Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) are a well-loved, cool-season flowering annual. Snapdragons are part of the Plantaginaceae or plantain family. To encourage a thriving snapdragon plant, proper watering techniques and practices should be employed to promote a healthy root system.
How To Tell If Snapdragons Needs Watered
Snapdragons tend to be on the fussier side of the watering-needs spectrum. They are not drought tolerant but also do not want to be overwatered. Due to their fussier tendencies, it is important to know the signs when your snapdragon needs water and also when they’ve had enough (or too much) water.
If the surface of the soil where your snapdragon is planted is cracking or dry, insert your finger an inch into the soil to see if the soil is also dry below the surface, which indicates that your plant needs water. If the soil surface is wet or moist below the top layer, your snapdragon does not need to be watered. Other signs of needing water include drooping, dry foliage, browning leaves, and overall wilting. Signs of overwatering include limp flopping plants, yellowing leaves, and in extreme cases, stem and root rot from fungal issues caused by overwatering.
How Often to Water Snapdragons
Snapdragons have the highest watering needs when young and newly transplanted. Keep transplants well watered with soil slightly moist until established.
Once well rooted and established, snapdragons typically need about an inch of water a week. When weather conditions are dry, give your garden snapdragons a thorough soak about twice a week. Snapdragons can be over-watered or improperly watered. If the plant is established, only water when the soil is dry below the surface. If the garden or potted soil is very moist or soggy, do not water again until the soil dries out.
Snapdragons grown in containers will likely have higher watering needs since the soil dries out more quickly from the constant drainage. Potted plants often need to be watered daily and might need twice daily waterings during hot and sunny weather.
Best Time To Water Snapdragons
The best time of day to water your snapdragons is in the morning or evening from spring to fall. Watering in the morning or evening outside of the peak sun hours of the day allows for best root absorption versus sun evaporation.
How to Water Snapdragons
Step 1 – Observe your snapdragons and assess water needs
First look at the overall health of the plant’s foliage, checking for signs of wilt or discoloration indicating thirst. Poke your finger about an inch or two into the soil to see how dry the soil is below. If moisture is detected, wait to water until the soil is completely dry.
Step 2 - Apply water to the crown of the plant
Using a drip irrigation system, watering can, or hose, water around the base of the plant, keeping the rest of the plant dry. Keep water pressure low to avoid splashing water on the leaves. Water thoroughly so that moisture can penetrate the soil to the root zone, without allowing water to pool around the plant.
Step 3 - Check back after watering
After watering, make sure you didn’t over or underwater. If soil has dried out completely, it's time for another watering!
Snapdragon Watering Tips
- Newly planted snapdragons have high water needs and should be kept moist until established.
- Snapdragons have medium water needs when established and like regular waterings.
- Do not overwater your snapdragons to avoid inviting fungal diseases.
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