When to plant snowdrop bulbs in the UK – a guide to perfect snowdrops

Camilla speaks to Monty Don in Gardeners' World appearance

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Planting bulbs correctly is key to well supported and healthy growth in your plant, and the same goes when it comes to settling in your snowdrops. With countless snowdrop varieties to grow in your garden, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to curating an elegant white bell-flower display and as autumn arrives it’s a good time to give them a go – and this guide will show you how.

Styling snowdrops in your garden can be easy when using bright colours to contrast with their pure white bell-petals and green stems – but making your snowdrops pop is the best way to draw attention to these elegant blooms.

When to plant snowdrops

It’s time to start thinking about planting snowdrops if you’re hoping for a touch of ‘purity’ in your garden as you welcome the new year.

These white flowers are renowned for their links to purity and spirit so they’re one to think about if you’re looking for a soothing addition to your garden.

The best way to buy and plant snowdrops is while they are actively growing; plant growers call this planting “in the green”.

Gardener’s World recommends growing snowdrops in well-drained soil under partial shade, stating on their website: “Plant snowdrops ‘in the green’ in February and March or as dry bulbs in October and November.

“There’s no need to prune snowdrops but you may want to deadhead spent blooms to concentrate energy back to the bulb for a better display the following year.”

Snowdrops should be lifted from the ground when they reach the end of their flowering period in late spring.

Bundle together the lifted bulbs and wrap them in paper to keep the roots damp until they can be planted in the soil once again.

Where can you find snowdrops?

Though they are not native to the UK, snowdrops can be enjoyed right across the country, baring all their pure-white glory.

If you need some snowdrop inspiration to mimic in your garden ahead of the new year, this comprehensive list of snowdrop locations are sure to fulfil your vision of your own snowdrop display.

  • Snowdrop Valley, Somerset
  • Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire
  • Rode Hall, Congleton

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  • Painswick Rococo Garden, Gloucestershire
  • Gatton Gardens, Surrey
  • Cambo Estate, Scotland
  • Hodsock Priory, Nottinghamshire
  • Bank Hall, Bretherton

Snowdrop varieties – top picks

Choosing the right style of snowdrop to plant around your property is essential to create a neat yet effortless bed, border or potted snowdrop sanctuary that suits your garden.

Four of the best varieties of this light winter blooms include the galanthus plicatus, reginae-olgae, S.Arnott, and woronowii snowdrops.

The plicatus snowdrop boasts dark green leaves which are folded to form a rounded shape and create contrast with lighter green hues on neighbouring plants.

Reginae-olgae are autumn flowering snowdrops and look idyllic next to the rich, deep autumnal tones – this is a short-leaved variety with inverted petals.

For a larger petalled variety opt for the wide blooms which are found on the S.Arnott variety of snowdrops to fill space in your garden.

Woronowii snowdrops are bright, glossy and green with smaller white petals – a good contrast to the wider-petals on S.Arnott snowdrops.

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