How to Deadhead Snapdragons

June 11, 2010

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Supplies for the Job: 

  1. Small pruning shears or scissors. (I’ve been using cheap scissors from the Dollar Store for several years. I like them because they’re lightweight and work well for thinner-branched plants. If the scissors break—which they never have—what’s another trip to the Dollar Store.)
  2. Container for trimmings.

FIRST, a few Tips for Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus):

  1. Snapdragons produce fewer flowers in hot temperatures.
  2. A plant’s goal is to reproduce; therefore, all of its energy goes into making seeds.
  3. If you want free snapdragons next year, let them go to seed. When the plant begins to spoil your garden’s appearance, cut the entire plant back to six inches and fertilize.
  4. If you’ve been to busy to tend your garden lately and suddenly notice that the snapdragon blossoms have dropped, don’t let the little green balls on the stems fool you. They’re not buds, but rather seedpods. If your snapdragons look like the photo above, it’s time to deadhead.

Follow these simple deadheading steps.

  1. Find the lowest seedpod on the stem.
  2. Look for the first set of leaves below the lowest seedpod.
  3. Make a slanted cut just above that first set of leaves, close to the leaf node.  
  4. Fertilize

Deadheading snapdragons will encourage new side branches and new blossoms. But don’t expect them to look like their spring flourish. The new blossoms are usually smaller and fewer. As the new blossoms dry, continue with the above deadheading steps. Remove any dry and unsightly leaves at the bottom. Copyright © 2010 Dianne Marie Andre

 Happy snipping!


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