The Ashridge Nurseries Blog

Snowdrops in the Green

Snowdrops generally make an appearance in February. Sometimes called the Flower of Hope, the common snowdrop (Galanthus Nivalis) has leaves with specially hardened tips designed to push through snow and even very thin ice. These clear the way for single or, depending on variety, double white flowers that seem designed to light up darker corners of any garden.  If you would like see more, browse our range of bulbs in the green. Remember that you will need about 75 snowdrops per square metre.


Because snowdrops flower so early in the year one might think that the best time to plant them is in late summer or early autumn. Indeed they can be planted then but, unlike the vast majority of flowering plants, snowdrops also transplant very well when they are fresh and so - seemingly paradoxically - they can be moved immediately before, during or after flowering. So this happens between the end of February and the end of March, although these dates can vary a little depending on the vagaries of the British weather.

Snowdrops that are transplanted at this time of year are known as “snowdrops in the green’’. treated and planted correctly, bulbs in the green grow away faster than the same bulbs planted in the autumn.

The principal difference between planting bulbs in the green and dried bulbs, is that those in the green must be planted immediately upon receipt. In the green means exactly what it says; you receive bulbs in active growth, with leaves and sometimes flowers attached. The plant tissues are therefore soft and easily damaged and cannot be stored for more than a very few days. We therefore ship all our bulbs in the green on a Wednesday so they arrive with you in time for planting that weekend. The huge advantage of planting bulbs in the green is that the foliage of the bulb, which contains valuable nutrients, is allowed to die down naturally so those nutrients fall to the bulb below and enlarge it before it goes into dormancy for the summer. It is this process that enables the bulb to spring into life more rapidly when it comes into growth in early winter.

If you are interested, you can also read our instructions on planting snowdrops in the green.

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