While you can buy and plant dry bulbs in autumn, snowdrops are best planted 'in the green' (in leaf) in February. Once planted, they will establish more quickly and reliably than dry bulbs.


Planting snowdrops in the green is an excellent way to establish large drifts of these beautiful late winter flowers cheaply. They look beautiful planted with pink Cyclamen coum or yellow aconites, which flower at around the same time.

Snowdrops in the green

Snowdrops in the green
© Veronica Peerless

Snowdrops in the green are plants that have been dug up after they have flowered, in leaf, for planting immediately. They are usually available in February, online or by mail order, and should be planted as soon as they arrive so that they don’t dry out.

Snowdrops in the green are sold in bundles of 25 up to 1,000, and the more you buy, the cheaper they are.

Snowdrops sold for planting in the green are usually two commonly available types – Galanthus nivalis (with single flowers) and Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno' (with double flowers). You may also come across the larger Galanthus elwesii.

Other more sought after cultivars are also available in the green, but not in large quantities. If you are looking for an unusual snowdrop variety (some cultivars can fetch very high prices), you are better off visiting a specialist online supplier, snowdrop fair or even eBay – in 2022, a single snowdrop bulb sold for a record-busting £1,850.

Aconites, bluebells and lily of the valley, wood anemones and wild garlic can also be planted in the green.

Read our full guide to growing snowdrops.

How to plant snowdrops in the green

Snowdrops in the green
© Veronica Peerless
  • Plant your snowdrops in the green as soon as possible; if you can't do this, sprinkle them with a little water to keep them moist.
  • Choose a semi-shaded spot that doesn't dry out in summer – under a deciduous tree is ideal.
  • Enrich the soil a little if needed, by adding some homemade compost or leaf mould.
  • The snowdrops come in a bundle – separate them out into their separate bulbs and stems.
  • Plant each snowdrop individually, at the same depth as it was growing before – the white part of the stem should be underground. Space the plants at least 10cm apart, but don't be too rigid about this – you want them to look natural. Use a trowel, small dibber or small bulb planter.
  • Once clumps are established in a few years, you can then lift and divide them after flowering and transplant them around the garden.

Where to buy snowdrops in the green

The Ditch at East Lambrook Manor, carpeted with snowdrops
The Ditch at East Lambrook Manor, carpeted with snowdrops © Jason Ingram

Boston Bulbs

Offers three types of snowdrop in the green for sale – Galanthus nivalis, Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno' and the larger Galanthus elwesii – in bundles of 25, 50, 100, 250, 500 and 1000.


Gee Tee Bulbs

Sells Galanthus nivalis, Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno' and Galanthus elwesii in packs of 50.


Peter Nyssen

This respected bulb supplier sells two types of snowdrop in the green, Galanthus nivalis and Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno' in bundles of 50 or 250.


Landlife Wildflowers

Sells Galanthus nivalis in bundles of 25, 100, 250 and 1,000.


J. Parker's

Sells Galanthus nivalis in packs of 15.


Sarah Raven

Sells Galanthus nivalis in the green, in bundles of 25, 50 and 100.


Ashridge Trees

Sells Galanthus nivalis in bundles of 25.




Veronica Peerless is a trained horticulturalist and garden designer.