Giant snowdrop Galanthus elwesii 'Deer Slot'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
greater snowdrop 'Deer Slot'
greater snowdrop 'Deer Slot'
greater snowdrop 'Deer Slot'
greater snowdrop 'Deer Slot'
greater snowdrop 'Deer Slot'
greater snowdrop 'Deer Slot'
greater snowdrop 'Deer Slot'
greater snowdrop 'Deer Slot'
greater snowdrop 'Deer Slot'
greater snowdrop 'Deer Slot'
greater snowdrop 'Deer Slot'


The Galanthus elwesii 'Deer Slot', commonly known as the Giant Snowdrop, is a distinctive plant known for its charming and delicate flowers. Early in the year, it is one of the first plants to bloom, often poking through the last remnants of winter snow. The Giant Snowdrop's flowers are nodding and teardrop-shaped, with three outer petals that are pure white and much larger than the inner petals. The inner petals contrast with the outer ones by displaying a green marking at the tip, which can be either a simple spot or a more intricate pattern that resembles an inverted heart or a 'V' shape; this is a defining characteristic of the 'Deer Slot' variety. The foliage consists of slender, green, strap-shaped leaves that emanate from the base of the plant, creating a tufted cluster. These leaves can have a faint silvery-green stripe down the center, which further accentuates their delicate appearance. Giant Snowdrops have sturdy yet slender flower stems that hold the blooms aloft, allowing for easy viewing of the unique markings on the inner petals. The plant's overall demeanor is one of simplistic elegance, and its pure white blooms provide a lovely contrast against the sleepy garden backdrop of late winter to early spring. It is this immaculate charm and the promise of spring that makes the Giant Snowdrop a coveted treasure for garden enthusiasts and a delightful harbinger of the warmer days to come.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Giant Snowdrop, Elwes' Snowdrop, Greater Snowdrop

    • Common names

      Galanthus elwesii 'Deer Slot'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Galanthus elwesii, commonly known as the Giant snowdrop, has compound in it that can be poisonous to humans if ingested. The plant contains alkaloids including galantamine, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain if large quantities of the plant are consumed. More severe poisoning can lead to neurological symptoms such as confusion, tremors, and possibly seizures. Handling the plant can sometimes cause skin irritation due to the presence of these alkaloids.

    • To pets

      Giant snowdrop is also toxic to pets if ingested. Similar to humans, the alkaloids present in the plant, particularly galantamine, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain in pets. In more severe cases, animals may experience altered heart rhythms, tremors, seizures, and neurological symptoms. It is particularly important to keep pets away from the plant as they may not be able to communicate symptoms as clearly as humans.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6-8 inches (15-20 cm)

    • Spread

      3 inches (7.5 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Early flowering: Galanthus elwesii 'Deer Slot', also known as the Giant Snowdrop, blooms early in the year, bringing colour to gardens when few other plants are flowering.
    • Aesthetic appeal: The delicate, bell-shaped white flowers add a subtle charm to winter landscapes.
    • Pollinator attraction: Snowdrops provide an early source of nectar for bees and other pollinators emerging in late winter or early spring.
    • Low maintenance: Once established, they require minimal care and can thrive in a variety of soil types.
    • Naturalizing: The Giant Snowdrop can spread and naturalize in an area over time, creating larger displays of blooms each year.
    • Cold hardiness: It is tolerant of cold winter temperatures and can survive in cold climates.
    • Pest resistance: Generally resistant to most pests and diseases, making it a robust addition to the garden.
    • Drought resistance: Once established, it can tolerate periods of dryness with minimal impact.
    • Ground cover: When planted in groups, it can serve as an effective ground cover, preventing weed growth and protecting the soil.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Snowdrop bulbs can be employed in the art of bulb forcing, where they are artificially prompted to grow and bloom indoors during winter months for decorative purposes.
    • The crushed snowdrop bulbs were traditionally used as an adhesive, especially for fixing feathers to arrows because of their sticky sap.
    • Galanthus elwesii 'Deer Slot', specifically, can be used in winter gardens to provide interest during the coldest months, with its flowering arguably being a form of living mulch that suppresses weeds.
    • The plant has utility in landscape design to create 'drifts of color’, mimicking natural colonization that can serve as a precursor to spring for anticipating gardeners.
    • They can be used as a natural pest deterrent. The foliage has a property that is unappealing to rodents and other pests, which can protect nearby vulnerable plants.
    • During historical times, substances from snowdrops were used to treat polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, as they are believed to produce compounds that can degrade these pollutants.
    • They are sometimes intertwined with cultural and literary themes and can be incorporated in garden designs that have storytelling or symbolic elements.
    • Snowdrops can be used in ceremonial plantings, where they symbolize purity and the return of happiness, and are planted at events or in memory of a person.
    • Galanthus elwesii 'Deer Slot' can be a source of winter nectar and pollen for early foraging bees when little else is available in the garden.
    • As an educational tool, they can be included in botanical studies and nature programs for children, teaching about plant life cycles and early bloomers.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Snowdrop is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Snowdrop is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Purity: Galanthus, commonly known as snowdrop, often symbolizes purity because of its white blossoms that stand out in the winter landscape, conveying a sense of cleanliness and innocence.
    • Hope: Snowdrops are among the first flowers to bloom at the end of winter, representing hope and the promise of new beginnings as spring approaches.
    • Consolation: The delicate appearance of snowdrops offers a sense of comfort, making them a symbol of consolation or solace in trying times.
    • Resilience: Despite their fragile look, snowdrops are hardy plants that can persevere through the cold winter, symbolizing the human spirit's resilience in the face of adversity.

When soil is dry
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Giant Snowdrop should be watered moderately during its active growth phase in the fall and winter, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged. During its dormancy after flowering, the watering frequency should be reduced. Generally, providing about 1 inch of water once a week should suffice, but this can vary depending on climate conditions. It is best to check the top inch of soil for dryness and water accordingly. One should avoid overhead watering to prevent water from settling on the foliage and potentially causing fungal diseases.

  • sunLight

    The Giant Snowdrop thrives in dappled sunlight or part shade. It is best positioned where it receives morning light but is protected from the harsh afternoon sun. The ideal location would be under deciduous trees or shrubs where it can benefit from the filtered light.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Giant Snowdrop can tolerate winter temperatures down to about 5°F, but it prefers cooler climates ranging between 35°F to 50°F. The plant may not perform well if the temperature remains consistently above 70°F.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning is not typically required for the Giant Snowdrop. If spent flowers or yellowing leaves are present, they can be snipped off at the base to maintain a neat appearance. The best time for any cleanup would be after the foliage has naturally died back in late spring.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Giant Snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii 'Deer Slot') thrives in a well-draining soil mix rich in organic matter with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. A good mix can be composed of loam, peat, and perlite or coarse sand to ensure adequate drainage while retaining moisture.

  • plantRepotting

    Giant Snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii 'Deer Slot') should be repotted every 2-3 years or when they become overcrowded. Repotting is best done after the foliage dies back, typically in late spring or early summer.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Giant Snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii 'Deer Slot') prefer average household humidity levels and do not require overly humid conditions. They can tolerate the humidity found in most temperate climates without any special adjustments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Keep in a cool spot with indirect light.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, well-drained soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Giant snowdrop 'Deer Slot' begins its life cycle as a bulb, typically planted in the fall before the first frost. The bulb lies dormant underground throughout the winter, with the cold period acting as a necessary phase for vernalization. As spring approaches, the temperature rise triggers the bulb to sprout, sending up a shoot along with strap-shaped, gray-green leaves. Shortly afterward, the distinctive white, drooping, bell-shaped flowers of the giant snowdrop bloom, often while snow is still on the ground. After flowering, which occurs in late winter to early spring, the plant will set seed, but it primarily reproduces and spreads through bulb offsets. As the warmer late spring and summer months set in, the foliage dies back, and the plant returns to dormancy until the next cycle begins.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method of propagation for the Snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii 'Deer Slot') is by dividing the bulb clumps. This is ideally done when the plants are dormant, from late spring to early summer, after the leaves have yellowed. To propagate, carefully dig up the clump of bulbs and gently separate them by hand, making sure that each division has at least one bulb with its roots intact. Once divided, the bulbs should be immediately replanted at a depth of about 3 inches (approximately 8 centimeters) and spaced around 3 inches apart to allow room for growth. Water the new plantings well to help establish them. This method is highly effective as it maintains the genetic clone of the parent plant, ensuring that the distinctive characteristics of the 'Deer Slot' variety are preserved.