Information About Snowdrops And When To Plant Snowdrop Flower Bulbs

Snowdrop Flower Bulbs Surrounded By Snow
(Image credit: Muzka)

Snowdrop flower bulbs (Galanthus) are grown in both cold winter regions and moderate winters, but keep in mind they truly dislike warm winters. So, if you live in Southern California, Florida, or other hot climates, you will have to pass on having the snowdrop flower in your garden.

Information about Snowdrops Bulbs

Snowdrop flower bulbs are small bulbs that are often sold "in the green" or undried. They can very easily dry out, so they won't be happy sitting around for weeks on end waiting for you get around to planting them. You will want to purchase your snowdrop bulbs and plant them immediately after you receive them. Snowdrops are a pest-free plant. 

Rabbits and deer won't eat them either, and most chipmunks and mice will leave them alone. Snowdrops don't often multiply from seed in a garden, but they will multiply by offsets. Offsets are new bulbs that grow attached to the mother bulb. After a couple of years, the clump of bulbs can be quite dense. If you wait until the flowers fade but the leaves are still green and vigorous, you can easily increase your planting. 

Simply dig up the clump, separate the bulbs, and immediately replant them in the new spaces that you already prepared. If rainfall is lacking, make sure you water the bulbs until their leaves turn yellow and the snowdrops are dormant.

Where to Plant Snowdrops Bulbs

Even though they are dormant or asleep underground during summer months, snowdrops do enjoy the summer shade. You should pick a site with moist but well-drained soil somewhere under a tree or shrub. Even the shady side of your house would do well for them. 

Snowdrops flower early in the year so you should plant them where you can easily see them. The edge of a path works well or even someplace visible from a window would work. Plant snowdrops in groups of 10 to 25 or more which will help in making a good display. Snowdrop flower bulbs are dormant by late spring and will rest underground until next year. 

In the summer, you need to be careful because you might mistakenly think that bare ground means nothing is planted there and accidentally dig up your snowdrops while planting your annuals, harming bulbs along the way and disturbing their rest.

 To avoid any accidental disturbance, you can try planting ferns or hosta next to the snowdrops in late spring. The summer growth from these plants will conceal the bare spaces over the dormant snowdrop bulbs.

When to Plant Snowdrops

The best time for when to plant snowdrops is in the early fall. You will need to be quick in buying them, as they will only be available from your local nursery or mail order company for a short period of time in the autumn, due to the fact that they are sold as undried bulbs that do not store well.

Steps for Planting Snowdrop Flower Bulbs

To plant snowdrops:

  1. Loosen the soil and add compost or dried manure and 5-10-10 granular fertilizer.
  2. Mix the soil until everything blends together, with no clumps of compost, manure, or fertilizer.
  3. Plant the snowdrops with the skinny nose up and flat base of the bulb down into the soil.
  4. Set the bulbs 5 inches (13 cm.) to base, which amounts to only a couple of inches (5 cm.) of soil above the bulbs.

Remember, you can use snowdrops as cut flowers; they just aren't very tall. Use a small vase and put the vase on a small mirror for a nice display. Using this information about snowdrops, you can enjoy these petite pretties year after year.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.