Posts Tagged ‘how to grow snowdrops’


Snowdrops are one of the earliest bulbs to flower and a welcome sight in the garden from January-March, their Latin or scientific name is Galanthus Nivalis which comes from the Greek words “Gala”, which means milk, and “anthos” which means flower, “Nivalis” originates from Latin and means snow, they also have many common and rather curious names including Candlemas Bells (Candlemas Day is 2 February), Mary’s Taper, Snow Piercer, February Fairmaids and Dingle-dangle.

There are hundreds of cultivated varieties including giant, double and rare yellow ones, some of which are worth a lot of money; in 2011 a single bulb was sold on an internet auction site for £350 breaking the previous record of £265, collectors of Snowdrops are called Galanthophiles.

If you want to grow Snowdrops they are best planted whilst they are actively growing this is either in pots or by lifting and splitting clumps that have just flowered (this is called ‘in the green’) these are available in garden centres or online, you may know a friend or neighbour who is dividing their clumps, often when a clump gets too big and compacted it will produce less flowers to remedy this it needs to be split up and replanted into smaller groups, dried bulbs are available to buy and plant in Autumn but can be difficult to grow.

Snowdrops prefer a semi-shaded spot in well drained but moist soil enriched with leaf mould or garden compost, it is important that the soil does not dry out in Summer, Snowdrops look attractive planted at the foot of trees or shrubs especially in a woodland setting.

Snowdrop bulbs are similar in appearance to shallots, don’t make this mistake as they are poisonous, they do however have beneficial medicinal properties, they contain Galanthamine which can be used to improve sleep and also in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease as it improves the working of certain receptors in the brain.

Snowdrops are extremely hardy they withstand snow, frost, wind, hail and rain and will appear every year and make you smile!

Plant some in your garden – you won’t be disappointed.


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