It’s a beautiful name, isn’t it – ‘snowdrop’ – it’s so pretty and elegant with a slightly child-like ring to it.  The first showing of these delicate but stunning little flowers gives us all a cheer in the wet and windy months of the New Year, and hope that Spring will soon be on its way!  Stunning in their simplicity, the snowdrop is a rather more complicated flower than meets the eye!

In fact, there are over 40 species of this little spring gem and all vary in height, size, shape and shade.  Here’s the best of the bunch for your garden:


Galanthus nivalis

One of the most common snowdrops seen in woodlands in February, this resilient snowdrop variety has large petals and leaves that touch at the base of the plant.


Galanthus ‘Atkinsii’

Distinctive for its green heart-shaped mark on the tip of its inner petals. With long and slim white outer petals and folded back leaves.


Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus

This snowdrop variety has wider leaves and has as slight greyish tinge to them. With larger white petals with a bit of an inverted ‘V’ on the top of each inner petal.


Galanthus ‘Magnet’

Their long, slender, tall stems separating the flower from its narrow leaves allows them to  they sway slightly in the Spring air.


Galanthus reginae-olgae subsp. reginae-olgae

These snowdrops are unusual in the fact that they usually flower in the autumn.  With very short leaves and inner petals they have a distinctive inverted ‘V’ or ‘U’ at the tip of the petals.


Snowdrop: Galanthus nivalis f. pleniflorus ‘Flore Pleno’

Double-form snowdrops with many green-tipped inner petals that make the outer petals fall out wider than other varieties.


Galanthus plicatus

This variety has  dark green leaves that  fold back on themselves allowing the petals to bloom into a more rounded shape.

Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’

A robust variety of snowdrop with very large petals that open completely.


Galanthus woronowii

The leaves of these snowdrops are bright and glossy with smaller flowers.  They can be identified by the green ‘horseshoe’ marking in the inner petals.


Leucojum vernum

Although not actually snowdrops, they are closely related with petals having a bright yellow-green marking.


Gardening tips to get the best out of your snowdrop varieties

  1. Snowdrops hate becoming desiccated, so they’re best lifted, divided and replanted just when the foliage dies back.
  2. If you can’t re-plant your snowdrops straight away, then store newly lifted bulbs in trays of moist, peat-free potting compost until late August, but don’t let them dry out as they’re notoriously hard to establish otherwise.
  3. Lift and divide snowdrops when they’ve just finished flowering but are still in leaf, usually in or around May.
  4. It’s worth dividing the clumps every couple of years in order to increase the multiplication rate. Divide into three to five bulbs.
  5. The leaves are important in order to build up food reserves required for the bulb to multiply, so it’s not a good idea to trim or tie them into bunches.
  6. Apply a potassium-rich fertiliser in the winter months to help with nutrition.
  7. Don’t let your pots freeze in the winter or become dry in the summer. Try burying your snowdrops up to the rim in a bed of damp coarse sand which will keep the root temperature acceptable.
  8. Although snowdrops are mostly pretty robust and trouble-free, when disease occurs it’s very rarely possible to cure.  They must be therefore removed immediately so as not to infect the remaining, health bulbs.

We are Garden Supplies – sustainable garden supplies delivered right to your door.  A family run business serving clients in and around Gloucester since 1991.  If you want more information about our products and services, take a look at our website or give us a call on 01453 547299 – we’d be happy to hear from you!