Snowdrops: When Does a Bud Become a Bloom?

– Posted in: Snowdrops

You tell me: do I have blooms for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day?
Image of snowdrops which have dropped, but not opened
These snowdrops are the furtherest along of all that I have. They have “dropped”; that is, their buds are no longer pointing up, but have been released from their sheaths and are hanging from their pedicels.
Now these…
Image of fully opened snowdropsThese are unquestionably blooming snowdrops–but this photo was taken last year, at the end of March. None of this year’s snowdrops have opened: Image of snowdrop patch

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

Carol at May Dreams’ Gardens invites all garden bloggers to share what’s blooming in their garden once a month on the 15th. Visit her post to see what’s blooming in gardens around the world.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

What differentiates a bulb from a perennial plant is that the nourishment for the flower is stored within the bulb itself.…There is something miraculous about the way that a little grenade of dried up tissue can explode into a complete flower.

~Monty Don in The Complete Gardener pp. 142

Comments on this entry are closed.

tedb March 27, 2008, 8:10 pm

I had my first snowdrop open on the 1st day of spring here in western Wisconsin. A little later then usual but welcome none the less.

I’m always trying to push the ends of the seasons by trying to get blooms as early and late as possible. I count it as ‘in flower’ if it could be pollinated.


Kathy Purdy March 25, 2008, 7:44 pm

FarmDotr, I used to have a “cheat patch” on the southern side of our house, but they died out. I am going to follow Don’s advice and get some Galanthus elwesii to try again, because I have a small patch on the north side of the house that sprouts later than the ones pictured, but winds up blooming at the same time.

FarmDotr March 25, 2008, 2:34 pm

First blossoms here in NH too.
I have cheat patch at southern end of foundation.
The rest are still under 3 -4 feet of snow, YIKES!!

Pam/Digging March 22, 2008, 6:01 pm

I’m late to the party, kind of like your snowdrops. But yes! I’d definitely count them as blooms. In fact, they’re so pretty hanging downward like that, they may look better in bud than in bloom.

kate March 21, 2008, 5:37 pm

At this point, anything green outside looks good to me. You have a beautiful patch of Snowdrops!

Apple March 20, 2008, 10:34 am

The longer they last the better so I will be counting my buds – if the snow ever melts. My one snowdrop had me very excited last year. I hope it multiplied over the winter.

Kim March 18, 2008, 5:05 pm

It’s March, and you garden in a Cold Climate. They definitely count, no matter how open they are! šŸ™‚
(And I’m jealous.)

Muum March 17, 2008, 9:09 pm

Your snowdrops look great! thanks for sharing them.

Shady Gardener March 17, 2008, 9:08 pm

I say, “yes” they qualify. We’re all too ready for Spring to arrive to worry about details. šŸ˜‰ Beautiful grouping!!!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter March 17, 2008, 6:43 pm

They qualify for Bloom Day because they are in bud, but I don’t consider Snowdrops as being “in bloom” until the petals loosen up. (I use this measure because they don’t open wide until a sunny day.)

Ki March 17, 2008, 8:48 am

I took a picture of our meagre patch of snowdrops one morning and the flowers looked like the ones in your photo. Later that same day, when they finally got some afternoon sun, the flowers opened to reveal the inner reproductive parts.

I guess like crocus which also closes in the evening you could technically say that your snowdrops are blooming. They are beautiful in any stage especially for our winter weary eyes.

sherry March 17, 2008, 5:41 am

I think they count. Hey, in the north we gotta do what we gotta do! They will be just gorgeous in another couple of weeks, won’t they?

Nan Ondra March 16, 2008, 5:15 pm

Oh, sure – I’d say they definitely count, Kathy. After visiting dozens of Bloom Day posts over the last two days, I’ve seen everything from the tiniest crocus buds to roses and irises in full flower (those Austinites taunt us yet again) to blooming bougainvilleas and mango trees. It’s all good!

Robin at Bumblebee March 16, 2008, 5:13 pm

I planted some of these and those blasted squirrels and skunks managed to dig every single one up. No snowdrops for me.

But now that I see yours, I will have to plant some in cages next time to foil the beasts.

Robin at Bumblebee

kerri March 16, 2008, 4:20 pm

Kathy, it’s interesting to see that your snowdrops and mine are at the same stage. It won’t be long now, surely!
You do have a nice big display of them. I plan to move more of mine and start some new clumps this spring. I’ve done a little of this in the past, but spring is such a busy season and the job mostly gets overlooked. I know I can do it any time before winter, so maybe this year I will!
We had light snow falling this morning, but it’s bright and sunny this afternoon, although the cold wind is keeping me indoors.

Kathy Purdy March 16, 2008, 3:58 pm

Don, look back at this post for a long view of the snowdrop patch. You’ll have to click on the photo to get the full effect.

Don March 16, 2008, 3:19 pm

Kathy… you REALLY have a nice clump, and with the single green mark on the petal, they probably are nivalis, the late snowdrop. Git yerself some elwesii (though your nivalis are well worth waiting for)! I’m looking forward to seeing them all open.

jodi March 16, 2008, 3:16 pm

I’d call those blooms, Kathy…they’re sure closer to blooming than mine are (which are still sleeping under snow….)

steve March 16, 2008, 2:39 pm

I must add those if we can get them to grow here they are the best indication I know that spring is in the air, and they are so wonderful to look at


Carol, May Dreams Gardens March 16, 2008, 2:31 pm

When indeed is a bud a bloom? Is that one of those questions that gardeners will debate and debate and never agree on an answer?

But even the buds are pretty and are better than snow on the ground.

Thanks for joining in for bloom day!

Gail March 16, 2008, 1:27 pm

They are beautiful and I have added them to my ‘Must Have” list.


Genie March 16, 2008, 12:58 pm

They’re beautiful!