Don’t let the name Dog Flowers fool you! This is another name for the beautiful snapdragons that we all love!
Dog flowers, also popular as snapdragons, captivate garden enthusiasts with their peculiar resemblance to the friendly canines we adore. They have a towering height, making them a great choice for the gardens!
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About Dog Flowers
Dog flowers are native to the rocky areas of Europe, the United States, and North Africa. They belong to the Plantaginaceae family, flourishing as perennials in temperate zones and as annuals in cooler regions. Their capability to thrive in various climates makes them a versatile option for diverse gardening styles and locations.
Snapdragons are available in a wide array of colors. They come in red, yellow, pink, purple, and white. This broad spectrum of colors provides ample opportunity for gardeners to cultivate a colorful garden space, ensuring that it resonates with beauty and vitality throughout the blooming seasons!
Botanical Name: Antirrhinum majus
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The blossoms of snapdragons resemble the face of a dragon, and with a gentle squeeze, the “jaws” of the flower appear to open and close as if the dragon is snapping its mouth, thus leading to the popular name “snapdragon”.
But why dog flowers specifically? The term dog flowers seems to be a more colloquial or regional name, and it might be derived from the resemblance of the flower to a dog’s mouth, in addition to a dragon’s. It is also possible that the name could be related to the fact that historically, snapdragons were thought to have protective properties, and just like a loyal dogs, they were believed to guard homes from deceit and curses.
How to Propagate Dog Flowers
Propagating dog flowers from cuttings is a fairly easy process.
Choose a nonflowering, 5-6 inches long stem, and make a clean cut below a node. Remove the lower leaves, leaving only a few at the top. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone to encourage root development, then plant the cutting into a container filled with a moist, soilless potting mix.
Cover the container with a plastic bag to create a humid environment. Place the container in an area with indirect light, maintaining the moisture and humidity levels. In a few weeks, the cuttings will develop roots.
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Requirements to Grow Dog Flower
The Dog Flower requires bright, indirect sunlight for most of the day. Ideally, it should receive 4-6 hours of direct sunlight in the morning and then be placed in a shaded area for the rest of the day, as too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves and hinder growth.
In India, the ideal location to grow the Dog Flower is in a spot that receives partial shade, as some regions’ intense heat and sunlight can be too harsh for the plant.
The Dog Flowers prefers well-draining, loamy soil rich in organic matter. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral (between 5.5 to 7.5). To improve fertility, you can amend the soil by adding compost or well-rotted manure.
The Dog Flower requires consistent moisture, but it does not tolerate waterlogging. Water the plant thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry.
Be sure to water the plant at the base and avoid getting water on the leaves, which can cause fungal diseases.
The Dog Flower thrives in warm to hot temperatures, ideally between 18-30°C (64-86°F). It can tolerate some fluctuations in temperature, but extreme cold or heat can damage the plant.
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Dog Flower Care
The Dog Flower benefits from regular fertilization (spring to fall) during the growing season. Use a balanced, liquid fertlizer, diluted to 1/2 of its strength, once a month to boost flower growth.
Do not feed the plant in winter.
Pruning is unnecessary for the Dog Flowers, but you can trim back any dead or damaged stems or leaves to promote new growth. You can also pinch back the tips of the stems in early spring to encourage branching and a bushier growth habit.
Pests and Diseases
For powdery mildew, ensure good air circulation, avoid overhead watering, and treat with a fungicide if necessary. To prevent root rot, ensure the soil is well-draining and avoid overwatering the plant.