How to Grow Galanthus Plants

Guide to Growing Snowdrop

Members of the Galanthus genus are usually grown as hardy bulbs and they are able to reach from 5 to 25 cm in height.

Plants have strap like leaves and come into bloom from the middle through to the end of winter.

Galanthus plants have white snow like flowers; this leads to their common name of Snowdrop.


Photographs: Snowdrops by catlovers and Galanthus S. Arnott by Amandabhslate.

Quick Galanthus Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Snowdrop, Common snowdrop.
Life Cycle: Hardy bulb.
Height: 2 to 12 inches (10 to 30 cm).
Native: Europe, Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 2 to 9.
Flowers: Middle and late winter.
Flower Details: White. Droopy. Bell-shaped. Six tepals.
Foliage: Herbaceous. Strap-like. Linear. Narrow.
Evergreen. Lance-shaped. Sword-shaped. Oval. Heart-shaped. Feathery. Variegated. Green. Bronze, White, Grey, Grey-blue.
Growing Outside: Usually grown from bulbs as seed grown plants will not bear flowers for about four years.
Bulbs: 3 inches (8 cm). Late in summer. Spacing 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm).
Seeds: Surface 1/4 inch (6 mm). Spring using fresh seed.
Sow Inside: Germination time: one month. Temperature: 60 to 65°F (16 to 18°C). Spring using fresh seed. Transplant outdoors the following summer.
Requirements and care: Light shade, preferably under a deciduous plant so that it receives full sunlight in the winter. Soil pH 6 to 8. Provide an early spring feed with bone meal. Regular watering whilst blooming. Allow leaves to die completely before removing. Propagate: Self seeds; by dividing bulbs once flowering has completed.
Miscellaneous: The scientific name Galanthus comes from the Greek for milk (Gala) and flower (Anthos).

How to Grow Snowdrop and other Galanthus Plants in the Garden

Snowdrop can be either grown from bulbs or seeds; be aware that if growing snowdrops from seed that it will take at least three years until they will bear blooms. If growing Galanthus plants from bulbs plant them at a depth of 7 to 8 cm and a spacing of about 10cm towards the end of summer. Ideally snowdrops will grow in an area of the garden that is partially shaded and has a heavy, moist soil of pH 6 to 8.

When growing from seed, sow snowdrops from fresh seed in the spring tine at a depth of 6mm. Snowdrop seed takes about a month to germinate at 15 to 18 degrees centigrade. If you start snowdrops off indoors then allow to grow for a full year and transplant out into the garden in the summer.

Caring Guide

It is easy to care for Galanthus plant species such as Snowdrop. They like a cool soil so supply a mulch if you live in a warm area. Feed with bone meal at the start of spring. As snowdrops like a moist soil keep them well watered in the growing season. Once leaves start to wilt allow them to die off before removing them. If the plant loses its vigour then divide it. If you require more plants then propagate snowdrops by division in the spring once flowering has completed.

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