Snowdrop flowers (Galanthus) are the first bulb flowers to appear in late winter, before the spring equinox. They are grown in both cold winter regions and moderate winters, but keep in mind they truly dislike warm winters. So, if you live in Southern California, Florida or other hot climates, you will have to pass on having the snowdrop flower in your garden. Snowdrops may even bloom all winter long.
Snowdrops are good for rock gardens, under trees and shrubs, at the fronts of borders or in front of flowering shrubs, in lawns, or along woodland paths. The elegant flowers are tiny; so to make an impact in the garden, plant them in large masses.
Each flower has six petals, the outer three longer than the inner ones. Unusually among bulbs, snowdrops seem to prefer slightly damp soil. Snowdrops associate well with winter aconite, winter-flowering heathers and dwarf Reticulata irises.
Varieties of snowdrop flowers are: Garden Snowdrop (white), Flore Pleno (double white flowers), Viridapicis (green markings on tips of both outer and inner petal segments), Sam Arnott (larger flowers, with distinct heart-shaped green markings), and Atkins Snowdrop (taller than most, with long, shapely petals).
Galanthus nivalis is the best-known of the snowdrops and one that naturalizes easily. The bell-shaped, pure white flowers hang downwards, the outer petals flaring outwards to reveal the green markings on the inner ones. Galanthus elwesii is less well known than G. nivalis. It is a larger plant, with bright green, strap-shaped leaves and flowers with large green spots on the inner petals.
The best time when to plant snowdrops is in the early fall. You will need to be quick in buying them, as they will only be available from your local nursery or mail order company for a short period of time in the fall, due to the fact that they are sold as undried bulbs that do not store well.
Snowdrops like a moist soil with plenty of humus. They do not like hot, dry positions preferring part shade. Snowdrops aren’t typically used as cut flowers because they have a short vase life. They are more popular as a potted plant.