I accidentally discovered that snapdragons are an incredibly hardy fall-to-winter-spring flower for Central, TX. The snapdragons featured in my picture are ones I harvested last March that I put in the ground the previous fall as plants from the nursery. I only plant the Rocket (36″) or Sonnet (24″) variety because of their tall, upright stature and sturdy stems. I initially planted them because we had them in our garden in Lebanon.
One early spring morning, after we had been out of town for a few days, I glanced out my kitchen window and was surprised to see a glorious, colorful display! The snap dragons not only survived the winter, but were prolific come spring.
They are easy to grow due to their strong root system and easy care. I do not fertilize regularly, but plant in the fall in enriched soil with compost and surrounded by plenty of mulch. They reward you with continuous blooms and really enjoy being regularly cut back for flower arrangements. The blooms are brightly colored all day long and are especially fragrant in the evenings.
They are called snapdragons because the flower resembles the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when laterally squeezed!
I enjoy showing children who visit my garden why they are called snapdragons and demonstrate to them the unique comedy of each flower. I invite them to pick a flower and watch them giggle as they make the blooms “talk” or “snap” their jaws!
Plant snap dragons in the fall along with Larkspur and poppy seeds in full sun. They will bloom somewhat all winter longer, tolerating our light Texas freezes, then bust out in March and April, just in time for Easter bouquets. They die back when the temperatures hike over ninety, just in time to plant zinnia seeds.