Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) are beautiful cool weather flowers that grow in the fall, winter and early spring in Florida. They bloom in the spring and summer in cooler parts of the country.
The Latin name Antirrhinum literally means “like a snout.” Children often like to play with the “talking flowers” of the snapdragon, but teach children not to put snapdragons in their mouths since they are poisonous.
Perfect for a butterfly garden, snapdragons come in an array of sunny colors for any landscape: yellow, red, white, pink, orange and lavender.
Snapdragon is a host plant for the Common Buckeye butterfly that is really not so common looking. A beautiful butterfly, the Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) is from the family Nymphalidae and has two orange cell bars, two eye spots on the forewing and eyespots on the hindwing.
Growing snapdragons and attracting Common Buckeye butterfly is truly a snap whether you grow them from seeds or potted plants from a nursery.
It’s so incredibly easy to grow Snapdragons from seed. In my experience, the seeds know exactly when to sprout. I call them the intuitive seeds!
I look forward to fall every year in Florida when I can enjoy the snapdragons.
Here are some tips for growing Snapdragon flowers and attracting the Common Buckeye butterfly to your yard:
No. 1: Snapdragons grow to be about 12 to 18 inches in height. Space them about 15 inches apart. Some grow shorter or taller depending if they are dwarf, medium or tall cultivars.
No. 2: Snapdragons are hardy in zones 4 a to 11. The key is to grow them the right time of the year for your climate. Snapdragons grow beautifully in Florida in the early spring, fall and winter.
No. 3: Warning: The snapdragon seeds and all parts of the plant are poisonous.
No. 4: Water snapdragons regularly but don’t overwater.
No. 5: Some of the best snapdragon varieties include the Aromas Hybrid which has fragrant blooms. They also bloom earlier than other varieties. They grow to be about 12 to 30 inches tall. I love the yellows and tangerine colors of the Aromas Hybrid snapdragons. My favorite tall snapdragons include “Bright Butterflies” or “Rocket.” A mid-size snapdragon choice would be “Rembrandt,” or “Pixie.” Dwarf varieties include “Little Gem” and “Magic Carpet.”
Snapdragons are magical flowers unlike any other in your flower or butterfly gardens. Let the snapdragons naturally expire as they will go to seed, giving you many more flowers the following year or season.
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