Collecting snapdragon seeds is one of the best fall projects a person can invest their time into as they are one of the favorite stand-bys for providing flashy color to any flower border. Blooming through out the spring/summer in Northern climates and in winter/spring in warmer climates these long stemmed lovelies are an addition to any garden backdrop while the dwarf varieties make perfect edgings. In pots they add slashes of color where needed and in raised beds they pop color where needed.
Growing your own transplants from snapdragon seeds you have started indoors not only gives you an edge on the growing season your sense of satisfaction will border pride as your endeavors proper through out the growing season. Snapdragons are members of the family known as Foxglove. Native to North America and Mediterranean Europe alike, this ’dragons’ can be found growing wild in many areas.
To capturing your own snapdragon seeds watch plants closely. You want to harvest them just before they are ready to drop. Seedpod is rounded with what looks like a long thin beak. There are many tiny brown spiky-like seed balls in a pod. Although most garden centers carry snapdragon plants, the wider variety is only available from seed. Use good seeds that have been carefully selected according to colors.
Snapdragons are relatively easy to grow from seed, taking roughly three weeks-often more, to germinate. For spring planting, start them indoors about 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Snapdragon seeds can be sown in flats or pots. As the seeds need light in order to germinate, sprinkle seed on the soil surface then pressed into soil lightly.
Snapdragon seeds can be planted outdoors after danger of frost, if you opt not to start them indoors planting in thin rows 12 inches apart. Mist carefully and keep soil moist until seeds start to grow. Seeds in flats will do best if flats can be elevated above the ground to allow for air circulation. This will help prevent what is called damping-off. Continue to mist when seeds need watering though it is alright for the flats to dry out somewhat. Fertilize seeds when you plant them-a slow-release flower fertilizer is best.
For snapdragon seeds that have been collected at the end of the growing season or for those bought well ahead of growing season, store in envelopes-either the ones purchased in or paper ones (used for communication) in a cool, dry place. Laminated foil packages, zip lock baggies, or air tight jars can all be used to help keep the seeds dry. Keep paper packages tightly closed and then store them in tins or containers that will seal tightly. They are best maintained at 40 degrees (low humidity). An ideal storage location would be the lower part of the refrigerator.
If purchasing your snapdragon seeds get only enough to use for the season-or one year's use. As with all seeds germination productivity decreases with the age of the seed. These seeds will come with instructions-read carefully as packet label will explain everything important to the success of growing your seeds. They will be according to the quality of the seeds, the year in which the seeds were packaged, the germination percentage for growing within that year, and-meaning more and more to the many gardeners going green, whether the seeds are genetically altered or have received chemical treatment.
When collecting your own snapdragon seeds it is best to remember that they may not produce plants that bear resemblance to the parents. This can be the result of hybrid parent plants. They are genetically altered to produce certain colors or bloom size, etc. It is often hard to reproduce these factors into the seeds you have collected.