Snowdrops (galanthus) to plant and care for

The snowdrop, the rebirth of the garden ...

Snowdrops appear in the garden as early as January, as soon as the days begin to lengthen. It is one of the first flowers to appear in the garden at the start of the year. The snowdrop is an indigenous plant, which grows naturally in some of our regions of France and Europe. It is a great classic, appreciated especially for its natural charm. There are some varieties of which we do not perceive all the differences at first glance ... But let us note all the same “Samuel Arnott” with short petals, “Flore pleno” with double flowers, “Magnet” with finely suspended flowers which undulate with the winds. ...

Botanical name:

• Galanthus Nivalis

Plant type:

• Plant: Perennial
• Foliage: Lapsed
• Type of plant: Hardy (-18 ° C)
• Family: Amaryllidaceae - Amaryllidaceae
• Harbor : tuft
• Exhibition: sun to partial shade
• Plantation: October to November
Flowering : January to March
• Rooting: bulbs
• Cultivation area: Everywhere except very cold zone See hardiness card
• Origin: France and Eastern Europe
• Honey plant: Yes

Special features of the snowdrop:

• It is a plant that creates a beautiful effect when its ribbon leaves, slightly hairless in color, form the tufts. A reinforced effect when the tufts of snowdrops develop, solo, in the lawn especially and at the feet of trees.
• Honey plant: The flowers of Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) produce small amounts of nectar and pollen. Like most early bloomers, the main advantage is to provide the bees with a food source during the winter that allows the brood to re-start in early spring. The nectar and pollen of snowdrops are therefore only present in small quantities in honey. They can also be slightly harmful, giving honey some toxicity: snowdrops are made up of an alkaloid component: galanthamine. This component is also used in the treatment of symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

What advantages in the garden

• Easy to grow.
• Beautiful and early flowering.
• Long flowering during the winter months.
• Allows use as an indoor bouquet.

What soil for the snowdrop?

• Cool, humus-bearing and well-drained soil.

When to plant it?

• Put it in place as a priority in the fall - October, November, until early December

What exhibition?

• The snowdrops likes sun exposure and grows very well in partial shade, and in deciduous trees.

How to plant the snowdrop?

In autumn, before severe frosts:
If the soil is perfect for planting, use a bulb planter and place the bulbs separately at a distance of 8 to 10 cm, the same if you decide to plant them in the lawn to do as little damage as possible ;-).
Otherwise, improve the soil:
• Loosen the soil to a nice small height, 1/2 half a spade.
• Mix compost and potting soil with garden soil.
• Space the bulbs 10 cm max.
• Replace the rest of the garden soil and mix.
• Firmly press down with your foot.
• Water.

When to multiply it?

• Immediately after flowering, when the leaves are still green, multiply the snowdrop by division.

How to multiply them snowdrops?

• With a spade, cut the tuft in half.
• Replant the clumps in the chosen places.

Interview :

• Let the leaves turn yellow before cutting them.
• This is especially important if you place the bulbs in the lawn, do not mow too early.

Diseases and Parasites:

• No illnesses.

Flowering of snowdrops:

• January to March.

A word from the amateur gardener:
The snowdrop is one of the few plants to flower despite the snow. There are several varieties, more than 500, but in reality, "Galanthus Nivalis" is the one that adorns our garden most often and "Galanthus Elwesii" reserved for the warmer regions.

Varieties of snowdrops:

Usually the snowdrop flowers are white with a green border.
• Galathus Nivalis “Flore Pleno”: with double flowers.
• Galathus Nivalis “Atkinsii”: upright habit and single flowers.
• Galathus Nivalis "Samul Arnott": flowers with short petals.
• Galanthus Nivalis "Dionysus": double flowers of which the green is quite present. Very beautiful snowdrops but less classic.

Which plant does camellia match?

• Crocuses, Christmas roses, elven flowers.

Plant them in the garden, or in a large pot:

ATa garden: Perennial, rock garden, border, and in the lawn or in the undergrowth
• Pot : In a large earthenware pot with a lot of bulb for a beef effect. In a large container, at the foot of other perennials.


Soil and Watering

Foot size (WxH)

Space between
the plants

Sun and partial shade

cool soil, humus and drained.

10 to 25 cm X 5 to 10 cm

10 cm max


planting period

Flowering period

5 to 6 cm

In autumn from October to early December

January to March

Basic working photo by RedSimon - - Creative Commons

Snowdrop: pretty little flower

Snowdrops are among the first to bloom at the end of winter.

In summary, what you need to know:

Last name : Galanthus
Family : Alliaceae
Type: Spring bulb

: 15/20 cm
Exposure : Sunny

Ground : Ordinary
: January to March

Planting snowdrops is done in the fall and the maintenance is very easy to get pretty little flowers.

Species and varieties of snowdrops

There are 19 species of snowdrops, and in France, only Galanthus nivalis and Galanthus elwesii are commonly traded.

Galanthus nivalis

  • Height: 0.20 to 0.30В m.
  • Flowering: 'Flore Pleno' has double flowers.
  • Qualities: The most cultivated species.

Galanthus elwesii

  • Height: 0.10 to 0.30В m.
  • Flowering: Larger flowers.
  • Qualities: Less hardy species, appreciates sunny situations.

Photos of the Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)

Posted by Claire Geslot on

  • Secret Garden
  • on 10-14-2013

    Enjoy your galanthus nivalis again next year

    Leave the foliage for better flowering

    Feed during fall and winter

    Water during fall and winter with a water soluble fertilizer to nourish the bulbs which develop new roots and a new upper part. Your galanthus nivalis bulbs will survive without fertilizer, but providing them with additional nutrients will result in more and larger flowers and longer bulb life.

    Our galanthus nivalis (or snowdrop) bulbs are, like all our other products, supplied with detailed planting instructions.

    Click here to take a look at our full collection of snowdrops!

    Planting takes place in the fall. Bury the bulbs about 5 to 6 cm deep. It is best to plant several dozen bulbs in the same place for a better upholstery and decorative effect.
    The exhibition must be sunny in winter. However, Snowdrops need cool soil all year round.
    The ideal is to plant them at the foot of a hedge of deciduous shrubs. They will thus benefit from the protection of the foliage in summer and from a sunny exposure in winter.
    After flowering, cut the leaves flush when they have completely yellowed.
    Leave bulbs in the ground all year round as they tend to dry out when they are out of the ground for too long.
    No watering is necessary. To prevent the bulbs from suffering from a probable summer drought, place a layer of dead leaves at the location of the bulbs. This will help keep the soil cool and moist.

    The small white flowers appear in the middle of winter, from January to March.

    © h. zell

    © xulescu g

    Another species of Galanthus present on the site:

    The snowdrop can be used in fresh rockery, in massif, in border, in border, in undergrowth, in pot or in lawn by grouping. The plant goes harmoniously with crocuses, Greek anemones, and scilli whose blooms closely follow that of the snowdrop.

    Galanthus nivalis is the typical snowdrop but there are other very similar species such as Galanthus horticultural caucasinus, variant of Galanthus elwesii with two green markings on the internal tepals.

    Use of the snowdrop in the garden:

    Large flowered spots in the undergrowth, at the foot of deciduous shrubs.

    At the foot of a flower wall.

    To plant the bulbs, to maintain them, to choose a species adapted to your garden these pages may interest you.

    Snowdrop seedlings. When to sow

    I have a clump of snowdrops under a tree that bears small yellow fruits. Can I sow the seeds they contain for more Snowdrops?

    Yes, but if you are patient. It is indeed necessary to wait three years or more between the sowing of snowdrops and flowering.

    To be successful, sow at maturity when the fruits are quite yellow. The fruits produce a kind of jelly in which the ripe seeds are located. Do not separate frost and seeds. Spread everything in a box filled with a light mixture, sprinkle a thin layer of seedling mixture and place in a cool place. (the action of cold is essential)

    Protect them from heavy rains, for example, under an eaves, but remember to keep the soil moist. Germination is capricious.

    In the fall you will get some small snowdrop onions.

  • Video: How to Plant Snowdrops: Spring Garden Guide

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