Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Plant of the Month ... Snowdrops!

Good Morning!
Along with the new series of Problem Areas for 2016 I have also decided to feature one plant a month that is my personal favourite and which I think is one of the best performers during that month.
The PLANT OF THE MONTH for February is ... SNOWDROPS!

Galanthus are Dwarf Bulbous Perennials which grow up to 15cm tall with narrow leaves and nodding fragrant white flowers. The inner segments of the flowers are mostly marked with green at the tips.
There are over 2000 varieties but the most common are widely found in our gardens are Galanthus Nivalis and the double version 'Flore Pleno' seen below from my own garden.
Some varieties can be bought for hundreds of pounds but there are some much more affordable ones too with striking colours and details.

Galanthus 'Flore Pleno'

Snowdrops can be planted when they are a bulb or 'in the green' which simply means when the foliage growth is starting to die back and the flowers are fading, usually in late April - early May. This is the preferred way and what I find the most successful.
The quickest and easiest way to give yourself more plants is to 'divide' each group of Snowdrops into separate plants, re- plant singly and at the the same depth. Dig them up gently with a fork and tease apart with your hands, with as little disturbance as possible. Adding a little Bonemeal to the planting hole will be beneficial. Leave for 3 or 4 years to settle in before repeating the process.
Snowdrops like to be in a partly shaded position in a moist but well - drained soil that doesn't dry out in Summer.

If you don't have any groups of Snowdrops already in your garden they can be purchased from Garden Centres at this time of year along with online and through mail order. Make sure you plant them as soon as they arrive however as you don't want the plants to dry out.

Thompson & Morgan currently have an offer where you can order 35 Single Snowdrops 'in the green' for the price of Postage. I am in no way linked to this business, I simply saw the offer and thought it may be of interest to some of you.

Snowdrops can be prone to Snowdrop 'Grey Mould' (Botrytis galanthina) which is a fungus closely related to the most common form of Botrytis cinerea. This fungus only affects Galanthus spp. and is most prone to the common Galanthus nivalis in mild winters.

Photo from RHS website

If you spot this problem remove the affected bulbs straight away and dispose of quickly. Do not plant any more Galanthus in the same position or where you have noticed this disease previously. When buying new plants always inspect them first for signs of infection and from a reputable company.

I hope you have found this feature interesting!


  1. Snowdrops are the first sign that Spring is on the way, so are always welcome to me! Although saying that, some people have already had daffodils, so maybe it's a bit back to front!
    Snowdrops are just so delicate with their white skirts and hint of green - it's just a shame that they don't turn their pretty faces for us to see! Here's hoping that Spring IS on the way! Hugs, Lisa x

    1. They're one of my all time favourite plants Lisa :) xxx