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How to Deadhead Snapdragons – A Complete Guide

Many gardeners struggle to keep their ornamental plants like Snapdragons looking fuller throughout the season.

They often ask the question of whether their richly colored Snapdragons are dead.

Snapdragons are short-lived perennials that repeat blooms from spring to fall with large flowers but soon wither in summer due to poor grooming.

The answer is as simple -deadheading!

Deadhead Snapdragons after every bloom to encourage fuller or new growth. Start with identifying faded flowers and snip them off below the flower stem and above a set of healthy leaves, followed by monitoring the leaf nodes to witness a sign of new growth.

snapdragon flower
You can deadhead Snapdragon to promote fuller growth.

Did you know Snapdragons allowed to blossom uninterrupted will eventually begin forming seeds, which means an abrupt end to the flowering seasons?

Therefore, it may be a great idea to deadheaded Snapdragons regularly.

Read more to discover proven tips for deadheading Snapdragons to witness healthy and fuller growth.

Do Snapdragons Need Deadheading?

Snapdragons (Antirrhinum), also known as dragon or dog flowers, are a flowering perennial commonly found in many homes and gardens.

The flowers closely resemble the face of a dragon opening and closing when laterally squeezed, giving it its name, Snapdragons.

These unique flowers bloom throughout spring until fall, but Snapdragon blossoms will witness a heyday before dropping like any other flowering species, requiring regular pruning.

Snapdragons flowers will begin wilting which indicated decay
Snapdragon flowers will begin wilting, which indicates decay of blossoms.

It is common to witness summer blossoms dropping during the extreme heat.

However, with a timely pruning of flowers, you can rebloom the buds when least expected and make the growth even more vigorous.

Deadheading Snapdragon will remove the elderflowers to give way for new and fuller growth and improve the plant’s overall shape!

It will help keep your Snapdragons blooming throughout the summer and prevent the plant from going to seed which means no more blossoms.

seed pods of Snapdragon
Snapdragon seedpods look like a dead human skull.

Therefore, deadheading would be more essential to your Snapdragons than you may imagine.

There are many more benefits to deadheading the Snapdragons.

  • It helps conserve energy, especially to rebloom after a long blooming period.
  • It keeps the plant short and well-groomed to maintain its ornamental appearance.
  • It stops self-seedling to prevent the plant from reaching maturity, which means a short life.
  • Removing leggy growth will encourage a fuller and more vigorous stem with bushier foliage.

Although you can choose not to prune your Snapdragon regularly, keep in mind the number of flowers will dry out with each subsequent bloom.

Read more: Ultimate Guide to Collecting Snapdragon Seed

When to Deadhead Snapdragons?

Pruning Snapdragons can be done anytime between spring and fall; however, you should know the correct time to carry it out.

On the other hand, deadheading the Snapdragon helps them keep blooming profusely throughout the season and prevents seed production.

Therefore, you can carry it out almost every week until the plant is blooming.

The deadheading may become more important in summer when Snapdragon becomes profusely blooming, where you would be required to deadhead them almost twice a week.

Remember this tell-tale sign that may tell it is time for deadheading your Snapdragons.

  • Snapdragons flower stalks petals begin to wither and die.
  • The wilting of the flower is accompanied by browning or darkening.
  • Lastly, the seed pod may start appearing just below decayed and crispy flowers.

However, avoid deadheading Snapdragon flowers when they are blooming because they are yet to grow fully.

How to Deadhead Snapdragons?

Deadheading Snapdragons flowers are straightforward and easily doable even by a novice grower. However, start with assembling the right tools before starting to deadhead.

Materials Required to Deadhead Snapdragons

Isopropyl AlcoholTo sterilize the gardening equipments
Pruning ShearsTo snip off the flower
Gardening MaskVery useful if you are allergic to pollen
BasketTo collect snipped flowers

The best time to start deadheading is in the morning when the blooms are gradually opening.

Steps to Deadhead Snapdragons

Here are the step-by-step instructions.

  • Start sterilizing the tools by dipping the pruning shear or scissor in a mix of nine parts water and one part isopropyl alcohol.
  • Next, closely examine the plant for spent flowers with browning or wilted and crispy texture, browning leaf, and leggy stem growth, including one with the seed pod.
  • Gently cut off the stalk at the base where the blossoms emerge from the main stem.
  • Similarly, cut away spent leaves by snipping at the base emerging from the main stem.
  • Cut just below the bottom node for leggy stem growth and only leave about half an inch of stem.
  • Always sterilize the tool with alcohol upon each interval to prevent accidentally transferring bacteria.
  • Carefully dispose of the residue in a trash bag and dispose of it away from the houseplants.
snapdragon flower
Deadhead Snapdragons from time to time to maintain their vigorous growth.

Voila! Your Snapdragons are finally trimmed to bounce back on new and healthier growth.

Helpful Tips for Deadheading Snapdragons

When deadheading the plant, it may be easy to miss out on a few essential things.

Remember these valuable tips to deadhead your Snapdragons properly.

  • If you notice significant spent flowers and foliage on a single stem, cutting away an entire branch may be a great idea, saving you a lot of time.
  • Encourage pinching Snapdragons stem at the early stage to encourage branching, producing more flowers.
  • The seeds will begin forming once the blossoms are at the peak, where the plant will put its energy towards seed formation but blossoms.
  • It would be essential to cut away budding seed pods as soon as you notice them to prevent the risk of seed proliferation.
  • You can allow a few stalks to produce seed pods so you can scatter them in your garden next year, but ensure to cut the stem away afterward.

Related article: Ultimate Guide to Pinching Snapdragons

Care Tips for Snapdragon After Deadheading

Remember, every plant would need utmost care and love after deadheading to prevent the risk of pruning stress.

You heard it right! Excessive pruning may push back growth on Snapdragons, causing a sick-looking plant.

Therefore, you should ensure to provide comprehensive aftercare for better growth.

  • Thoroughly water the Snapdragons after every pruning to boost the root growth.
  • Avoid overhead watering to prevent wetting the flowers and foliage.
  • Apply a paste of fungicide on cut stem ends to reduce the risk of fungal infection.
  • Otherwise, rub the plant with Neem Oil several times throughout the growing season to prevent fungal and pest infestations.
  • Avoid applying Nitrogen-rich fertilizer as the plant may struggle to take in the nutrient. Instead, use Phosphoric fertilizer to boost flower production.
  • Provide them at least six hours of full sun to boost the blooming process.
  • Ensure a humidity level of around 40% to prevent dry air around the plant.
  • Moreover, provide a mix of cool and warm temperatures between 40-70°F.


Although Snapdragons are an easy-growing species, they are pretty slow to attain bushier growth.

Therefore, deadheading the flower regularly may be a great idea to induce bushier and healthier growth.

Remember to follow this guide to deadhead your Snapdragon to avoid a sick-looking plant.

Happy Gardening!

Related Article: How to Deadhead Flowering Plants

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