Thursday, March 21, 2013

Galanthus---- Snow Drops

Michele Koskinen

Galanthus Nivalis

Visiting the Flower show this week reintroduced me to a wonderful little bulb that blooms first in late winter early spring. I see it annually at the Horticulture Center, snow on the ground and beautiful green with white flowers. Galanthus or "Snowdrops" are of the family  Amaryllidaceae. 

Used in many gardens as mass plantings for naturalizing, they can also be planted in rock gardens, in the front of borders and along walkways that usually do not have other plantings throughout the year. Blooming at about the same time as the winter aconite the galanthus peeks through the snow and thus is commonly called a snowdrop. Recently in Philadelphia the historic gardens of Awbury ( snowdrop information ) had a walk through the grounds discussing the flowers that have probably been on the grounds for over 100 years.

Tips to plant galanthus
  • For best results you should buy plants in the spring otherwise known as ‘in the green’. This means that the bulb has been either protected or grown in soil, picked, wrapped for moisture and shipped in leaf and bloom. Either way they should be in full leaf.
  • They should be planted right away following the directions of the nursery from which they were purchased. 
  • They can be planted in ground or in containers.
  • Keep well watered until established.
  • Do not cut off the leaves until yellow and ready to fall off.
  • You may have sparse blooms the first year.

To learn more about the Galanthus: 

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