Is this normal?

Long awaited, but disappointing!

As regular readers know, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the first snowdrop bloom. Not just the first snowdrop of this season, but MY first snowdrop ever! In fact, I don’t recall ever actually seeing a snowdrop in person, so this was going to be quite the occasion!

Yesterday, my daily inspection did in fact reveal THE FIRST SNOWDROP. I almost missed it, since I wasn’t carrying binoculars… Descriptive words? “Microscopic” “Disappointing” maybe “Dainty” is the most positive word that came to mind. Planted last autumn, in good soil, with bone meal and a bit of fertilizer, I was expecting more!

So, my questions are these: Are snowdrops like some other plants, and purchasing a larger bulb matters? (Mine came from High Country Gardens) Will it yet grow in stature as the flower opens? Will it possibly be larger next year? Are there great variations in size depending on variety or species? Or, is this normal?!?!?

About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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26 Responses to Is this normal?

  1. bcparkison says:

    Time will tell. I have never grown any either but Nature has away of surprising us. My Peonie that grew a little then “died , then came back to “die” again has started to regrow for the third time. Maybe this will be the year it decides to stay. Maybe…I can hope.

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  2. Oh dear! You don’t normally plant Snowdrops as dry bulbs. They are usually lifted and divided and planted now whilst they are “in the green”. If you know anyone who has some ask them if you can grab a clump, divide the bulbs and replant at the same depth. They will die back over the summer but next year they will grow away strongly. Over a couple of years they will spread and bulk up rapidly. Fingers crossed for next year 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • carolee says:

      Well, that’s certainly interesting. Then why do so many companies offer dry bulbs? I’ll hope that mine will grow stronger as they mature each year, and that as the clump spreads (hopefully it will do so!) the newly generated plants will be bigger. Thanks for the info.

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  3. Snowdrops are tiny and need to be planted in quantity to make a very pretty show. Their daintiness is part of their charm and also their ability to flower when it’s still cold and cheerless. Haven’t you seen them on my blog? Here in the UK we have events called Snowdrop Walks where gardens are open for the welcome sight of drifts of snowdrops. Cherish your little darling and plant more now ready for next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • carolee says:

      Oh yes, I’ve seen them on your blog and others’ but I’ve just never seen them in person. Hopefully my little starts will become “a quantity” eventually!

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  4. Artisan says:

    Not sure I can help much – our garden is full of snowdrops and crocuses every February, but we inherited them all from the previous occupant of our house. No, they don’t get bigger over time, but yes, we seem to find more of them in the garden every year. And size isn’t everything!

    If you ever happen to be in northern England in Februrary, a “must see” site is the snowdrop walk at Howick Hall (https://howickhallgardens.com/things-to-see-do-at-howick-hall-gardens/howick-hall-gardens/snowdrop-walks-around-howick-hall-gardens/). When we lived in Northumberland we used to visit every year.

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    • carolee says:

      How lovely to have Snowdrop walks nearby! I don’t normally visit England early in the year, but maybe sometime I will. Two inches seems very dainty though, unless one is a fairy!

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  5. Author says:

    Tiny but beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on your new baby, Carol! I’ve not grown snowdrops, either, but I grew up with them in my mother’s garden.

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  7. Amy Rich says:

    That is a very odd snowdrop, indeed. All the snowdrops I have came from a clump I dug from a lot where a farmhouse was torn down, so I’ve never purchased any. I’ve been tempted to get some, though, because I’ve seen some fancier kinds. None are 1″ tall, though.

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  8. Achies says:

    It is very cute. Mine are about 6 inches but it does depend on the variety. You can get taller and shorter varieties than mine. And as others have said they will bulk up and spread over time. Such a delight to see them at the end of a cold winter.

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  9. 😀 oh dear… but it’s very sweet and dainty.
    I planted mine as dry bulbs ordered online about 10 years ago. I don’t recall if they flowered in the first year at all. They’ve formed clumps since and flower nicely each year, usually even before the daffodils.

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    • carolee says:

      Yes, these are early…just after the first crocus and before the first winter aconite (which opened today 3/9. The daffodil foliage is only about 3″ tall here, but changing quickly now that it’s warmer and sunny.

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  10. I can’t be much help Carolee as the snowdrops I have were in the garden here when we arrived but I too had heard that it is best to lift them from someone else’s garden as the flowers fade and replant them is similar conditions. Just thinking about where I see them growing wild they seem to like rather shady spots under deciduous trees and on North facing hedge banks or where they are surrounded by taller grass – places where they get some sun in early spring but then have shade though the summer.

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  11. I don’t have a great deal of luck with mine, a clump in the green given to me by my mother-in-law. I get the impression from other bloggers that they do best in cool woodland conditions, with lots of leaf-mould and hummus like on a woodland floor. I’ve also seen them growing very well along damp steam banks. Do they grow in your local area? If not, your diminutive one might be considered a success!

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    • carolee says:

      I don’t see them in our area, actually. A friend in Ohio and one in Indianapolis have posted photos of theirs this spring but I don’t think they are common, so I’ll do as you suggest, and consider it a success! Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Catriona says:

    I had read that snowdrops grow much more successfully in groups. I think to do with their roots supporting each other in a network. I’m sure next year it’ll be happier!

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    • carolee says:

      I planted 10 bulbs fairly close under the little sumac tree. Today, I found two snowdrops blooming (same size as the first) clear around the house in the Front Island! Squirrel gardeners again…..

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  13. Garden Girl says:

    That is very sweet but it does seem a little small and maybe a bit yellow. No idea why though. Sorry!

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