Snowdrops are fully hardy to frost hardy bulbs, originally from Europe and W. Asia. They are ideal for: border, containers, cottage gardens, rock gardens – where they will provide some early-season interest – and some of them are even suitable for naturalizing in grass or light woodland. You can plant snowdrops under deciduous trees without worrying that they will not receive enough sunlight, since they bloom before the trees leaves come out. Snowdrops are also good bulbous plants for forcing.
Snowdrops are resistant plants that grow well in light to moderate shade. They will thrive in any sunny or shaded position as long as the soil is humus-rich, moist but well-drained and does not dry out over the summer. Because the bulbs are not protected by a hard outer skin, they are best planted just after you bought them, not stored for a later planting. Plant the bulbs for snowdrop flowers in early autumn in fertile soil. Snowdrops are small plants, so their bulbs must be planted closely together at about 5-8 cm apart for a showy spring display. The idea is to create a blanket of snowdrops that will cover an area and will replace the winter snow blanket.
Some may find difficult to grow snowdrops from dry bulbs, so the best way to ensure a garden full of color is to plant snowdrop bulbs ‘in the green’ or ‘in leaf’, unlike other bulbs that are planted dry. Lift them with their leaves immediately after flowering and you will get strong, vigorous plants which will rapidly spread in your garden.
Do not remove foliage until it has turned yellow, so that your snowdrops have a chance to store nutrients for next year and produce offsets. It is better to let their leaves die back naturally in late spring, rather than cut them back after they are finished blooming. They may be left undisturbed for many years, but if you plan to move them or propagate the bulbs, than just lift them as soon as the flowers fade but before the leaves have faded.
If snowdrops cease flowering than lift and divide clumps of them while ‘in the green’ to improve flowering and make them spread further. Replant in clumps of 5-7 to ensure a good display for the next summer. After replanting you can give them a handful of bonemeal to help them.