Snowdrop 'Primrose Warburg'

Best snowdrops to grow

Check out 12 of the best snowdrops to grow, including gorgeous species and cultivars – picked by Carol Klein.

In the wild, the natural range of Galanthus nivalis is vast, covering huge areas of Europe.

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From this and other species, many snowdrop cultivars have been bred. Though none are native to the British Isles, they’re at home here in ditches, woodlands and fields.

In the garden, they’re best planted in a rich soil that doesn’t dry out in summer. The richer in humus and leaf mould the soil is, the better. A spot under deciduous trees and shrubs is ideal. Or try growing them among perennials and ornamental grasses.

For more advice, take a look at our three tips for growing snowdrops.

Discover 12 of the best snowdrops to grow. 

In the wild, the natural range of Galanthus nivalis is vast, covering huge areas of Europe.

Galanthus elwesii ‘Abington Green’

A good performer that increases well. The outer petals are broad and pure white, while the inside petals are marked with green. 

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Galanthus woronowii

A short snowdrop at 15cm tall with small flowers, a neat compact habit and glossy dark green leaves, plus a unique green hoof-like mark on the inner petals.

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Galanthus plicatus ‘Augustus’

Plantswoman Amy Doncaster named this for Edward Augustus Bowles. Broad leaves and slightly ‘seersucker’ outer petals. It multiplies well. 

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Galanthus ‘Armine’

Easy to increase, this elegant snowdrop has long, slender outer petals of pure white. It’s taller than many varieties and substantial in flower and leaf. 

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Galanthus ‘Cordelia’

One of the Greatorex doubles hybridised in the 1940’s and 1950’s, it has very even petals forming a neat rosette, each petal marked with an inverted ‘V’.

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Galanthus elwesii ‘Helen Tomlinson’

A sturdy snowdrop with large, oblong leaves, it forms tight clumps. Inner petals are marked with an inverted ‘U’. 

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Galanthus ‘Jade’

Highly sought after for the wash of green on its outside petals and habit of curling its scape (flower stalk) almost back on itself. The amount of green can vary.

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Galanthus ‘Melanie Broughton’

Erect though short, glaucous , blue-grey foliage with taller stems of beautiful rounded, almost globose flowers, creating splashes of pure white.

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Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’

Always happy and healthy, Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’ is celebrated for its most glorious honeyed scent. 

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Galanthus ‘Primrose Warburg’

Named after the great galanthophile and found in her garden after her death, this is one of the yellow varieties that have become highly sought after.

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Galanthus plicatus ‘Trymming’

Found in a garden in Westbury-on-Trym’, this strange snowdrop has green-tipped outer petals that curl back as they get older.

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Galanthus nivalis ‘Walrus’

This double snowdrop gets its name from the three, elongated, tusk-like outer petals that stick out in odd directions.

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Snowdrop colonisation

Snowdrops will colonise quickly, of their own volition, either by seed – in the case of the common snowdrop and some of the selections from it – but also by their bulbs dividing spontaneously. 

Red watering can