How to Grow Snowdrops?
Posted by Ben Rotteveel on

How to Grow Snowdrops?

 

SNOWDROPS PLANTING GUIDE


Galanthus, better known as Snowdrops, send the comforting message that even though it sometimes feels like it, winter won’t last forever. These iconic early flower bulbs are easy, maintenance-free naturalizers but they do need one season to establish themselves, which means they won’t show you their full potential until the second year after planting.

 

QUICK GUIDE

  • WHEN

Plant in fall

Bloom in late winter

 

  • WHERE

Hardiness zone 3-8

Full sun or partial shade

Well-draining soil

 

  • WATER

Once after planting

 

  • WIDTH & DEPTH

2-3” apart

2-3” deep

How to grow Snowdrops - Planting Guide 

Arrival

Galanthus bulbs tend to dry out when they’re kept above ground at ambient temperatures for too long, so please pant them within 48 hours after they’ve arrived.

Garden & Container Planting

Like all flower bulbs, Galanthus need a cold period to develop their roots and get ready for spring. So once you feel fall’s first chill in the air, it’s time to get planting. If you live in hardiness zone 9 or higher, the soil won’t get cold enough for the root-developing process to happen, but you might consider forcing 

Flower bulbs are tough cookies that are easy to grow, but one thing they hate is getting their feet wet: a bulb that is ‘bathing’ in water will rot in no time. So avoid soggy soil at all cost – this means places where you can still see puddles 5-6 hours after a rainstorm. Another thing you can do is to upgrade potentially soggy soil by adding organic material such as peat, bark or manure. When it comes to planting bulbs in containers, the mantra is exactly the same: drainage-drainage-drainage. Get a pot or box with at least some drainage holes at the bottom. 

Galanthus need the sun to grow, but though they adore basking in its glory all day, they can also do very well in places with dappled shade or scattered sunlight.

Galanthus will need to be planted deep enough that they won’t be affected by temperature variations above ground, either too warm or too cold. Unfortunately containers can’t protect bulbs as well as mother earth can, so when you live in hardiness zones 3-7 it might be better to let your containers spend the winter indoors, in a cool, dark, well-aired spot that won’t get warmer than 60 degrees Fahrenheit, like an unheated basement or garage.

The standard method for calculating the ideal depth is to dig a hole three times as deep as the bulb is high, and place the bulb at the bottom with its pointy end up. Since Galanthus grow less well when they have to fight for nutrients with their fellow bulbs, it’s best to plant them 2-3” apart.

To help the bulbs settle and grow roots quickly, it’s important to water them well after planting, but after that you won’t have to water them again. Now all you have to do is wait patiently for winter to do its magic underground, and spring to surprise you with the rewards of your work. 

During blooming season, you generally don’t have to water your Galanthus, but you can water them when there hasn’t been any rain for 3-5 days. 

After Galanthus have finished blooming, don’t cut the foliage straight away: through photosynthesis the leaves will create nutrients that the bulb will be needing for its next growing season. After a few weeks the foliage will automatically yellow and die back, and then you can remove it. Now the bulb will be going dormant, and won’t need any watering until next spring. 

How to grow snowdrops also know as Galanthus


How to plant Galanthus in your garden:

  1. Wait until the soil is 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. In the North this will be in September or October, in the South in October or November.
  2. Pick a spot in your garden that has well-draining soil and gets full sun or partial shade.
  3. Plant the Galanthus bulbs about 2-3” deep and 2-3” apart, placing them in the ground with their pointy ends up.
  4. Water well once and wait for spring
  5. After the Galanthus have bloomed don’t cut off the foliage. Leave it until it’s completely withered and yellow, then remove.

 How to grow snowdrops planting guide


How to plant Galanthus in containers:

  1. Wait until it’s cold outside, with a soil temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. In the North this will be in September or October, in the South in October or November.
  2. Pick a spot in your garden that gets full sun or partial shade.
  3. Find a well-draining container and fill it with loose soil, making sure water won’t gather and stay at the bottom.
  4. Plant the Galanthus bulbs about 2-3” deep and 2-3” apart, placing them in the soil with their pointy ends up. Since containers often have limited space, you can also experiment with placing the bulbs closer together, but make sure they never touch.  
  5. Water well once and wait for spring, or, when you live in hardiness zone 3-7, water well and bring the containers indoors, letting them spend the winter in a cool spot like an unheated garage or basement. 
  6. After the Galanthus have bloomed don’t cut off the foliage. Leave it until it’s completely withered and yellow, then remove.

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