Snowdrop: how to grow it and the meaning of the flower

Snowdrop: how to grow it and the meaning of the flower

Symbol of life and hope, the snowdrop it is a flower that immediately arouses pleasant sensations and that brings to mind the whiteness and tenderness of a late winter day. The scientific name of the plant is “Galathus nivalis“. It is part of the family of Amaryllidaceae.

It is a flower that blooms at the end of the cold season, between January and February, for this reason it embodies in itself the sense of rebirth and, more generally, the expected and happy return of Spring.

The snowdrop is one bulbous perennial In Italy it grows spontaneously (wild snowdrop) at the most disparate altitudes, but we can also choose to grow it in pots or in the garden, to bring a touch of whiteness into the home.

In this article we will see how to grow the snowdropseeing what the hidden meaning of this simple but beautiful map is.

Characteristics of the plant

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Perennial plant with bulb (also known as bulbous geophyte), the snowdrop adorns itself with flowers and leaves every year. The snowdrop flower has a delicate white color with green shades, is formed by three petals and has the classic bell shaped.

The plant has a height of no more than 20 centimeters, so it is quite small, although some varieties of snowdrops, such as those from Asia, may be larger.

When do snowdrops bloom?

As anticipated, the plant blooms in the first months of the year, between January and February, when the small white flowers begin to peep out of the ground.

Where are snowdrops found?

Ma where to find snowdrop flowers? These plants prefer the shady areasand mostly grow spontaneously in the undergrowth of Northern Italy, even at 1500 meters above sea level.

You can also find snowdrops in meadows, in particularly shaded areas and away from direct sun.

In Southern Italy, the plant grows only in high mountain areas.

Etymology of the name

The scientific name of the plant, Galanthus nivalis, derives from the Greek “gala”, white as milk, “anthos”, flower and “nivalis”, in the snow, refers precisely to the whiteness of the small flower, which often peeps out in the most cold of the year.

Precisely for this reason, the plant is known with the name of “Morning Star”, As it is the first flower that blooms when the ground is still covered with snow and the new year begins.

Cultivation of the plant

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We have seen that the snowdrop grows spontaneously in many areas of Italy, however, it is also possible to devote oneself to the cultivation of this delicate and simple plant.

The beauty of the snowdrop is that it can be grown even by those who do not have a green thumb. The plant, in fact, requires little attention, as long as the basic needs are met, which essentially concern one correct exposure it’s a’adequate watering.

But let’s see what you need to know to grow snowdrops in pots or in the garden.

Ideal location and temperature

Since it is a winter plant, the snowdrop prefers the Fresh weather. The ideal location is in the shade. The plant can be reached by the sun’s rays for a short time during the day.

The choice of land

Able to adapt to different types of ground, the snowdrop has no particular requirements regarding the choice of soil. Certainly it will be better to opt for a rich base nutrients. The plant can be grown both in pots and in the garden, where you can dig a hole twice as deep as the bulb diameter and insert a few bulbs into the hole. Cover and wait for the magic to happen.

To enrich the soil, you can fertilize using a slow release fertilizer a normal liquid fertilizer to add to the water you use to water your plants.

When to plant snowdrop bulbs?

When to plant snowdrop bulbs? The ideal would be to choose to bury the bulbs between September and Decemberthat is when the temperatures are no longer so high as to risk damaging the development of the plant.

How much water to give the plant?

One of the points in favor of the snowdrop is that this plant does not require special attention as regards irrigation. In the vegetative rest phase, therain waterwhile in spring you can water the plant regularly, but being careful to avoid water stagnation.

Check that the soil is dry between irrigations to avoid rot and other root damage.

How to multiply snowdrops?

As for the multiplication of the plant, the procedure is quite simple. In fact, you could simply dig up the bulbs, clean them up and replant them when the time is right, or alternatively you can do absolutely nothing and let Mother Nature take care of everything.

Diseases and possible problems

Although it is a rather resistant plant to adversity, the snowdrop also needs a little extra protection from any pests and diseases.

For example, too many irrigations could cause root rotwhile the plant could be attacked by the so-called gray mold or botrytis, a fungus that can make the poor unfortunate wither quickly.

Plant toxicity

You have probably heard that snowdrop is a beneficial plant for health. Although it contains within it a substance called galantaminean alkaloid extracted from the bulb capable of fighting the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia, it is important to emphasize that the plant can be toxic for humans and animals.

Any ingestion could cause nausea, vomiting and gastrointestinal disturbances.

Snowdrop: meaning

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What does the snowdrop flower symbolize? Due to its ability to bloom at the end of the cold season, the flower is considered a symbol of rebirth and hope. The snowdrop also symbolizes virtue, purity and life. According to legend, the snowdrop flower is connected to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden.

It is said that when the two were punished and exiled from the earthly paradise, a snowdrop flower blossomed in front of Eve’s eyes, as a symbol of hope for the future.

A very special festival has also been dedicated to the flower since 2007, lo Scottish Snowdrop Festivalwhich takes place in Scotland’s finest snowdrop gardens.


Source: GreenStyle by www.greenstyle.it.

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