Caring For Glory Of The Snow Bulbs

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By Bonnie L. Grant

Glory of the snow bulbs are one of the first blooming plants to appear in spring. The name indicates their occasional habit of peeking out through a carpet of late season snow. The bulbs are members of the Lily family in the genus Chionodoxa. Glory of the snow will produce beautiful blooms for your garden over many seasons. Be careful when growing glory of the snow, however, as it may become aggressive and spread.

Chionodoxa Glory of the Snow

Glory of the snow bulbs are native to Turkey. They produce a mass of lovely star-shaped flowers with deep green strappy leaves. Each bulb bears five to ten blooms on thick short brown stems. The blooms are up to ¾ inch across and face upward, showing creamy white throats. The most common glory of the snow bulbs produce blue flowers, but they also come in white and pink cultivars.

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Flowers finish blooming by mid to late spring but the bright foliage persists until early fall. The plants grow approximately 6 inches tall and form clumps which spread over time. Chiondaxa is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8.

Plant your spring blooming bulbs in fall. You can use these plants as accents in spring planters or containers, in rockeries, along paths or in the early perennial garden.

Chionodoxa Glory of the Snow Varieties

This native Turkish species covers a range of varieties to choose from. A few of the naturalized species you might find growing wild in Turkish fields include:

  • Crete Glory of the Snow
  • Lesser Glory of the Snow
  • Loch’s Glory of the Snow

There are numerous cultivars of these easy to grow bulbs:

  • Alba forms large white blooms, while Gigantea excels with 2-inch wide blue flowers.
  • Pink Giant has showy pinkish to lavender flowers that create a bright spring spectacle.
  • Blue Giant is sky blue and grows 12 inches tall.

Chionodoxa Bulb Care

Choose a sunny to partially shady location when growing glory of the snow and your Chionodoxa bulb care will be effortless.

As with any bulb, glory of the snow requires well-drained soil. Work in compost or leaf litter to increase porosity if necessary. Plant the bulbs 3 inches apart and 3 inches deep.

Caring for glory of the snow is easy and effortless. Water only if the spring is dry and fertilize in early spring with a good bulb food. You can also plant this flower from seed, but it will take several seasons to form bulbs and flowers.

Leave the foliage on the plant well into the fall, allowing it to gather solar energy for storage to fuel the next season’s growth. Divide the bulbs every few years.

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