Snowdrop Galanthus 'Galatea'

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


The Galanthus 'Galatea', commonly known as a variety of Snowdrop, is a captivating perennial plant that charms with its elegant flowers. These blooms, typically appearing when few other plants do, are a classic symbol of the late winter to early spring transition. Each flower comprises three outer petals that are pristine white, like a crisp, freshly fallen snow. These are gracefully arching and encase the shorter inner petals that often have distinctive green markings. The interior petals are unique, with their tips resembling either a 'V' or 'U' shape, endowing each blossom with its own character. The foliage of the Snowdrop 'Galatea' is a fresh, vibrant green, providing a striking contrast to the white flowers. The leaves are slender and strappy, forming a tuft at the base from which the flower stems rise. These stems are straight and sturdy, though they give off a delicate impression due to the dainty hanging flowers perched at their apex. A clump of the Snowdrop 'Galatea' makes a delightful ground cover when in bloom, with a verdant carpet of leaves interspersed with the nodding white flowers. This plant has a refined aesthetic that can add a touch of serene beauty to any garden scene, heralding the end of the cold season with its charming blossoms.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Snowdrop, Common Snowdrop, Fair Maid of February, Candlemas Bells, White Ladies.

    • Common names

      Galanthus 'Galatea'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant in question, commonly known as snowdrop, does contain alkaloids such as galantamine which can be toxic if ingested. Snowdrop toxicity typically results in symptoms that may include gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to more serious effects such as dizziness, confusion, or irregular heart rhythms. It is important to handle this plant with care and ensure that it is not consumed by humans, especially children who may be attracted to its flowers.

    • To pets

      Regarding pets, the snowdrop is also toxic to animals if ingested. The alkaloids that can cause toxicity in humans, like galantamine, are similarly toxic to pets. Signs of snowdrop poisoning in pets may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, ataxia (loss of coordination), and seizures in severe cases. If you suspect your pet has ingested snowdrop, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately to mitigate the potential consequences of the toxicity.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-6 inches (10-15 cm)

    • Spread

      3 inches (7.5 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ecosystem support – Galanthus 'Galatea', commonly known as snowdrop, provides nectar and pollen for early-season pollinators such as bees when few other plants are flowering.
    • Aesthetic appeal – Snowdrops have delicate bell-shaped white flowers that can enhance the beauty of winter and early spring gardens.
    • Easy to grow – Snowdrops are relatively easy to cultivate, adaptable to various soil types, and require minimal care once established.
    • Naturalizing – Snowdrops can spread over time to form naturalized drifts, creating a charming carpet of white blooms that can thrive under deciduous trees and in shaded areas.
    • Low maintenance – These plants are generally not demanding, requiring little attention once they are settled in the right location.
    • Early flowering – As one of the first flowers to bloom in late winter or early spring, snowdrops signal the end of the cold season and the start of spring rejuvenation.
    • Wildlife-friendly – Snowdrops can form part of a wildlife-friendly garden, providing early forage for pollinators and contributing to biodiversity.
    • Resilience – Snowdrops are hardy plants that can survive in cold climates and push through snow, showcasing the resilience of nature.

  • 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 used as a starch substitute. The bulbs contain a type of starch that can be used in cooking as a thickening agent.
    • These plants are sometimes used in perfumery for their delicate scent. Galanthus 'Galatea', like some other snowdrops, gives off a gentle fragrance that perfumers may utilize in specific fragrance compositions.
    • They can act as a "lunar garden" addition. With their white blooms, snowdrops are an excellent addition to gardens designed to be enjoyed in the evening or under moonlight where they can seem to glow.
    • Ground temperature indicators. Snowdrops can sometimes be used by gardeners to gauge the soil temperature, as they bloom when the ground starts to warm up in spring.
    • Snowdrops can serve as pest deterring plants. While not a primary use, their presence can sometimes repel certain rodents because of their toxic properties.
    • Garden aesthetics and art. Artists and photographers might utilize the pattern and aesthetics of snowdrops in their work, particularly in the representation of early spring.
    • They are an early pollen source for bees. Snowdrops can provide essential early-spring nutrition for pollinators, an unusual role for a plant that is often just appreciated for its beauty.
    • Symbolic uses in literature and art. Snowdrops often symbolize purity and the transition from winter to spring, and are used in poems, stories, and visual arts to convey these themes.
    • In floristry, the flowers of Galanthus 'Galatea' are sometimes included in bridal bouquets to signify new beginnings and the return of happiness.
    • Use in educational settings to teach plant life cycles. Because of their distinctive growth cycle and emergence in the late winter to early spring, snowdrops can be used to teach about plant biology and adaptation.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Snowdrop is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Snowdrop is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Hope: Galanthus 'Galatea', commonly known as snowdrop, often symbolizes hope because it is one of the first flowers to bloom at the end of winter, heralding the arrival of spring.
    • Purity: The snowdrop's white color is frequently associated with purity and innocence, making it an emblem of these virtues.
    • Consolation: In some cultures, the snowdrop represents consolation or comfort, possibly due to its emergence when the landscape is still bare and in need of life.
    • New Beginnings: Snowdrops are often seen as a symbol of new beginnings and renewal, as they are a sign that the earth is waking up from its winter sleep.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Spring-early summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Snowdrop 'Galatea' should be watered sparingly as they prefer moist but not waterlogged soil. During active growth in late winter and spring, water once a week with approximately 16 ounces per square foot. Make sure to water the ground directly, avoiding wetting the foliage. Once the plant goes dormant in summer, reduce watering significantly and only water if the soil becomes very dry.

  • sunLight

    Snowdrops 'Galatea' thrive best in partial shade to full sun. They perform well when planted under deciduous trees, receiving early spring sunlight before the trees gain their leaves, and then dappled shade thereafter. They should not be placed in intense, direct sunlight as this can harm the delicate blooms.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Snowdrops 'Galatea' are hardy and adapt well to cool temperatures, thriving in an environment between 35°F and 65°F. They can survive winter chills down to 10°F, and typically emerge from snow cover unharmed. It is important to plant them in areas where temperatures do not often drop below this range.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning snowdrops 'Galatea' involves removing spent flowers and yellowing foliage to maintain an attractive appearance. Pruning is seldom needed, but if desired, do so after the flowers have faded and the leaves have yellowed, typically in late spring. There is no need for regular cutting back as they are small and maintain their form naturally.

  • broomCleaning

    Not needed

  • bambooSoil

    Snowdrops prefer well-draining soil rich in organic matter with a soil pH of 6.5-7.0. A mix of loamy soil, compost, and perlite or sand is ideal for Galanthus 'Galatea'.

  • plantRepotting

    Snowdrops, including Galanthus 'Galatea', are perennial bulbs and do not need repotting. They naturalize and propagate via bulb offsets and should be divided only when clumps become overcrowded, generally every 3 to 5 years.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Snowdrops like Galanthus 'Galatea' are tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels and do not require any special humidity considerations when grown outdoors in their appropriate hardiness zones.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light with cool temperatures.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, well-draining soil, keep cool and moist.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Snowdrop 'Galatea' begins its life cycle when a bulb planted in the soil breaks dormancy in late winter or early spring, sending up shoots that will develop into slender, erect stems. The stems bear the delicate, bell-shaped white flowers that are characteristic of snowdrops, with each petal showing a green mark. After flowering, the plant will produce narrow, linear leaves that engage in photosynthesis and accumulate energy, which is stored back in the bulb for the next season. As spring progresses, the foliage dies back, and the plant enters a period of dormancy through the summer months. During the dormancy, the bulb remains underground, resting until the cooler temperatures of the next late winter or early spring trigger the growth cycle anew. This cycle continues annually, with the plant potentially spreading and naturalizing through seed dispersal or bulb division over time.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-early summer

    • The most popular method of propagating the Snowdrop 'Galatea' is by dividing its bulbs, commonly done in the plant's dormant period, which is typically during late spring to early summer after the leaves have yellowed and died back. To propagate, carefully dig up clumps of bulbs and gently separate them, making sure each section has at least one growing point. Replant the bulbs immediately at the same depth they were previously, which is usually about 3 inches (approximately 7.6 centimeters), and spaced approximately 3 inches apart to allow room for growth. Water the newly planted bulbs well to help establish them and ensure successful growth in the following season. This division technique helps to maintain the health of the bulbs and increase your Snowdrop 'Galatea' collection efficiently.