What is Snowflakes?
Snowflakes (Leucojum spp.) are a clump forming bulbous perennial. They are part of the Amaryllidaceae family and are native throughout Central Europe. There are 2 species of Leucojum; Leucojum aestivale also known as the Summer Snowflakes and Leucojum vernum also known as Spring Snowflakes. There was a third Leucojum autumnale also known as the Autumn Snowflake however this has lately been reclassified as Acis autumnalis. Snowflakes have a glossy green narrow shaped strappy foliage and produce pretty bell shaped white flowers that nod on the end of a high stalk. Each petal has a green spot. Spring Snowflakes will flower late Winter into Spring where the Summer Snowflakes will appear in late Spring and flower through Summer. Autumn Snowflakes have a long flowering period from Summer through to Autumn. They require a full sun to part shaded position in your garden with rich organic well draining soil. Snowflakes are frost hardy.
Benefits of Growing Snowflakes
All snowflake varieties are easy to grow and naturalise easy. Their natural habitat is damp woodlands, so choose a location that is similar in characteristics. The best look is planting en masse or drift planting in woodlands. Spring Snowflakes are a good source of early season pollen for bees and a good first hint of colour in the garden after a long Winter.
How to Grow Snowflakes
Cool, temperate, arid, semi arid.
Summer Snowflakes Height: 60cm, Width: 10-15cm
Spring Snowflakes Height: 40cm, Width: 10cm
When To Plant Snowflakes
Plant in Autumn (Leucojum vernum, Leucojum aestivale) and in Spring (Leucojum autumnale)
They like well drained organic rich soil so before planting mix through well broken down animal manure or compost to your soil. You can also apply a well-balanced fertilizer prior to planting.
How To Plant Snowflakes
Plant in full sun to part shade, 10-15cm apart with the bulb at a depth of 10cm below the surface of the soil. Give the bulbs a really good watering after planting. Leucojum autumnale can be spaced closer 5-10cm.
Snowflakes Plant Care
When the foliage starts to surface give them regular watering, continue watering until the foliage begins to die off as the plant goes into dormancy.
Fertilise in Winter with decayed manure, blood and bone or compost.
Bulbs can be left in the ground for a few years without being disturbed. The clumps will continue to spread but they will need to be divided once the center starts to die. Lift every 4 to 5 years to divide. If required they can be dug after the foliage has died down. Store in a cool, airy position.
Cut off any spent flowers, but leave the foliage to die off naturally. The bulb will continue to store energy for the next season until the foliage dies.
Watch out for snails and slugs as they like to eat the foliage.