Snapdragon (Antirrhinum), which is also called antirrinum, is directly related to the genus of herbaceous plants belonging to the plantain family. This genus unites about 50 species of perennial plants, including climbing plants. In the wild, these plants can be found in zones with warm climates, and most of the species are found in North America. In Russia, these flowers are called "dogs", in England "snapdragon" (biting dragon), in France "wolf's mouth", and in Ukraine "mouths". "Antirrinum" in translation from Greek means "nasal", "like a nose." In the ancient Greek myth telling about Hercules, or rather, about his first feat, it is said about how he defeated the Nemean lion, the ferocity of which everyone knew. In honor of the victory, the goddess Flora presented Hercules with a gift - it was a lovely flower called "snapdragon". From that time on, the Greeks had a tradition of giving the heroes a snapdragon. This plant has been cultivated for about five hundred years, and German specialists took up its selection only in the 19th century. During this time, they were able to create about 1 thousand varieties of snapdragons, while it is interesting that only one species was used to create various varieties, namely, antirrhinum majus.
This flower is represented by shrubs, as well as herbaceous plants, which have straight, finely grooved shoots, they are branched and painted green. Their height can vary from 15 to 100 centimeters. The bushes have a pyramidal shape. Above, the leaf plates are alternately located, and below - opposite. Their shape can be lanceolate or oval-elongated, and the color varies from dark to pale green, while the veins are colored red. Fragrant flowers are relatively large in size, they are two-lipped and have an irregular shape. There are both double flowers and simple ones (depending on the variety), they are part of the inflorescences that have the shape of an ear. Their color can be yellow, pale fawn, white, pink, red (all shades), and there are also varieties with two- and three-color flowers. The fruit is a two-celled polyspermous capsule. 1 g contains 5-8 thousand seeds. This plant begins to bloom in July, and ends after the first autumn frosts.
Often, snapdragons, which grow as a perennial in the wild, are grown by gardeners as an annual. However, if the plant is well cared for, and if conditions are favorable, the frost-resistant snapdragon can survive the winter in the open field. Moreover, next year, its flowering will be more spectacular. In garden design, such a flower is grown as a curb flower, but it can decorate both a flower bed and a green lawn (if the snapdragon is planted in groups). Terraces and balconies are also decorated with such a plant. Today, ampelous varieties of such a flower are gaining more and more popularity among flower growers, for the cultivation of which you can use hanging structures, and they will also become an excellent decoration for galleries and terraces.
SNAPDRAGON. VERY IMPORTANT SUBSTANCES OF QUALITY GROWING !!!
Reproduction of this plant can be done by seeds, as well as vegetatively. The seeds have good germination for several years. In the event that you live in an area with a relatively mild climate, then sowing the seeds of such a flower can be done directly into open soil. The first shoots can be seen after 2.5–3 weeks, while the seedlings are not afraid of cold snaps that occur at night. In the same places where the spring is relatively cold, it is recommended to grow this plant through seedlings. It is very easy to grow snapdragons from seeds.
Seeds are sown in the first days of March. To do this, you need a bowl, the diameter of which will be at least 10 centimeters, and at the bottom it should have holes for drainage. Coarse sand should be poured at the bottom, and on top of it compost soil mixed with sand. Lightly tamp and level the surface, then moisten it a little with a spray bottle and spread the snapdragon seeds mixed with sand, sprinkle a thin layer of the same substrate on top. Water the crops with a fine spray bottle, and then cover the container with clear glass. Every day, condensation must be removed from the glass surface, while airing the seedlings and, if necessary, moistening the surface of the substrate from the sprayer. If there is moderate humidity and warmth (23 degrees) in the place where the container stands, then the first seedlings can be seen after half a month. After the first plants appear, the container must be transferred to a well-lit, but at the same time protected from direct sunlight, place (so that the plants do not stretch out). After the snapdragon begins to emerge en masse (after 3-4 days), the shelter must be removed permanently.
At first, the plants will grow for a long time, and during this period it is especially important to properly moisten the soil. Watering should be done in the morning so that there is enough moisture for the plants, but it would not be too much. The fact is that waterlogging can cause the development of a "black leg". If the seedling has fallen, then it should be carefully removed using tweezers, while the place where it grew should be sprinkled with crushed charcoal or used for this calcined cold river sand. After 2 true leaves are formed, it is necessary to pick the seedlings into a box or container, while they must be placed so that they are not pressed against each other. Also, for picking plants, you can use individual pots, or you can plant 3 seedlings in 1 larger pot at once. Then the plants must be placed in a well-lit, but at the same time protected from direct sunlight, place. After that, you can start hardening the seedlings. To do this, in the daytime, you need to open the window for a while, but drafts should be avoided. When the plant has 4–5 true leaves, it will need to be pinched to increase bushiness, but if the lateral shoots are growing quite quickly, then they should also be pinched.
Snapdragon seedlings should be planted in the last days of May and the first in June. At the same time, you should not be afraid of cold snaps at night, since these plants tolerate them quite calmly. These flowers can be planted both in a sunny area and in a shaded area, but it should be borne in mind that it must be protected from gusts of wind, and also be well drained. A suitable substrate should be light and rich in nutrients. A mixture consisting of compost, sand, and peat, which are taken in equal proportions, is best suited for growing such a flower. The acidity of the soil should be pH 6-8.
The distance between the bushes during planting depends on the variety of snapdragons. So, between dwarf varieties there should be a distance of 15 centimeters, between undersized varieties - about 20 centimeters, between medium-sized ones - 30 centimeters, and between tall ones - from 40 to 50 centimeters. After the bush transplanted into open ground takes root, it grows rather quickly and becomes a spectacular flowering plant. It must be remembered that it is necessary to plant seedlings in a well-watered soil in advance.
Snapdragon. How best to sow, how to properly care.
Such a flower is undemanding to care for and it only needs timely watering, weeding, feeding, and it is also necessary to systematically loosen the soil surface. Watering should be done only during a drought, but remember that this procedure cannot be carried out in the evening. After watering, it will be necessary to loosen the soil surface and weed, this can be done on the same day or every other day. Experts advise, to make a garter of tall varieties to the support. After the flower begins to fade, it must be removed from the bush, as it takes away the strength of the plant. In order for such a plant to bloom for a long time, you should not allow seeds to set in it, and after the last flowers have wither, you need to cut off the flower arrow. It is necessary to cut the peduncle under the flower located at the very bottom, only in this case new arrows and flowers will grow. The first time to feed the snapdragon is after it takes root after transplanting into open soil, and for this, nitrophoska and organic fertilizers are used. The second time you need to feed the plant during budding, in this case, a nutrient solution is used, consisting of potassium sulfate, urea and superphosphate, and 1 large spoon of each substance should be taken in a bucket of water.
It happens that the bushes are affected by rust, while specks of red color appear on their surface. Also, this plant is susceptible to infection with black leg, root and gray rot, septoria. Diseased plants must be destroyed as soon as possible, then it is necessary to process the soil area where they grew with a fungicidal (antifungal) agent. For snapdragons, such pests are dangerous as: fly larvae, scale insects, caterpillars, as well as butterflies that are able to lay eggs. It should be remembered that getting rid of diseases or harmful insects is much more difficult than preventing plant infection. For prevention purposes, it is necessary to follow all recommendations for caring for snapdragons, so it is necessary to timely destroy sick and infected with harmful insects specimens; flowers should not be planted very close to each other; it is necessary to water correctly, avoiding waterlogging of the soil; watering should be done at the root, while making sure that water does not fall on the surface of the leaf plates.
The flowering of such a plant can continue until the first frost in the fall. After the fall is established, it is necessary to cut those snapdragon bushes that are cultivated as perennials very short, so that the height of the shoots is about 5-8 centimeters. Then you need to mulch the site, sprinkling it with a layer of dried foliage or sawdust mixed with peat. In the event that your annual snapdragon grows, then after the flowers begin to fade, you should remove them, thereby avoiding self-seeding. After all the flowers on the arrow have wither, it should be cut as short as possible. This will prevent the seeds from ripening and scattering on the soil surface. After the onset of deep autumn, it is necessary to dig up the soil where the flowers grew, and burn the remnants of the snapdragon, since harmful insects can settle on them.
As a rule, for most plants, seeds are harvested only after they are fully ripe. However, the collection of snapdragon seeds must be carried out in the phase of incomplete maturity. Then they are placed in a dry, well-ventilated room for ripening. Collect the seeds in a long paper bag (like for a baguette). It is necessary to start collecting seeds only after the fruits located at the bottom of the peduncle are fully ripe. To do this, the top of the peduncle, on which there are still green fruits, must be cut off and thrown away. On the part of the flower arrow that remains, you need to put on a bag of paper, tied with a thread below the fruit. Then it remains only to cut the stem below the dressing site. Then hang the inverted bag in a dry and warm place and you just have to wait for the ripe seeds to spill out into the bag by themselves. Ripe seeds should be poured into a small cardboard box and stored in a dry place, where the air temperature will be from 3 to 5 degrees. In this case, the boxes must be protected from water ingress.
Today, experts have several classifications of this plant according to various characteristics. The most popular classification is by the height of the bush. By the size of the bush, snapdragon varieties are divided into 5 groups:
There is also a very popular classification of the snapdragon of Sanderson and Martin for year-round cut varieties. However, this classification is of interest only to those growers who grow snapdragons for sale.
One glance at this garden flower will be enough to understand why it is called that. Indeed, looking at the snapdragon flower, it is difficult to imagine anything other than the open mouth of a lion. This charming plant has long and firmly established itself in flower beds and flower beds, both in private estates and in urban landscapes.
Although in its essence snapdragon is a perennial plant, in our area it is most often grown as an annual. In general, the genus Snapdragon itself already has more than fifty different species, differing in size, shape, flowering time.There is even, rare for middle latitudes, ampelous species of snapdragons. Low-growing species (15-30 centimeters) are much more often preferred when growing, somewhat less often you can find medium-sized (40-50 centimeters), even less often tall (80-85 centimeters) and gigantic species more than a meter in height are very rare. Often, completely mistakenly, mimulus is also considered to be a species of this plant, but this is a completely different plant, although in its appearance it resembles a significantly enlarged snapdragon flower.
The process of growing this flower is quite simple and not particularly laborious, which has a very positive effect on its popularity. Although, (I'm not afraid to repeat myself once again) - if you don't take care of the plant at all and let everything take its course, then the result will be appropriate. Therefore, even simple rules for caring for him must be known and followed.
Snapdragon or antirrinum is a plant that grows in height from 15 centimeters to a meter. Grow it as an annual or perennial. Shoots are straight and branched. They form dense pyramidal or cone-shaped bushes that look very graceful. The stems are painted green. Sometimes a purple bloom is present.
The shape of the leaf plate is lanceolate, oval. Foliage is more of an original background for beautiful buds than a decoration. Inflorescences captivate even experienced gardeners with their attractiveness. The flowers are very similar in shape to the face of a lion: double-lipped, rarely double. They cover the bush densely. If you press on them from the side, the bud opens like a lion's mouth. This is especially noticeable in large species. But the dwarf snapdragon looks less impressive, but also very attractive. During flowering, the culture looks festive, magnificent and elegant.
Allows the cultivation of snapdragons from seeds, especially the use of different varieties, to create interesting compositions. After all, the color palette is quite wide. There are yellow, orange, red, white and crimson specimens. Saturation is different. There are bright and catchy options, and there are gentle ones. Each bud opens for 12 days. The flowering period lasts about 3 months, usually covering the whole summer. It is also worth noting that antirrinum is a very aromatic plant, it exudes a pleasant, sweet honey smell. We also advise you to see the article: Growing tulips at home with bulbs and seeds.
Snapdragon is a thermophilic and light-loving plant. Seedlings are grown more often than seeds are immediately sown in open ground: the flower is afraid of cold weather, it takes more time to germinate the planting material. Snapdragons need good conditions to keep the seedlings healthy and strong.
Tall varieties are best grown by seedlings, dwarf, medium-sized and low species - by seeds. When choosing a method, it is important to take into account the climate in the region. With a late onset of heat, young anti-rhinums simply do not have time to stretch out enough and bloom after planting in open ground, you need to prepare strong seedlings in advance.
High-quality planting material is selected: collected on the site or bought in a flower shop. It is important to check the expiration date so that you do not purchase an expired base. Seeds for growing seedlings are placed in the ground in mid-March - early April.
For growing snapdragons, containers with several compartments, individual containers (plastic cups, volume about 200 ml or peat pots) or wooden boxes are used. Each option is good in its own way.
When buying containers from peat, you need to study the quality certificate: it is important that the natural component is at least 70%. Unscrupulous sellers often sell cups with a lot of paper and little peat, which negatively affects the growth and development of seedlings. Experienced flower growers advise taking peat containers only from trusted sellers in order to prevent unnecessary waste and the death of Senets.
When growing a snapdragon, it is important to adhere to certain parameters:
The timing of the movement of grown seedlings into open ground depends not only on the weather, but also on the state of young "dogs". Fragile, not hardened sprouts should not be rooted in a flower bed or in a garden if the plants have not adapted to the environmental conditions before transplanting. Proper hardening reduces the risk of problems with growth and flowering, planting is pleasing to the eye.
The approximate period for planting a young snapdragon in a garden, on a flower bed or lawn is the second half of May, preferably after the 20th to 25th. By this period, in most regions of the Middle Belt, factors that negatively affect seedlings disappear.
The planting of seedlings of perennial snapdragons is allowed with a combination of factors:
How to proceed:
Sometimes, red spots form on adult snapdragon bushes, which are a symptom of a disease such as rust.
In addition to him, the bushes can be affected by gray rot, black leg or septoria. All these diseases are serious, capable of leading the plant to death. Therefore, all diseased representatives of the flora are destroyed (burned), and the soil on which the plants were planted is treated with special preparations of fungicides.
Caterpillars, scale insects, aphids can harm antirrinum. Bushes are periodically inspected for the detection of harmful insects. As soon as the pests are found, it is necessary to disinfect.
These parasites themselves cause significant harm to the antirrinum, and lay eggs. Drugs like drugs will come to the rescue: Aktara, Antitlya, Aktellik, Karbofos, etc.