Although not related to the traditional garden snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus), the flowers of the snapdragon vine (Maurandya scandens) resemble those of the popular garden annual. That is the only thing predictable about the naming convention of this plant, because it is also know by several other common names, like creeping snapdragon, vining snapdragon, and trailing snapdragon.
Native to Mexico and Central America, snapdragon vine is making a comeback from near obscurity. Its trumpet-shaped flowers (a hummingbird favorite) add an old-fashioned charm to a garden or landscape, and its bright green arrowhead-shaped leaves create a totally beguiling vine. It looks almost too fragile to hold on, but have no fear, this vine is a survivor. Climbing snapdragon vine blooms in shades of pink, blue, lavender, and white, with five lobes, drooping downward on the vines.
Snapdragon vine is usually planted in the spring from seed. It is a slow starter, but seeds planted in the spring will grow quickly once sprouted, covering a trellis within four months.
|Common Names||Snapdragon vine, creeping snapdragon, trailing snapdragon, vining snapdragon, creeping gloxinia, chickabiddy|
|Botanical Name||Maurandya scandens or Asrina scandens|
|Mature Size||6–9 ft. long, 3–6 ft. wide|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun, partial shade|
|Soil Type||Rich, well-drained loam|
|Soil pH||Neutral to acidic|
|Bloom Time||Spring, summer|
|Flower Color||Pink, blue, lavender, violet, white|
|Hardiness Zones||9–10, USDA|
|Native Area||Mexico and Central America|
Snapdragon Vine Care
Climbing snapdragon is easy to grow from seed, requiring only occasional water and organic matter to support the fast-growing vines. Snapdragon vine will require some type of structure if you want it to climb, and the thin vines twine best on thin supports. They can't seem to grab hold of anything thicker than about one inch in diameter.
Snapdragon vine is very versatile, featuring repeat blooms from May through the fall. You can use it in hanging baskets or as an attractive ground cover. It's often billed as a good choice for small gardens because of its dainty foliage, but this feature also allows it to work well in a border. The colors currently available lean toward the cool side and pair well with silver or gray-leaved plants like artemisia, Russian sage, and lavender.
Climbing snapdragon is virtually pest-free. With sunshine, regular water, and well-draining soil, it should grow and bloom throughout the season.
Snapdragon vines thrive in full sun to partial shade conditions. In warmer climates, plant your snapdragon vine somewhere in your landscape that receives partial shade, especially during the hotter afternoon hours.
Snapdragon vine is fairly indifferent about the soil pH level and has been known to thrive in infertile, poor soil. However, providing a good amount of organic matter at planting will help send the vine climbing. It also needs well-draining soil and will rot if the soil remains too wet. Beyond that, snapdragon vine doesn't require much additional care—applying a layer of mulch around the base of the vine will help retain water during dry spells.
This vine is somewhat drought tolerant but will grow best if it receives regular watering. The standard one inch of water per week is more than enough for snapdragon vine and it will survive mild, temporary drought quite nicely.
Temperature and Humidity
Snapdragon vine is hardy in USDA cold hardiness zones 9 to 10 but grows well as an annual in zones north of zone 9. Reliable self-seeding occurs only within its hardiness range and it grows equally well in both arid and humid atmospheric conditions.
Feeding your snapdragon vine with a complete fertilizer mid-season will give the plant the boost it needs to keep blooming through early fall. Alternatively, top dress a layer of compost a the base of the plant to give it a boost of nutrients.
Types of Snapdragon Vine
Generally, you'll find commercially sold snapdragon vine seeds labeled simply as Asarina. However, breeders are coming out with more hybrid varieties. Some currently available include:
- 'Joan Lorraine': The most commonly sold variety, it has flowers that are a rich purple-blue.
- 'Sky Blue': A cultivar known for its deep purple-blue flowers.
- 'Snow White': A variety with flowers that are very nearly pure white.
- 'Red Dragon': As the name suggests, this variety has vibrant pink-red flowers
- 'Shooting Stars Blue': This variety has flowers that are an intense indigo blue.
Snapdragon vines don't need much pruning and can generally be allowed to grow freely unless confined by space. If you need to control the spread or location of your vine, you can trim accordingly—otherwise, simply remove any leaves or vines that appear diseased or dead.
Propagating Snapdragon Vine
Snapdragon vine is usually grown from seeds and it also self-sows readily within its hardiness range. However, if you want to increase your vine collection, you can also take stem cuttings to start new plants. Here's how:
- Choose a mature mother plant that has bloomed successfully for at least one season.
- Using a clean knife or pair of plant sheers, take a four- to six-inch segment of stem that has at least one leaf node.
- Place the cutting in a clean, shallow glass of water and locate it somewhere sunny and warm.
- The cutting should develop wispy roots within a few weeks at which point it can be planted in a small pot until strong enough to be transplanted outdoors.
How to Grow Snapdragon Vine From Seed
You won't often find snapdragon vine plants for sale, probably because the delicate vines quickly become a tangled mess in pots. However, they grow easily from seed and you have the advantage of choosing the color you prefer. Start seed indoors 10 to 12 weeks before planting outside. In areas with a long season, you can direct-seed once the ground has warmed and all risk of frost has passed.
Snapdragon vines do not like having their roots disturbed, so starting seeds in peat or paper pots is recommended. Individual pots will also reduce the chance of tangled vines. Plant the seeds so they are just barely covered with soil, place somewhere warm and sunny, and they should germinate within two to three weeks. It can help to provide some type of support in the pots if the vines start growing before you can plant them into the garden.
Common Pests & Plant Diseases
While snapdragon vines don't have issues with pests, there are a few diseases they might have to contend with. Because of the density of their foliage, once mature, they are at risk of developing various fungal diseases like powdery mildew and rust. To avoid these issues, water these vines at their base to prevent excess moisture from being introduced to the foliage.
How to Get Snapdragon Vine to Bloom
Snapdragon vines are heavy bloomers on their own and don't typically need much help. However, if you're having a hard time getting your vine to bloom properly throughout the season (typically May through September), there are a few factors you might want to monitor.
Most importantly, snapdragon vines need a full day of sunlight (or at the least, partial shade). So if you notice they aren't blooming as fully as you'd expect, it might mean that your plant isn't receiving enough sunlight. Another factor that could impact successful blooming is temperature. Temperatures that are too hot can cause snapdragon vines to stop blooming, but don't worry—continue to water the plants and they should resume blooming once the temperatures cool down.
Can snapdragon vine grow indoors?
Yes. While the plant will grow more successfully outdoors, it can be sustained indoor in an especially sunny spot. However, it's unlikely to bloom as prolifically indoors as it would outdoors.
What are alternatives to snapdragon vine?
If you like the look of snapdragon vine but find it doesn't grow well in your cold hardiness zone, you can try your hand at growing similar flowering vines with a wider range of growing zones, such as clematis vine and trumpet vine.
What is the difference between snapdragon and snapdragon vine?
Unlike the delicate vines of the snapdragon vine, traditional snapdragon flowers are upright plants that can grow up to two feet or taller, depending on variety. They are available in dozens of colors and are a popular cut flower, whereas the vines are not.