ANTHIRRHINUM (Snapdragon) Scrophulariaceae A. majus
HABITAT: Native to Mediterranean area.
USES: Cuts, beds, borders, greenhouse forcing.
HABIT: Summer flowering tender perennial plants treated as annuals north of the Gulf states. Plants range in size from a 6 inch dwarf to a 3 foot hybrid with dark green, strap-like foliage and stiff erect spikes of showy, curiously sac-shaped, two-lipped flowers looking like dragon's jaws in many colors and shades. The yellow mouth is closed and forced open by bees or by hand.
SEED GERMINATION: Sow seeds indoors in Park's Grow Mix with good drainage, good aeration, and sterilized to be free from seeds and bacteria. Do not cover the seed with mix as light is necessary for germination. Keep moist but not wet and place in cool location about 55 degrees F until germination takes place which is usually within one to two weeks. When germinating under fluorescent lights, use twenty watts per square foot. Place 4-6 inches from seed and use at rate of twenty four hours a day. Transplant when large enough to handle to individual peat pots or may sown direct to peat pots or pellets and shifted to garden when roots emerge from pot walls.
CULTURE: Set out in spring after all danger of frost has passed, 6-18 inches apart (depending on variety) in full sun and light, sandy, well-drained soil with humus (compost, leaf mold, peat, etc.) added. Pinch young plants back to induce branching. This will delay flowering somewhat but produces more flower spikes and sturdier plants. Stake tall varieties. Moderate watering and monthly feeding with all purpose garden fertilizer and frequent shallow cultivation is recommended. Snapdragons may also be grown indoors under lights..
INSECTS: Spider Mites, Aphids, White Flies, Leaf Tier, Tarnished Plant Bug: Use an approved insecticide such as Malathion or Diazinon for control.
Honey Bees: Tears petals in search of pollen but NO CONTROL IS RECOMMENDED
DISEASES: Rust: Use rust resistant varieties. Use an approved fungicide such as Thiram or Maneb for control.
Anthracnose: Use an approved fungicide such as Thiram or Maneb for control. Botrytis, Blight: Use an approved fungicide such as Zineb, Phaltan, or Thiram for control..
PROPAGATION: Cuttings, seeds.
REMARKS: Favorites of children who like to pinch the "dragon's mouth" open and closed. Modern varieties with larger blossom laden flowers faintly fragrant and in a wide array of colors are choice cut flowers, or a sight to behold in masse.