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Planting snowdrops


by Pippa Greenwood

Planting snowdrops in-the-green helps the bulbs absorb moisture quickly after they've been planted. This helps them to establish quickly and produce a great show of flowers.


Snowdrops in flowerShould snowdrops be planted in spring in-the-green (after the flowers have died down but when their foliage is still green and lush) or as dry bulbs in autumn? It's a question that divides opinion in even the most prestigious horticultural circles.

At a recent recording of Gardeners' Question Time, one of my fellow panellists wholeheartedly supported planting them as bulbs. And, while I normally rate his opinions and knowledge, on this matter I have to disagree.

Snowdrops - planting bulbs in-the-green.Planting snowdrops in-the-green helps the bulbs absorb moisture quickly after they've been planted. This helps them to establish quickly and produce a great show of flowers the following year. Dry, rootless snowdrop bulbs often don't establish well.

As I finally stood upright after planting hundreds of snowdrops I bought in-the-green last weekend, I felt immensely pleased with myself. I'm sure the job took less time than it would have done if I'd been fiddling about with tiny bulbs. It was also easier to see where I had planted them, as each clump was clearly marked with a tuft of lovely grey-green foliage.

And, on the basis of earlier in-the-green plantings, I'm expecting a high proportion of snowdrops to flourish and flower next year and for many years to come.

I'd be interested to know your preferences.



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Gardeners' World Web User 10/04/2009 at 20:19

I have tried for years to grow snowdrops from bulbs but all failed. Last month I purchased some snowdrops in pots that were well past their best but in-the-green. I have now replanted them all in a big pot where they will be left undisturbed. I will be thrilled if they flower next year.

Gardeners' World Web User 10/04/2009 at 22:17

Definetly in the green. We planted 100 hundred bulbs 2 years ago and not one came up, i was given some in the green last year and they flowered profously this year.

Gardeners' World Web User 11/04/2009 at 15:20

I have had a ballerina plum tree along side 2 apple,plum & charry ballerina tress - all but the plum flower & fruit. It bears green leaves - any ideas as to why no fruitit is a Victoria so should be a proliferate cropper

Gardeners' World Web User 11/04/2009 at 15:23

I have 4 fushsia bushes all established from one plant.By bow it is in leaf & has flowered nearly all year round - this year nothing - has it being "bugged" by something - cannot believe the cold spell in Feb harmed them - they have been in my garden in Middx for over 10yrs -

Gardeners' World Web User 12/04/2009 at 13:11

Keith - sounds like your plum tree has suckers. Could be a waste of space if you get no fruit. Won't your supplier replace it?

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