Snowdrops – a great winter flower

I love snowdrops. They are the first flowers to show whilst winter has still got its grip on us and reminds us that spring is on its way.

snowdrops

Snowdrops are very easy to grow, although they can sometimes seem tricky at first. You must realise that snowdrois do not like being moved and will not grow from bulbs the way other flowers such as daffodils do. You must buy them ‘in the green’. This means that they must still have leaves on them.This means that they will be much more expensive to buy at first than other bulbs, but once you have planted them, they will multiply in much the same way. Remember, though, if you want to thin them out, or move them, you must do so whilst they are still green.

Plant snowdrops in much the same way you would any other bulb, at twice the depth of the size of the bulb. You will be able to tell how deep the snowdrop plants have been by the leaves, maintain that depth.

No bulb likes being in wet, heavy soil. Bulbs are soft and fleshy and if left in wet conditions, they will rot. So if your soil  is like this, prepare it well before planting. Dig a hole larger and deeper than the area of bulbs you want to plant. put grit in the bottom of the hole and place the bulbs on that, then cover with soil. Of course, if you have bought more than one snowdrop bulb in a pot, you can seperate them to plant them in the garden.

I have my snowdrops in an area of grass. The first year they were there, they only showed leaves (difficult to see since they look very like grass) but the next year they started flowering and have not looked back since. I leave cutting this area of grass until I am sure the leaves have died off (about six weeks after they have finished flowering). Like all bulbs, you need to leave the foliage on them until it is really dead so that all the goodness in the leaves goes back into the bulb to feed it for the following year. If you do not do this, the bulb will get weaker and will eventually just give up.

As snowdrops do not like to be moved, they are not really suitable to grow in pots (you can do so but you are likely to lose your bulbs by doing to). However, they look great in grass, or why not try them under deciduous shrubs. That way, when the snowdrops start to look scrufy, the shrubs start to shot and will hide them.

There is now a great range of hybrids available, including double snowdrops and a large range of large flowered varieties. If you want to see the range, you can check them out by visiting a garden  or nursery which specialises in them. Apart from giving you ideas about which varieties you like, its a good way to get gentle excercise on a clement winter day.

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