Snowflake, Leucojum aestivum

How to plant snowflakes

We show you how to plant snowflake (Leucojum) bulbs 'in the green' – just after they've flowered.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

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.

More bulb planting content:

Follow these quick steps to plant snowflake bulbs.

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You Will Need

  • Snowflake bulbs
  • Trowel

Total time:

Step 1

'In the green' leucojum bulbs
‘In the green’ leucojum bulbs

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

Step 2

Digging a planting hole with a trowel
Digging a planting hole with a trowel

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.

Step 3

Watering in leucojum bulbs
Watering in leucojum bulbs

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.

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Leucojum 'Gravetye Giant' flowers
Leucojum ‘Gravetye Giant’ flowers

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.