Gardening

Snowdrops: Blooms Between February and March, Often Poking Up Through The Snow

Snowdrops: Blooms Between February and March, Often Poking Up Through The Snow

Snowdrops

Photo Compliments of Karen Miller

Galanthus ikariae, or more commonly called snowdrop, is a bulbous perennial in the Amaryllis family. It blooms sometime between February and March, often poking up through snow cover. The common name refers to the supposed resemblance of the flowers to drops of snow. Each bulb produces two narrow, linear, basal, green leaves (5 to 6 inches long and up to 1 inches wide) and a leafless flower scape (6 inches tall) which is topped with a single, nodding, milky white, waxy, bell-shaped flower (1 ¾ inches across). Each flower has green markings on the inner segments from the sinus to the base. Leaves will elongate after bloom.

You will achieve the greatest impact if you plant snowdrops under deciduous trees and shrubs, mixed with Crocus tommasinianus, Cyclamen coum, and Blechnum penna-marina.

How To Make Your Snowdrops Thrive

Snowdrops thrive in average to medium moisture; soils should be well-drained and sun exposure can be3 full sun to part shade. Ideal conditions are moist, humusy soils in part shade. Unlike many bulbs, snowdrops do not like to dry out in the summer. You will get your best results under deciduous trees where exposure to the sun is full in early spring but gradually changes to part shade as the trees leaf out. If left alone, foliage disappears by late spring to early summer as bulbs go dormant. You need to allow foliage to yellow before removing it from garden areas.

General Snowdrop Information

Diseases and Pests

No serious insect or disease problems.  Any plant attacked by Botrytis galanthina should be removed from your landscape.

Propagation

You should plant your bulbs 3 inches deep, spaced 3 to 4 inches apart in fall. It is best to plant bulbs while they are dormant, large clumps should be divided immediately after flowering before the foliage dies back for the summer. In optimum growing conditions, snowdrops naturalize well by both self-seeding and bulb offsets.  You can propagate by seeds sown either when ripe, or in spring.

Garden Uses

Snowdrops are best massed in sweeping drifts in areas where they can naturalize, such as open woodland areas, woodland margins, or in lawns under large deciduous trees. Snowdrops are also quite effective in groupings in rock gardens, border fronts, in front of flowering shrubs, or along walks or paths. You would get great results when you mix with other early flowering bulbs.

Quick Facts

  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Foliage Type: Deciduous
  • Family: Amaryllidaceae
  • Plant Height: 7 inches
  • Hardiness Zones: Zones 3 to 9
  • Bloom Time: February to March
  • Bloom Color: White
  • Light Exposure: Full sun or light to open shade
  • Water Requirements: Medium, occasional watering during the summer
  • Great Color Contrasts: Black, chartreuse, burgundy, blue
  • Great Color Partners: Dark green, silver, variegated
  • Light Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Maintenance: Low
  • Tolerate: Deer, clay soil

Photo Search

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2 Comments

  1. I would sure LOOOve to be seeing these now, but I think until we get the “-” from before our temperatures, these beauties will continue to slumber.
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