Snap Dragons

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Growing Snap Dragon Flowers

ANTIRRHINUMS or Snapdragons (an-tir-i’num). One of the most popular of our Spring flowering annuals (best treated as an annual, though the plants are perennial), when the spikes of bloom are longest and individual florets largest and brightest. Snapdragons can be flowered all the year round in mild climates. Best results are from autumn sown seeds.

There are dwarf (Nanum) med­ium-high (semi-dwarf) and tall (maius grandiflorum)· varieties, each capable of giving massed colour dis­plays in the garden, and each unsurpassed for its particular work.

Splendid for decorative use, especi­ally under artificial light, are the rose and salmon pinks, tawny, old gold, primrose and shell pink. The colour range now covers scarlet, crimson-purple, yellow, white, copper-orange to carmine.

Snapdragons like sunlight and a soil that is well-drained, and not too heavily manured. Good medium loam suits them best, but any soil and almost any situation will grow some of the hardier types well.

Snap Dragon Varieties

Among the tall giant flowered varieties, Rose King (rich rose self), Rose Queen (soft pale pink), Moon­ light (deep tango, carmine tube), Old Gold and Wallflower (wall­ flower shade and gold centre), Car­dinal and Monarch (scarlet and crimson) . All are splendid. Yellow King sets off the carmines and crim­sons well. Moonlight and Old Gold make a bright, but blending com­ bination. In the semi-dwarf, Majes­tic type, there are large florets on stocky bushes, which can be bedded in exposed aspects. Grand, cut­ flowers, these. Either plant mixed varieties, or Golden Dawn (tango) with Sunset (terra-cotta and rosy­ salmon) to set off Red Chief (deep scarlet), and a relief in the apricot and yellow suffusions of Twilight. Others are Rose Marie (carmine) and Victory (terra-cotta to yellow).

Snapdragons may be grown from cuttings of a choice variety that pleases. Take short 3 to 4 inch pieces, choosing unflowered shoots and strike in sand, under glass, or in shade. Trim the shoots to 2 or 3 inches and remove surplus leaves.
Old plants may be cut back hard after flowering and with a little sur­ face fertiliser feeding will build up and come again for 2 or 3 years. The flowers get progressively smaller as they age.

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