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For welcome assurance that the brighter days of spring are on their way, look no further than snowdrops (Galanthus). They are surprisingly varied in height, flower size, shape and even colouring. Given a moist soil they will multiply into drifts and provide plenty of plants to share with fellow gardeners.
Any garden can accommodate snowdrops;
There are no requirements to prune or train snowdrops. Simply allow the foliage to die back naturally.
There are four methods that can be used to propagate snowdrops.
Lift and divide clumps as the foliage turns yellow. Split the clumps into smaller pieces with as little disturbance as possible. Bulbs can also be planted singly at the same depth as they were on the soil.
Collect and sow seed as soon as they ripen. Germination should take place as the temperatures start to rise after winter.
This, more complex propagation method involves taking pairs of the scales (like layers of an onion) that make up the bulb and placing them in a damp environment to encourage each set of scales to make new bulbs.
Snowdrops can be propagated by chipping which produces flowering plants more quickly than twin scaling. However twin scaling produces many bulbs in a short amount of time.
Snowdrops are popular with gardeners and there are number to choose from in our RHS Plant Selector. Here are just a few;
RHS Plant FinderAGM plants
Squirrels digging up snowdrops planted as dry bulbs may be a problem.
Sometimes seedlings are lost through damping off which is caused by fungi and results in their collapse. Grey mould can affect snowdrops, especially in mild winters.
AlliumsBirch for winter interestBulbsBulbs for Christmas floweringBulbs: plantingBulbs: propagationContainers: winter selectionCrown imperial (Fritillaria imperialis)Cyclamen: hardyDaffodilsPlants for winter interestRHS video: Dividing and increasing your snowdrops
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Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9