One of my favorites for easy growing and an endless supply of cut flowers of clear or blended shades of yellow, rose, red pink, lavender, 'orange, bronze, and white. Sown on sphagnum in standard flats or composition peat flats for a winter crop, F1 hybrid seeds (developed specially for greenhouse growing) germinate in 7 to 10 days. Sprinkle seed over peat or moss that has been soaked and squeezed free of excess water. Insert the flat in a plastic bag and seal to retain moisture and provide warmth for germination.
At first sign of growth, remove the plastic. When true leaves appear and seedlings are big enough to handle, transplant to bench in rows 3 inches apart. To provide adequate air circulation, I stagger the rows so plants are not opposite, and each has more than 3 inches of growing space. Snapdragons require little or no fertilizing until plants are established.
Tall kinds require support. If you plan to grow them regularly for several years, install bench wiring frames; otherwise, makeshift wiring will be satisfactory and less expensive. I nail thin green cane stakes to the bench and tie the plant up with green string. Snapdragons may be grown to single stems, or they may be pinched; I prefer growing to single stems. After these are cut, side shoots bloom, but not so straight or full-blown as the first cuttings. Still, they provide nice flowers for a long time.
Snapdragons to be pinched should be spaced about 8 inches apart in the bench. After seedlings are established, pinch to leave three pairs of leaves. Discard plants when flowering has stopped. Snapdragons can be grown the year around, so check types and flowering dates when you purchase seeds. Keep in mind that germination is more rapid in summer.
'Floral Carpetrose', the first dwarf F1 hybrid snapdragons; 'Hit Parade', a mixture of creamy white, bright yellow, pink lavender, and bright red F1 hybrids.