Sunday, June 7, 2009

Snowdrop Bulbs

Galanthus nivalis
Zones: 3 to 9

Snowdrops are a wonderful little bulb that come out very early in the year. The white petals have a light green tip, and the flowers hang like a small lantern to welcome Spring. The common Snowdrop grows from 4-6 inches tall with 1 inch flowers and like growing at the base of shady trees. They multiply well and can be left undivided for many years. When you plant them in the Fall, leave 2-4 inches between the bulbs. You can plant them 2-3 inches deep. The Giant Snowdrops grow from 6-9 inches tall but still have the same size flower as the regular Snowdrops. The increasing bunches of Giant Snowdrops can be easily seen, while the smaller Snowdrops are so delicate you have to look closely to see them. There are flowering bulbs even smaller than they are! The original Snowdrops multiply, it may take 3 or 4 years before the new ones begin to flower. They do better in northern gardens than in warmer areas. Always be sure to keep all bulb leaves on the plant until they get yellow, because the bulb is still growing and storing up food from the leaves for next year! As tiny as Snowdrops are they never fail to make you stop and look at their shining white flowers hanging gently in the Spring sunshine.