Snowdrops For Easy Spring Bulb Blooms In The Shade


Galanthus or Snowdrops are related to Amaryllis and have 14 (give or take a few depending on the botanists) members of the family.

This is a fairly easy bulb to grow, particularly if you give it dappled shade in a moist but well-drained soil. It loves a mulch of leafmould or compost and indeed organic soils are preferred over clay or sandier soils. In short, the richer the soil in organic matter the better this bulb will perform for you.

Snowdrops

Galanthus nivalis

Most of the species are hardy right down to minus 15C so this means that most of North America can grow them.

Snowdrops are perfect bulbs for forcing and potting a few up in the fall and forcing them for spring growth is a traditional bulb forcing activity. Follow the same guidelines as for tulips or daffodils.

Guidelines for Snowdrops


In the garden, plant the base of the bulb to three inches deep and two to three inches apart.

You get to choose the colour of your snowdrop from white, white or white. While specialists debate the tone of the white or the amount of green or yellow tones on special hybrids, most of us will have to be content with calling them white.

There is a double available in the bulb business called ‘Flore-Pleno’ but it is rare and if you see it in a catalog, it would be worth having.

If happy, galanthus or snow drops will self sow and multiply around your garden. This is particularly true of damp soils in shade.

G. nivalis is the common snowdrop found in almost every fall garden shop. This native to Turkey is easily grown and as mentioned earlier the double variety is worth seeking out. Other varieties only have minor differences from the species

G. elwesii is another species often found and while a botanist will quickly tell the difference, in practice it has slightly larger flowers, coarser leaves and flowers slightly earlier than G. nivalis and from a distance you won’t be able to tell.



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