6 steps to learn how to divide them correctly!

snowdrops in nature and in the snow
© istock

1. Pick up a clump of snowdrops

Between flowering and the time when the foliage begins to yellow, i.e. when the snowdrops are still in full vegetation, dig up a clump using a spade fork. They suffer little from this move, and recover more quickly and more reliably.

2. Gently divide your snowdrops

Proceed by hand, tuft by tuft, making sure to break as few roots as possibleuntil you obtain “bouquets” of 5 or 6 flowers.

The simplest thing is to save the soil around the bulbs and replant them as is. But it is also possible to keep only the largest and most flowering bulbs.

3. Find the right place

Snowdrops like soils rich in organic matter, shade or partial shade. Place them near hellebores or lungworts, at the foot of shrubs and hedges in holes 7 to 70 cm deep at the bottom of which you have thrown a handful of leaf compost.

4 Replant your snowdrops

As soon as the clods are divided, replace them at the same depth as before, or under approximately 5 cm of soil. In light soil that dries out quickly, snowdrops, like all undergrowth bulbs, appreciate deeper planting, up to 7 or 8 cm.

5. Pack the earth

Pack on the surface first and by hand, around each tuft then, in depth, watering at the neck. It is useless to feel the faded flowers but essential to leave the foliage, even if it begins to turn yellow, so that it accumulates nutrient reserves.

6. Mulch

Protect your snowdrops under a layer of dead leaves, especially if they are planted in light soil. This mulch will guarantee them humidity which may be lacking in spring and which would be enough to doom flowering the following year. As it finishes decomposing, it will also provide them with the nutrients they love.

Monitoring and maintenance after dividing your snowdrops

After following these six essential steps, consider monitor the growth and health of your snowdrops during the weeks following division and replanting.

During this period :

  • Make sure that the soil remains moist but not saturated (too much water could cause the bulbs to rot).
  • If you have planted your snowdrops in a location that receives too much direct sunlight or if weather conditions are warmer than normal, consider adding temporary shade to protect young shoots and promote good recovery.
  • Finally, don’t be impatient if flowering seems less vigorous the year after division. It is common for snowdrops to take a season to fully acclimate to their new location before flowering profusely.
  • Continue to provide regular care, in particular by enriching the soil with compost or leaf mold in autumn, to support their development and encourage spectacular flowering in subsequent years. The success of these delicate early season flowers lies in patience and attention to their well-being.

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