Ultimate Guide to Pinching Snapdragon

snapdragon flower
You can deadhead Snapdragon to promote fuller growth.

Snapdragon is a plant with fancy colorful flowers often used as a magic charm to fight falsehood.

Furthermore, pinching Snapdragon causes it to grow back much stronger and denser, proving that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

As a general rule, pinch Snapdragons after they reach at least 3 or 4 inches in height to encourage denser growth and more blooms. Moreover, pinch them while they are still seedlings to prevent pinching off flower buds.

pinching snapdragon
Pinching encourages denser branches from the base in Snapdragon.

Snapdragon plant seemingly does fine, and you might find it okay to leave it without pinching.

But, you should know the benefits of pinching Snapdragons and the cons of not doing it.

Therefore, please keep reading to make an informed decision on pinching Snapdragons and its benefits.

Does Snapdragon Need Pinching?

Snapdragon is famous for its extravagant, colorful blooms that look like a dragon’s snout.

As a cherry on top, the Snapdragon is a slow-growing, full sun-loving plant with low maintenance needs.

Generally, Snapdragons prefer occasional pinching because it encourages them to produce more blossoms.

Moreover, you can pinch them once they have developed five to six nodes to encourage branching. However, pinching can delay blooming, resulting in multiple stems every season.

Meanwhile, this mystical plant grows upright up to two feet. But without any external influence, they tend to have sparse branching.

As a result, pinching works like a healing charm for Snapdragon to overcome such a situation.

Interesting Fact: The seedpods of the Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) resemble dried human skulls.

seed pods of Snapdragon
Snapdragon seedpods look like dead human skulls.

Benefits of Pinching Snapdragon

Pinching Snapdragon has other advantages besides just making the plant appear bushier.

Here I have listed some other rewarding benefits of pinching them;

  • It promotes more abundant blooms.
  • It keeps Snapdragon blooming much longer.
  • No leggy stems or irregular branching resulting in healthy plant growth
  • A beneficial way to propagate the plant
  • It encourages the aesthetic look of the plant to maximum potential.

Meanwhile, not pinching the Snapdragon might only produce one flower stem and sparse blossoms.

snapdragon flower
No pinching may cause the plant to have a single leading stem with sparse blooming.

Moreover, no pinching means there is nothing to encourage denser branching from the base.

Normally, a potted Snapdragon may not look as good as a bushier one with regular pinching.

Therefore, speaking from my experience, I suggest you pinch Snapdragon plants. Trust me! It will be worth it.

When do you Need to Pinch Snapdragon?

Despite Snapdragon plants’ slow growth, it is better to pinch their growing stems to ensure a bushier form.

While pinching a plant slows its growth, it also stimulates the growth of new branch shoots.

Generally, you can pinch off the Snapdragon seedling once they have developed five to six nodes and two or three sets of true leaves.

Or wait till the seedling grows up to four or five inches tall, and then you shall pinch.

pinching snapdragon seedling
After Snapdragon produces two or three pairs of real leaves, you can consider pinching Snapdragon.

Furthermore, consider pinching Snapdragon if you do not see any lateral branches shooting out from the base.

Strictly talking about the season, you can pinch off Snapdragon a bit earlier to spring and before fall.

Note: Avoid over-pinching the plants as it can stress them out. 

How to Pinch Snapdragons?

The pinching technique is rather an easy task, just like its name suggests.

However, you must understand precisely where and how to pinch the plant to make it more beneficial.

In general, it is best to pinch the single stems with leggy growth or less attractive ones.

stem of snapdragon flower
Ensure to keep pair of leaves on both sides to make use pinched part for propagation.

Now let us get started with pinching Snapdragon without further ado;

  • Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch the leggy stem.
  • Grab the end of a node and gently pull the stem.
  • You can also use any sharp shear for heavier tasks.
  • Pinch out the top few inches of the stem, leaving a couple of leaves on both sides of the stem.
  • You can pinch almost half of the central or leader stem for tall, full-grown plants.
  • For tough stems, you may use shears to make a clean cut.
  • Try to avoid pinching right on the leaf nodes or junctions.
  • Thoroughly water your Snapdragon and provide ample sunlight light.

Generally, after a week or so, you might notice new growths from the pinched-off leaf nodes.

Try to be gentle while pinching the plant so you do not hurt the plant by pulling the stems too hard.

Meanwhile, you could use the pinched-off part of the stem to propagate the Snapdragon further.

Care Tips for Snapdragon after Pinching

Congratulations! You are halfway through making your Snapdragon bushier with more blooms on the way.

Now, you shall provide this low-maintenance plant with a little extra care after pinching.

  • Place your plant in ample full sunlight or partial sunshade.
  • Provide one inch of water weekly and ensure watering close to the plant crown while avoiding overhead watering.
  • Keep the temperature cool to around 70°F during the day and 40°F during the night.
  • Use light, airy, well-draining soil that is rich in nutrients and has a pH range of 6.2 to 7.
  • Fertilize your plant right before the flowering season, which is spring, with 10-10-10 all-purpose fertilizers.
apply neem oil
Spray Neem oil on the plant leaves to discourage pest invasion.
  • Maintain humidity level at around 40%, i.e., average indoor humidity.
  • Apply neem oils or horticulture oils to keep pest and fungal diseases at bay.

These care tips were extremely beneficial for me in keeping my Snapdragons happy. 

Therefore, I suggest you follow the care tips mentioned above and let your Snapdragon flourish to the next level.

Conclusion

Snapdragon is a low-maintenance plant that won’t mind pinching but instead takes pinching more positively.

Having said that, it is up to you whether to pinch or not. But keep the benefits of pinching in mind before making a decision.

Please share your experience pinching a Snapdragon and how it affected your plant in the comments below.

Happy Gardening!

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