A splash of color in gardens and borders: the snapdragon.
The annual Antirrhinum, popularly known as snapdragon or snapdragon, is a colorful annual summer flower.
The long inflorescences are striking, as they are made up of several individual petals standing close together on short stems.
That we call the plant snapdragon is due to its flower shape resembling a small mouth. If you squeeze the flower slightly, it opens a little. After the pressure is released, it closes again. Another distinctive feature of the flower is the yellow dot on its lower lip.
The color variations of the plant are impressive. Thus, the flower occurs in beautiful pastel shades, but also in bright red, yellow or orange. Bicolored cultivated specimens are in great demand. The Antirrhinum fits into any garden and can also be used as a cut flower in colorful bouquets.
The flowering time depends on the weather. It begins in June and lasts at least until October.
Bumblebees like snapdragons very much and help themselves to their nectar. This is secreted at the base of the ovary and then deposited on the lower lip. The bumblebees land on it and thus open the flower. Antirrhinum is so popular with bumblebees, as well as other insects, because it is one of the few nectar-giving plants in summer.
Its unusual inflorescence and colorful varieties make snapdragons so popular with garden enthusiasts.
They fit not only in cottage gardens, but also in parks, and are also planted in cemeteries.
For window boxes, florists or gardeners often recommend hanging varieties.
Broad-leaved snapdragon (Antirrhinum latifolium) is hardy enough to withstand winter even in prolonged cold. It blooms from June to September and is recognizable by its yellow and white hues.
Spanish snapdragon ( Antirrhinum hispanicum) is found in Spain. The connoisseur identifies it by its felt-like leaves as well as its white-pink flowers.
The dwarf snapdragon ( Antirrhinum majus) is a so-called ground cover. It can be recognized by its tiny blue-purple flowers in the period from June to September. This snapdragon is suitable for planting in open areas, as it quickly covers the ground. Its flowers are tiny and blue-purple and can be admired from July to September.
Once you plant the garden snapdragon, you can enjoy it again the following year. Snapdragon needs a warm and sunny place. However, it will also bloom in partial shade. Any garden soil is suitable for the plant. It thrives especially well in nutrient-rich and moist soil. If you decide to use a substrate, a pH of 5.5-6.5 is optimal. In a flower pot snapdragon can also be cultivated with potting soil.
So, snapdragons you can both sow and plant in the flower bed. When sowing, there is a possibility to preplant the plant already in January. In April, the plant can be planted directly outside. Before that, it must first be exposed to the cold for germination. For this reason, it is advisable to store the seeds in the refrigerator for about seven days before sowing. Then, in January or February, the seeds are pre-pulled. To do this, place them on substrate, but do not cover them with it. After all, snapdragons germinate exclusively in the light. In addition, you should always keep the substrate slightly moist. At room temperature, the plants develop shoots for the first time after about one and a half to two weeks. A location where about 15 degrees is useful for fourteen to twenty-one days after germination, to accustom the plants to outdoor temperatures. After the first half of April, you can plant snapdragons at intervals of ten to fifteen centimeters. Pre-grown plantlets bloom a little earlier than those whose seeds were sown outdoors.
Antirrhinum belongs to the labiate family of the plantain family and originates from the Mediterranean region. In ancient times, it was considered an apotropaeum, i.e., an evil warding off magic. In herbal books it appears as a remedy for counter magic. It was administered to women in childbirth as a relief during an exhausting birth. An Italian botanist named Mattioli tells the legend of a chained dog that was cursed with an evil spell and was unable to bark because of it. However, after being given the antirrhinum, he was supposedly capable of barking again.