How to Grow Giant Snowflakes Bulb
Snowflakes Flower Plants – All You Need To Know About Snowflakes Bulbs
Snowflakes is a bulbous plant belonging to the Amaryllis family and genus Leucojum. This plant is native to central and southern Europe. They have been introduced and naturalised in many other parts including North America and Australia. The leaves of this plant are narrow and strap like and the flowers are drooping, bell shaped with six white petals that have scalloped edges like snowdrops but much larger that hang like little lanterns. The white coloured flowers are chocolate fragrant and have an emerald green spot on the end of each petal.
The genus contains two species:
- Leucojum aestivum “Gravetye Giant” or Giant snowflake a rare variety introduced by William Robinson from Sussex
- Leucojum vernum or common spring snowflakes
Both flowering in late winter early spring, with the gravetye giant snowflake bulb flowering 3 weeks later. This plant can be used for creating borders and rock gardens or growing near ponds.
How to grow Snowflakes Bulbs
Snowflakes grow best in cool climates and are not generally grown in tropical areas of Australia. Snowflakes are low maintenance bulbs that will grow easily if planted in full sun and where there is well drained soil. You need to plant the bulbs at the appropriate season ahead of flowering time. The plant will tolerate light shade and looks best when it is grown as large clumps. The bulbs should be planted at a depth of 2-4 inches in the garden bed. You need to plant the bulbs with the pointed end up. The bulbs multiply and form clusters easily and needs division every 3-5 years. These plants are usually free from pests, but snails and slugs can feed on the leaves, stems and seedlings. Fertilise the spring bulbs when the foliage starts to appear from the bulbs. It is better to use special bulb fertiliser or general low-nitrogen fertilisers for this plant. Select top sized bulbs for planting.
Snowflake Plant Care
To care for Leucojum aestivum “Gravetye Giant” plant is easy, select a suitable location in your garden with full sun or partial shade to grow these plants. The soil needs to be enriched with organic matter like compost or manure before planting the bulbs. The bulbs should be placed at least 6-10 inches apart and you need to water the plants when the rainfall is less than 2 inches in a week. The bulbs can grow and remain in the same location for many years before you have to divide them. Though the plant spreads and fills the spaces in between, they will not become highly invasive. After flowering, you can cut off the spent flowers as long as you allow the foliage to die off naturally.
Summer/Giant Snowflake Bulb
Summer or giant snowflake plants are larger than the well known spring snowflakes and grow to a height of 1.5 to 2.5 feet tall. The plant is winter hardy to -20 F great bulbs for snow regions as well as heat tolerant. Blooming occurs in spring and the flowers faint during summer. The plant requires regular watering in the spring and requires less water in summer, the dormancy period. This plant was very common in Loddon valley and is also known as the Loddon lily and the best time to plant this variety is during the autumn.
Spring Snowflake Bulb
This variety has broader leaves than that of the summer snowflake and has shorter flower stalk. Flowering occurs during late winter or from August to October the plant grows to a height of 35 cms. The best time to plant the bulbs of spring snowflakes is in autumn. The cold hardy plant grows well in semi-wood land location and can also be grown in containers and pots.
Gravetye Giant Leucojum aestivus giant snowflake plant pictured flowering in my garden displaying its much larger flowers than the common variety.