Galanthus nivalis,
traditional snowdrop     1597

traditional snowdrop heirloom bulbs

An icon of spring for centuries, this beloved woodland wildflower seems to be born from the melting snow. Its brave little bells ring in the spring well before crocus, animals leave it alone, and it multiplies without care in light shade. In other words, it’s a springtime essential! 5-6”, zones 3a-7a(8aWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2016. We may offer it again periodically.

SUB TYPE   wildflower

ZONES   3a-7a(8aWC)

HEIGHT   5-6”

BLOOM SEASONS   very early spring

SOURCE   Holland

LIGHT   half sun, light shade


Plant ASAP when you receive them in October. The naturally small bulbs of Galanthus can dry out and die very quickly in storage. (However, despite modern hype, planting “in the green” is not essential for success.)

Choose a lightly shaded site with well-drained or average garden soil that never gets bone-dry or overly hot in summer. Galanthus do best with more moisture than most bulbs, and they can even thrive in clay soil.

Plant 2”-4” deep and 2”-4” apart. Consider protecting with plastic netting, chicken-wire, etc., for a few weeks after planting, typically the only time critters bother these animal-resistant little bulbs. Water well, and then assure even moisture in spring and fall.

Do not mulch. Mulch is often too thick or heavy for small bulbs such as snowdrops and their growth will suffer — if they emerge at all.

After bloom, allow seedpods to ripen and scatter their seeds, and allow the foliage to yellow and wither away naturally to feed the bulbs. Fertilizing is rarely necessary. Over time your bulbs will multiply and spread into large colonies.

Learn more about growing and enjoying snowdrops at our Fall Diverse Newsletter Archives and Bulbs as Cut-Flowers page.