often survive the winter and return to provide earlier blooms than I could get with new seedlings every year. I usually plant seeds every year, just in case, so I have plants at various stages of growth and bloom at any particular time. To keep the blooms coming, try to snip off the branches as they get close to finishing their blooms.

Martha

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 5:46PM
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anime_lover713

So just trim off above the nodes right? Or? (still kinda lost)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 11:14PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I don't pay any attention to the nodes. As long as there are leaves growing below where you make the cut, you'll be fine. Just snip off the top 4 inches of each stalk. In fact, I'd bunch the whole plant together and lop off the top 1/3 of the whole plant. Done. Remember, plants grow in the wild where deer could munch them nearly to the ground and they'd find a way to grow back. The most important part is giving the roots space and the right amount of moisture without too much harsh sun. Good luck.

Martha

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:41AM
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anime_lover713

Stalk meaning the giant main stems right?

Please remember to explain everything thoroughly.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 1:03PM
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anime_lover713

The main stem of my Snap at the base it's starting to change color, it's starting to turn Yellow. HELP!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 1:58PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

I agree with docmom. With my snaps I don't worry about where I cut them. You can easily take shrub shears and lop half the plant off and not kill it. If I dies it is from other reasons. Too much water usually the main culprit.

As others have said, water it well once then wait till it is pretty dry before you water again.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 7:34PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Anime,
Relax and have a drink...or two. If you are so worried about one plant, you are missing the point of gardening, which is to relax and enjoy. I promise that if this plant dies, I will send you 10,000 more snapdragon seeds. I have white, magenta, red, and thousands of mixed colors. Follow the helpful instructions that have been provided and put your plant somewhere you can't see it. Then, don't look at it for a week, when you can check to see if it needs water, and then leave it alone for another week. In the mean time you can work on planting some other plants.

Martha

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 11:21AM
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anime_lover713

Couldn't help it if that Snap is a very precious gift. If the worst comes to worst (and I'm hoping it doesn't come) there any way I can extract the seeds from that snap dragon? And could I plant it and will it grow?

So far yesterday I just cut off about 60 leaves from just above the nodes including a stem from one of the sub-main branches. Did I do a good thing or an oopsie thing?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:32PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

If you really want to save your plant, you need to lose the flowers. Cutting off the leaves won't help, because the plant is still sending nutrients all the way up to the ends of the main stalks, only now it doesn't have the photosynthesis from all those leaves to provide energy. You are killing your plant with love. And I already predict that you will over-water it, anyway. So, chalk this one up to experience. Next time you'll try it our way. Or, go back and reread all the post. Everything you need to know is already there.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:50AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Did you immerse the whole thing in a bucket of water until the top of the soil was moist looking? That was step one.

If the plant didn't perk up you need to do step two: cutting back. Imagine you are going to make a bouquet of all the flowers on your plant. Just cut them as if you were cutting a bunch of flowers albeit with shortish stems.

Cutting off the leaves achieves nothing except making the plant look ugly. You need to remove the flowers and their stems.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 2:11PM
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anime_lover713

Martha I didn't over water the plant, I just keep it moist as if it was any other plant. Not really killing it with love when I don't know specifically on WHERE to cut to be honest.

Floral, THANK YOU for kinda making it basically specific to where a noob can understand (Not saying the rest of you aren't helping, I've just been asking redundantly on WHERE to cut)

So cut the stems just above the nodes where the flowers are growing, like a bouquet...got it.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:07PM
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anime_lover713

So I cut off all the flowering stems and just above the nodes. I was thinking whether or not to keep the main Stem but I figured it'll grow back anyways and Aeragon (name of plant) needs to focus on root mass.

I'll continue in keeping the soil moist and wet. I water it everyday so I think that's equivalent to being put in a bucket (plus..I don't have one either ^.^;)

You're right floral, it is like a bouquet :) I had a little bit of fun doing so.

I guess now we wait and see for the perking.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:19PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

anime_lover713 - if you don't have a bucket any large bowl or pan will do. The total dunking is actually quite important for a dried out stressed plant as it ensures that the whole of the potting medium gets one big thorough soaking. Watering every day is not the same and that is the route to OVER watering. The soil needs to be moist but not wet.

You are setting great store by this snapdragon and its good you are so keen on it. But you are aware that it is quite likely to last only one season aren't you? And it won't flower for all of that time.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 4:32PM
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anime_lover713

Well right now the plant has been transferred to a bigger and wider pot to focus on its root mass...how would I do it from that?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 12:53AM
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dowlinggram

Snapdragon seeds benefit from freezing before starting them. I stick my seed packet in the freezer for 2 weeks before planting. They will sprout without freezing but you have a better germination rate if they are frozen first. Snaps are cool weather plants. In my zone 3 climate my snaps are alive and blooming long after other plants are frozen. Their seed naturally freezes from dropped seed and sprouts in the spring.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 12:51PM
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mandolls(4)

Dowlingham - you put the packet of dry seed in the freezer? I was under the impression that it was freezing moist seed that "stratifies" them. Lots of people store left over seed in the freezer. Heck all of the seed I order in Jan & Feb gets frozen in the mail on the way here.

I am growing snaps from seed for the first time this year. I treated them like I do columbine. I sow them in a tray, and put it on the floor (cold concrete slab) in my studio for a week or so, and then move them under lights. I had way more snaps germinate than I was expecting. I'm not sure where I will put 50-60 snapdragons.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 8:11AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Mandolls I stick mine in the freezer for 48 hours and get nearly 100% germination. I was told by the local nursery that snaps don't need to be stratified like others. I sometimes forget to freeze them and my germination drops to about 75%.

You can't have too many snaps! They are becoming in of my fav's and I replaced all petunias with them this year.

SCG

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 9:06AM
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dowlinggram

Yes SouthCountryGuy I imagine 48 hours would do it. I've been at this so long I'd forgotten why I freeze mine for 2 weeks. I always start my snaps 2 weeks after I sow my impatiens seed. When I get my seed order I put both packets together with my saved seed. Then when I get out the Impatiens to sow the snaps go into the freezer.

Like you I occasionally forgot to freeze my snaps and found my germination rate was much higher with the frozen seed so I devised this plan and now I never forget.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:26AM
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dowlinggram

Last year I had so many snaps to transplant and not too much room in the greenhouse. I start them in flats under lights and then transplant them into individual containers and take them to the greenhouse about a week later. I don't open the greenhouse until the weather is fairly warm.

Well as I said I had too many snaps for the greenhouse so I planted lots in my south facing flower bed by the house where it was a bit protected and a bit warmer. This was 3 weeks before my last frost day. They grew a bit slower than those in the greenhouse but they thrived and bloomed a week after the greenhouse ones. I plan on doing the same thing this year and saving my greenhouse space for tenderer annuals

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:47AM
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mandolls(4)

Thats great to hear they are so hearty re:the cold. I have a light shelf very close to the floor, and it is 50-55 degrees down there. I will move the snap transplants down there, and save the warmer space for things that need it.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:11AM
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