How to Deadhead Snapdragons – 5 Simple Steps

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Prolific spikes of blooming snapdragons look lovely in the garden or fresh-cut in vases. Learn how to deadhead snapdragons to keep the flowers in bloom all summer long.

Known and loved by kids for their dragon-like jaw that opens and closes when you pinch in the sides, snapdragons are a great choice for the home garden.

The scientific name for snapdragons is Antirrhinum. Also known as dragon flowers or dog flower, snapdragons are native to parts of the United States, Canada, North Africa, and Europe.

Pink and orange snapdragon with yellow - Learning how to deadhead snapdragons ensures even more prolific blooms of snapdragon flowers!
Learning how to deadhead snapdragons ensures even more prolific blooms of snapdragon flowers!

Are you ready for a snapdragon flower explosion?! Get started deadheading snapdragons to make the most of your plants’ bloom time.

Do you deadhead snapdragons?

Yes, deadheading snapdragons can help to keep the flowers blooming all season long. Most gardeners agree that it is worthwhile to deadhead snapdragons. The extended flowering promised by deadheading is achievable with minimal effort.

How often is best when deadheading snapdragons?

Plan to deadhead snapdragons about once per week. Look for signs of spent flowers and remove them as you find them. You don’t need to schedule special time for snapdragon deadheading, but you can if it helps you.

Chantilly Bronze Snapdragons
Chantilly Bronze Snapdragons in our 2021 flower garden

What should you know before deadheading snapdragons?

Before you set off learning how to deadhead snapdragons, allow me to remind you of one thing. Snapdragons have the coolest skull-shaped seed pods when left to go to seed. If you deadhead snapdragons one and all, you may not get to see or experience this neat little seed pod.

Deadhead snapdragons or save seeds like these brown seed pods from a peachy apricot colored flower
Deadhead snapdragons or save seeds like these brown seed pods from a peachy apricot colored flower

How to Deadhead Snapdragons

Deadheading snapdragons is actually very easy! Follow these simple instructions to remove spent blooms for prolonged flowering.

  1. Identify any faded or spent snapdragon flowers.
  2. Hold the plant gently with your nondominant hand.
  3. Use scissors to gently snip the stem below the blossom.
  4. Dispose of snapdragon deadheads. (Check for seeds first, just in case!)
  5. Over the next few days and weeks, watch the leaf nodes for new signs of growth!
Yellow Snapdragons at Airlie Gardens in North Carolina
Gorgeous Yellow Snapdragons at Airlie Gardens in North Carolina

Deadheading Snapdragons Tips

Plan to deadhead snapdragons to prolong blooming.

Try these tips on removing spent blooms from snapdragon plants to make the most of your garden this year!

  • Deadhead – Remove dead snapdragon flowers after they fade to encourage new growth and more flowers. This also tidies up your plants!
  • Pinch Snapdragons – Pinch snapdragon stems during the early stages to encourage branching. This will also get you more snapdragon flowers!
  • Leave Some for Seeds – If you want seeds for next year, allow some of the flowers on your favorite snapdragon plants. Wait until they become fully brown.
  • Cut Flowers – Cut some snapdragons for indoor vases. This also encourages new growth!
Pink and orange snapdragons at Airlie Gardens in NC
Pink and orange snapdragons at Airlie Gardens in NC

Do you have any questions about deadheading snapdragons in the garden?

Feel free to ask away in our comments or share your favorite snapdragon tips or stories! We love hearing from you!

Happy Gardening!

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  1. Do you actually cut off just the spent blossom that is going to seed or the whole stock down to the leaves? I have read a few articles and this hasn’t been clear to me.

    1. Hi Kim, Great question! I personally wait until the stalk is done blooming and then cut it below the deadheads. I will try to get a picture of this. However, I think if it’s a slow bloomer, you can try removing just the spent blossom heads and see what happens. No harm in a little experiment! Hope this helps and best wishes with your garden!

  2. I’m a new florist and was wondering if I can fresh cut snap dragons and want them to die and get the skull look by Halloween how would I do that? Do I need to put them in sunlight? Or will it do the same inside of a house or store?

    1. Hi Hailey! Sorry for the delay – my notifications weren’t coming through for some reason. In my experience, the skull seed heads develop more toward the end of the growing season after the flowers bloom on the stems. I haven’t had the cut flowers turn into the skull pods to date, but I have inadvertently rooted snapdragons in water, so you might be able to achieve this with that process. Let us know how it worked out for you! Best wishes!

    1. Hi Nomi! Nice to hear from you. I found a few snapdragon volunteers this year in my garden. I am not sure if they self-seed easily or if I randomly shook seeds out when saving the seed pods. At any rate, once you recognize the snapdragon seedlings, you can easily transplant them to a pot or other place in your garden if you do get volunteers. The snapdragon seeds that I shook into a planter after breaking the pod off the dead plant did seem to grow pretty well!

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