You can learn how to propagate snapdragons in three easy methods. The beauty of this annual is that you can start it from seeds, cuttings, or division. Therefore, you can select the technique that is suitable for your UK garden and planting calendar.
If you have a greenhouse, you can also start your snapdragons indoors to help them establish quicker. Remember that plants must stay in a stable environment to encourage germination, rooting, and establishment. The stress-free plants should be ready for permanent transplanting after you propagate them in the greenhouse.
Step #1. Collection and sowing
The first method that you can do to start snapdragons is by using seeds. You can buy snapdragon seeds from nurseries, but you can also collect them on your plants. After the blooming season, let the flowers fade and collect the seed pods they’ll develop instead of removing the spent flowers.
You can start sowing the seeds upon collection at this period because snapdragon seeds can survive the winter. However, it’s better to save the seeds for sowing in the polytunnel in spring. Like other plants, you can ensure the germination of seeds if you sow in the polytunnel instead.
Step #2. Germination
You can use any seed-starting medium in pots or cell trays for snapdragons and then press the seeds onto it. Ensure that the medium is moist and wait for the frost to pass before transplanting the seedlings outdoors in the UK. Generally, snapdragons take 12 to 14 weeks for seeds to bloom.
Still, gardeners in the UK usually stratify them using water in a refrigerator or chilling in a cold room for germination to only take 7 to 10 days. Note that snapdragon seeds are also tiny, so you may need to use a pipette if you want to have seeds in cells instead of sowing on a large scale. Another key pointer to remember to guarantee seeds to sprout is using a medium with a pH between 5.5 to 5.8.
You can also cover the container with plastic to prevent the medium from drying out.
If you don’t want to wait for germination, a more straightforward way of propagating snapdragons is using cuttings. You can do this best six weeks before the first frost in autumn, and you can also root the sections in the polytunnel to create a stable environment.
Step #1. Cutting and preparing
You want to choose a healthy parent plant and cut a 2-inch section below a leaf node. The cutting itself should be free of any damages or diseases. As with preparing the cuttings of other plants, you must also remove the leaves at the end of the stem to prevent rot.
Leave only those at the top, and then dip the cutting in rooting hormone to hasten its development process. You can use any moist medium for the cuttings, but ensure that you will keep the environment humid. Cover the container if necessary or mist it regularly until the cutting roots.
Step #2. Rooting
Those in the UK growing in the polytunnel should notice better growth under 62 to 68°F with a humidity of 100%. You should be able to transplant after three weeks but check the environmental conditions outside to prevent transplant shock. Remember that acclimatisation is essential when you start plants indoors.
The final technique for propagating snapdragons is by division. The division is an excellent consideration for more mature plants because division also serves as a maintenance practice. Transplanting snapdragons over time prevents overcrowding while also help the plant rejuvenate itself.
Step #1. Lifting and dividing
The best time to divide snapdragons is by the end of the summer. Carefully dig up the plant by starting around its perimeter to avoid damaging its roots. You should be able to lift the root mass without issues, and you can divide it accordingly.
Step #2. Planting and transplanting
Each division should have enough roots and foliage, so the number of plants you can produce depends on how big the mature plant is. Use a pot with the same medium the plant was originally in and place it in the greenhouse. Putting in the greenhouse will protect the divisions through winter until they have established themselves.
Once the plants have grown to the ideal size, you can transplant them after the frost has passed in spring. Take note that division is also a good practice to do yearly to protect the plants during winter. Remember that full sun is optimal for the growth and blooming of snapdragons.
Did you know that snapdragons are relatively easy to start yourself? You can quickly learn how to propagate snapdragons using three methods so that you can choose the most convenient technique for you. If you start them from seeds, you should stratify them for quicker germination.
On the other hand, using cuttings and division is more straightforward. You can cut before the first frost in autumn, while you can dig the entire plant by the end of the summer. The division is an excellent way to maintain your mature plants and protect them in the upcoming winter.
Overall, these methods will be much quicker with the help of the greenhouse. Experienced UK gardeners recommend starting indoors, so the snapdragons grow vigorous enough for transplanting. Take note of the tips and ideal growing conditions, and your plants should be ready for transplanting in spring.