Snowdrops (Galanthus) are the first sign of a new year coming to life in the yard. While most bulb flowers wait until spring is within reach to begin to emerge, snowdrops are different. Deep freezes and snow coverings don’t faze them. Aptly named for their droopy white flowers, this little bulb plant often blooms while February snow melts around it.
A Snowy Blanket of White
An expanse of snowdrops in bloom is the perfect antidote to the winter blues. This perennial is rarely disturbed by animals and will spread slowly each year, making them a great investment. For full impact the 4 inch snowdrops need to be planted in clusters of 25 or more to provide the best ground covering “carpet”. Once established, snowdrop bulblets will form around the “mother” bulbs, multiplying the plants each year they return.
Snowdrops grow best in sun or part shade. Try planting them in groups under trees, around evergreens, or in pockets in any rock garden or perennial border. As with all spring bulbs, they need time in the ground to trigger new growth and flowering, and are best planted in fall. For Plant Hardiness Zones 2 through 4, plant in late September; Zones 5 and 6, in October; Zones 7 and 8, in early to mid November. South of Zone 8, winters aren’t cold enough to support snowdrops. Not sure what your Plant Hardiness Zone is? Check here!
Plant the pointy ends up in well drained soil. Raised beds are an option. Be sure to work a fertilizer rich in organic nutrients into the soil before planting the bulbs 2 to 3 inches deep. Water well, and watch for those white flowers to let you know that winter’s days are numbered.
When foliage fades in the spring, be sure to trim it back so you can drop in other plants that will continue to bloom throughout the year. Fertilizing every spring and fall will encourage your snowdrops to spread. Or you can get them to expand faster by digging up clumps of bulbs, separating them, and replanting 4 to 6 inches apart.