How to plant snowflakes

Do it:


Takes just:

30 minutes

At its best:


March is the month to plant a range of bulbs 'in the green': instead of planting dormant bulbs in autumn, specialist nurseries lift bulbs - usually after they have flowered - with their green leaves attached, ready for immediate planting. This is the preferred method for growing plants with small bulbs which are prone to drying out, such as snowdrops, winter aconites, bluebells and snowflakes. 

Snowflakes enjoy similar woodland conditions to snowdrops but flower later, establishing to form bold clumps. Despite the name, summer snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum) bloom in mid- to late spring, a couple of weeks after spring snowflakes (Leucojum vernum). Depending on when you plant them, your snowflakes may flower in their first year. The pictured variety is Leucojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant'.

You will need

Snowflake bulbs



Order plants in March from mail-order suppliers. Bulbs will be delivered bearing roots and leafy shoots.

Prepare the soil well and fork in plenty of compost or well-rotted manure. Plant bulbs as soon as they're delivered so just their green tips sit above soil level.

Firm soil round each bulb and then water thoroughly to settle the soil. Even with leaves these small bulbs are prone to drying out, so continue to water each week if conditions are dry.

Depending on the variety and when you plant them, your snowflakes may flower in their first year of planting. Allow the bulb foliage die down naturally in summer, providing the bulbs with the energy they need to flower the following year.


Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

How to grow snowdrops

Related offers


Save 15% on hyacinths

Enjoy the sweet spring fragrance of hycinths in your garden, or use them to create scented bouquets. You'll save 15 per cent on the range of hyacinths at Farmer Gracy, including varieties from their 'Elite' range.

Use code: BBC15HYA17

Order now


40 free* tulip bulbs

Claim a collection of 40 tulips, worth over £23, for free, *just pay £5.65 for postage. Plus, add any other items from the offer listing to your order and pay no extra postage.

Use code: GWT17OCT

Order now


Free p&p on tulips

Offer extended - You'll get free p&p, worth £4.95, on beautiful tulip collections at Sarah Raven when you enter our offer code at checkout. Offer ends at midnight on Tuesday 31 October, 2017.

Use code: GW17WSEPT

Order now