snapdragons for WS

xaroline(zone 3 Calgary)February 4, 2011

Can anyone recommend a snapdragon variety which might do well with WS.

Mine seem to mature too late and do not bloom before frost comes again?

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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

I wintersowed Scarlet Giant last year, and had blooms by the first week of July. Of course, I'm not in zone 3 : )

Another one that I've heard is pretty cold hardy is Black Prince.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 2:24PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I don't know of any snaps that wouldn't work well for WS, Xaroline, except maybe the varieties that are intended to be grown in greenhouses as commercial cut flowers. Anything you can buy in a packet in a seed rack is going to work just fine for you. Pick up a pack at your local Walmart and you're all set!

Then, when you get some blooming next summer, let the seeds dry on the plant, collect some of them for the next year, and leave some of them drop around the original plant, and chances are you'll have a perpetual snapdragon garden wherever you get them going this year---and they'll probably spread far and wide around the original plants! They reseed VERY easily, and often the seeds germinate before winter sets in, and they generally make it thru the winter and have a head start for the following summer. I also usually have some plants that bloomed one year survive till the following year to bloom again. You're obviously colder than I am, but if they're in a spot where they have snow cover most of the winter it shouldn't be a problem at all. I was down to -16 a couple nites ago, and I just ran out to see what I could see, and the ones I found that aren't under snow are still green and clearly alive, albeit looking a bit bedraggled right now! (But the ones I could find right now are the ones that bloomed last summer, and they usually tend to look pretty bad over winter anyway, even without the really low temps!) As long as they've been outside all winter, or are started outside, they can take really COLD temperatures!

I never planted any snaps when I moved into this house! There were a couple of them somewhere--I don't even remember exactly where the original ones were anymore! Now I have them hither and yon, and unless they're interfering with something else, I just let them come up wherever. I've always loved snaps--when I was a kid, my uncle, next door, grew the greenhouse kind, and I was always over there sniffing them and just "being there!" Mine, here, get rust badly every year, but I just pull them out when they get too bad. There are so many by now, that there are always a million seeds that drop to reseed them. One thing! If you get to the Collecting Seed part, snaps cross pollinate, so if you collect seed from a plant where you especially like the color, chances are the seeds will produce some other color---assuming you have more than one color in the area. I don't know what the odds are, but I think chances of getting the same color as the plant you collected them from are pretty low! They're all pretty tho, so, Oh, Well!!!

Once you get some started, I think you'll be set up for life!

Update us next summer on how yours are doing,

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 2:29PM
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sherri09(5 CO)

I wintersowed Tetra Giants a few years ago. I don't recall when they bloomed. It was sometime in the summer, maybe August. Since you're a few zones colder, have you thought about starting some inside, then setting them out in early spring? It may give you a head start if your growing season is short. I'm notoriously bad at ws'ing, since I forget to water once it gets hot, so start most everything indoors now.

Mine have also come back or reseeded themselves & I have a pretty little snapdragon area now. I don't pay them much attention, they just seem to take care of themselves growing & spreading. And many of the ones from last year are also still least they were last week.

Skybird - interesting you mention about the colors changing. The ones I started were a mix & now they are all light pink & yellow. I wondered about that. I love the colors, so it's fine by me. These are also one of my favorites...little care & lots of blooms!!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 9:34PM
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It may be best to choose low-growing snaps and dwarfs, Xaroline. What have they called them "wind proof" or something?

Anyway, snaps will quite readily reseed themselves in my yard but survivors thru the winter are almost non-existent. I see them but they are always right up against a building. Or, and this is kind of fun, against a large rock in a flower bed! Maybe mulching them in the fall would work.

I grow the larger Rockets and Butterflies for cutting. A couple of times, I've had Brazilian Carnival and Liberty snaps and, while they are still tall, they aren't as tall and they bloom sooner. Snapdragon bloom season begins in late June but I start the plants in the greenhouse.

The ones that self-sow are much later in the summer.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 11:14PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

You guys got me thinking about when mine start blooming, so I looked for a couple of my pics with the dates on them. This first one comes up in a 1/2" crack between the front of the garage and the sidewalk---on the south side. This pic was taken on May 27th.

This one was also in front of the house, and was taken on June 13th. I love the yellow ones!

And these grow---all by themselves, and totally unwatered---in an unused corner of the front yard (south side again)! I love this mix of colors, and have collected seed from them and kept it separate, but I still don't know what color I'd get if I planted them, since I have so many different colors nearby. One of these years I hope to get rid of the rock mulch in that corner so I have another spot to put in some more perennials, but I suspect the snaps will still be coming up even after the rock is taken out and it's filled back in with some soil! This pic was taken on June 21st.

By the middle of July a lot of mine are finished with the first bloom, and the foliage is starting to look so bad from the rust that I'm starting to pull them out--or cut them down almost the whole way if there's new growth at the very bottom and it looks like they might have a go at it the following year.

I'm surprised you don't have more seedlings coming up, Digit! But you cut a lot of yours to sell, don't you, and that way not as many go to seed. Could that be the difference? I have a few that come up here and there late in the summer that don't bloom till the next year, but I suspect that a lot more of them germinate in the fall but don't "make themselves known" till the next spring when they start to grow "for real."

Xaroline, if you still don't have any luck getting blooms this summer, I recommend starting some in small pots mid-summer, then put them in the ground somewhere where you usually get a good snow cover, in late summer when they'll still have time to root in well before the cold, and wait to see if they get an early start the next spring. If they have snow cover, it really doesn't make much difference how cold it gets. That might work if the winter sowing doesn't help, and all you risk is a few seeds to try it.

Since you're in z3, I was curious, so I checked out the COLD Forum, and found this old thread to give you some hope!


Here is a link that might be useful: Snapdragons!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 1:30AM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Skybird, the ones in the first picture are quite pretty, and that's coming from someone that doesn't like pink! If you ever save seeds from the yellow ones, I'd love to have some : )

I just remembered that I grew one in '09 that was supposed to be 'Rembrandt', but instead of bright orange and yellow, it was a dark red and yellow. Thought I had a picture of it, but am unable to locate it. Anyway, one clump came back last year thicker than before, and one didn't come back at all. It was listed as an annual, but the basal foliage survived the winter here. Wonder if it will make it through the winter this year? Probably so, since the colors were less impressive than advertised : )


    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 2:09PM
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xaroline(zone 3 Calgary)

You people have inspired me to try again. I used to get the rockets going through for a second year if I planted them near the house.

The dwarf "Magic Carpet " ones can usually be direct seeded.
I would like to get some of the taller ones going.

In the past I have done the start in the house, but WS is so much easier.

Maybe I'll try a few in house and a few by WS.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 2:54PM
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