The Q&A Archives: "thinning Snapdragon"

Question: I planted a snapdragon last spring. It was full and healthy all summer and turned brown in late fall. (It also said it was a perennial on the card) It did come back this year strong and healthy and produced beautiful blooms. Within the past few days, the inside leaves turned brown and wilted and it suddenly looks thin. I didn't do anything different, there doesn't appear to be a "bug" problem and there are still a lot of blooms both open and ready on the top of the stems. Is it dying or is there something I can do?

Answer: You have had great luck with your snapdragons because in colder winter areas such as yours they are generally considered to be annuals rather than perennials. Unfortunately snapdragons are subject to a number of foliar problems or diseases and it sounds as though this may be what is (was) happening. If this should happen again to snapdragons, you might wish to take a sample to your county extension for a specific identification of the problem and, if appropriate, the most up to date suggestions for controlling it chemically. Another approach is to remove any discolored foliage immediately, avoid wetting the foliage unnecessarily, and keep the plants thinned lightly by removing a few stems at the base to allow better air circulation within them. Be sure to dead head regularly and at the end of the season, clean up and remove any debris from the plants as well.

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