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Hardy Cyclamen


"Garden Journeys" Video Feature

How to Transplant Snowdrops "In the Green"

Recommended Bulbs, Corms & Tubers -


In this picture its easy to see that snowdrops are easily in bloom at least a couple of weeks before crocus.I've always said that I don't mind our cloudy, snowy Central New York winters - as long they're no more than about three months long (e.g., November, December and January). Apparently, however, Mother Nature didn't get my memo, as it's not unheard of to get a good snow well into April - and, once, as late as Mother's Day weekend!

The flowers of snowdrops consist of three long petals that enclose three shorter petals tipped with green.The good news is that one of our most common "minor" bulbs, snowdrops, did get the memo and are therefore almost always in full bloom by the end of February, above right - and sometimes as early as mid- to late January! Note in the picture above that the snowdrops are easily in bloom a full week, or more, before the crocus along the right edge of the picture.

Similar to many other common spring-flowering bulbs, the roughly twenty species of snowdrops (Galanthus) are native to native to dry woodlands and low mountains from southeastern Europe (e.g., Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, etc.) to Caucasus mountains in Turkey and beyond. Regardless of species, all feature pure white flowers consisting of three long petals that enclose three shorter petals that are tipped with green, above left.

Digging and dividing this cluster of snowdrops after the flowers fade will yield about twenty bulbs.The flowers and foliage emerge from teardrop-shaped bulbs that are roughly one inch tall and one inch wide. The bulbs are widely available at local garden centers and through mailorder sources beginning in late summer, and cost anywhere from a little more than $1.00 per bulb to as little as $0.30 per bulb if you order them in multiples of 100.

Snowdrops combine well with early blooming winter aconites.While the bulbs are easy to find in the fall, I've had the best luck establishing clumps of snowdrops in our yard, above right, by transplanting bulbs "in the green" as soon as their flowers start to fade in mid- to late May. Using this technique, you can begin with a clump of ten bulbs, and have between two and three hundred bulbs by dividing and replanting individual bulbs from the resulting clusters three inches apart and three inches deep, every other year for six years!

Snowdrops are generally just starting to fade as crocus come into peak bloom.If you don't have any snowdrops in your landscape or garden, this is definitely the year to start. Mix them with winter aconites, above left, crocus, at right, and/or February and March-blooming Lenten rose, and I promise that it'll be easier to make it through every long Central New York winter to come!

For more information on transplanting snowdrops "in the green," click on the link to "Garden Journeys" video along the right side of this page. And, if you want more information about the wide range of snowdrop varieties, to go "Judy's Snowdrops" website.