Posts Tagged ‘antirrhinum’

Snap to it for snapdragons

June 28th, 2019 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Overwintered antirrhinum for cutting

I grew some tall antirrhinums last year. Many of them I cut for the house, and very pretty they were too. Some I left to do their thing in the garden and, I have to say, they were not dead-headed as diligently as I recommend here!

But the result was that seedlings started to pop up – not many, but enough to notice and enough to decide just to leave them to see what happened. And most of them survived the winter… and grew away in spring… and some were infected by rust disease and some not… and they began flowering in May.

So, I thought to myself, why not deliberately sow them in summer? And then I remembered what I’d said in my book on annuals from over thirty years ago, I recommended that antirrhinums be pulled up and prevented from overwintering as part of an approach to combating rust disease.

Yes, those antirrhinums of mine that overwintered were infected by rust, but not severely. One died, I think, and the rest grew out of it in spring.

The problem with sowing outside in the garden during July or August is finding a sunny place that’s not already occupied. If you have such a spot, sow thinly, thin to about 10-15cm, and transplant alternate seedlings elsewhere in the autumn.

But sowing in large cells is a better bet. You can use the plug trays that your mail order seedlings came in, wash them thoroughly and sow a few seeds in each. Keep them cool and moist, move them into a brighter place when they’ve emerged, thin the seedlings to one or two and plant when their roots start to fill the cells. Choose one of the taller varieties such as ‘Tootsie’ with flowers in pure white and rich pink or medium height varieties such as ‘Night And Day’. I think it’s well worth a try.

A super rosy snapdragon

February 15th, 2019 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Antirrhinim 'Twinny Rose'

The wild snapdragon, Antirrhinum majus, is native to southern Europe and was probably grown in Britain long before Linnaeus formalised its name in 1753. Always appealing, if only because of the way we can make the flowers open their mouths by pinching them at the sides, it’s been constantly developed and improved.

We’ve had tall cut flower types a metre high, tiny bushy ones and trailers for hanging baskets. We’ve had two different kinds of variegated ones and we’ve had bronze-leaved ones. We’ve had flowers in every colour but blue, including some striking bicolours, and we’ve had varieties with flared instead of two-lipped flowers and some with almost double flowers. We even have a few with scent.

‘Twinny Rose’ is the prettiest of the seven varieties in the Twinny Series, but they all combine a number of valuable features. They’re dwarf, but not too dwarf – about 30cm – and make low rounded plants that are good at the front of borders or at the edge of tubs.

The flowers are a lovely soft rose pink, in fact they open pale rose pink and then darken as they mature so each plant will be covered in flowers in different rosy shades.

The individual flowers are flared, with extra petals in the centre. The great thing about this is that the bees find the flowers difficult to pollinate – and it’s pollination that triggers the fading of the flowers. So the flowers last longer.

‘Twinny Rose’ is a lovely little snapdragon and this year it’s available as young plants as well as from seed. Well worth a try, don’t you think?

Nation of Gardeners results: Antirrhinum Purple Twist F1

March 3rd, 2014 | Nation of Gardeners, The flower garden | 0 Comments

antirrhinum purple twistAntirrhinum Purple Twist F1 is breed of snap dragons newly introduced by Mr Fothergills for 2014.  It performed well in trials at Kentford in 2013 and is set to be a fun addition to the annual border with the purple flowering spikes flecked and striped with white.  The plants grow to a height of 40 inches and is a half hardy perennial that can also be used for bedding when treated as a half hardy annual.

Our Nation of Gardeners were asked to sow Antirrhinum Purple Twist F1 in January 2014 to check for performance of these newly introduced seeds.   The table below charts their progress.

Location Elevation Date planted Date first signs of growth Notes
Cheshire 49m 26 January 3 February The Antirrhinum showed germination of 80% (16/20 seedings to seeds)  Day 1 planted 20 seeds, Day 8: 5 seedlings, Day10: 15 seedlings, Day 16: 16 seedlings. V slow growth
Renfrewshire 28m 18 January 23 February Pot placed on heated propagator mat.  Good germination rate although lost a few to damping off.  Seedlings still tiny as at 23/2/14 – around 0.5 inches tall
North Devon 30-50m 22 January 3 February Sown on South East facing windowsill – no added heat source.  19 seedlings emerged.  14/3/14: Still growing all seedlings, but very slow progress
Worcestershire 55m 27 January 9 February 10 seedlings appeared on 9/2/14 but only 4 survived. By 17/2 only 4 seedlings left.
Derbyshire 39m
Cumbria 90m
Ceredigion 131m 17 January Sown outside in caravan at 13C, south east facing.
Bristol 55m 30 January 3 February Sown in a south facing room
Suffolk 6m 21 January 26 January Sown into propagator at 22 degrees.
Hertfordshire 150m 26 January 17 February Sown in west facing room
Surrey 58m 26 January 20 February Soil mixed with fine dry sand 17c, room 16c, south west facing.  20 February: Strong seedlings (18 in total), developing 2nd set of leaves 23 February: Transplanted to single cell pots
Pontypridd 157m 27 January 6 February Strong seedlings.  23 February: potted on to individual cells
Buckinghamshire 66m 22 January 16 February Thought they had failed to germinate. However found 2 germinated seedlings on 16 February
Guildford 56m 28 January Sown on windowsill in unheated propagator.  Slow to germinate. 5 March: Excellent germination and looking strong
Gloucestershire 74m 21 January 26 January
Moray 14 February Sowed onto East facing windowsill.
Derbyshire 241m 19 January 25 January Heated propagator to germinate 6 Feb: Looking very feeble and as if they will die any second. Flopped over unable to support the two small leaves on the hair thin stalk. 15 Feb: all dead.