Snowdrop Galanthus 'Greenfinch'

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


Galanthus 'Greenfinch' is commonly known as a variety of snowdrop. This delightful bulbous perennial plant is most recognized for its nodding, bell-shaped white flowers. Each flower features a single, pendulous bloom hanging from a slender, arching stalk, giving it a delicate and dainty appearance. The floral petals are pure white and they often have a distinctive green marking at the tips, which is a distinguishing trait of the 'Greenfinch' variety. The flowers have a simplicity that is greatly admired in late winter to early spring gardens when not much else is in bloom. The foliage of the snowdrop 'Greenfinch' is also noteworthy. It consists of slender, erect, basal leaves that are a bright green color, providing a fresh contrast to the white flowers and the often still-gray surroundings of late winter. These leaves are somewhat strappy in appearance and can gently arch over as they elongate. Overall, the snowdrop 'Greenfinch' presents a clean and refreshing look during a season when the garden is just beginning to wake from its winter dormancy.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Snowdrop, Common Snowdrop

    • Common names

      Galanthus 'Greenfinch'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Snowdrops, including the variety 'Greenfinch', contain compounds that are toxic to humans if ingested. The plant has alkaloids such as galantamine, which can cause symptoms if consumed in large enough quantities. The toxicity can manifest as gastrointestinal discomfort, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to more serious effects such as cardiac problems, confusion, and seizures. It is advisable not to eat any part of the snowdrop plant.

    • To pets

      Snowdrops are also toxic to pets, and symptoms of poisoning in animals are similar to those in humans. Ingestion of the plant can result in vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy in pets. In severe cases, it may cause seizures and cardiac issues. Care should be taken to keep snowdrop plants out of reach from pets to prevent accidental ingestion.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6-8 inches (15-20 cm)

    • Spread

      3-4 inches (7.5-10 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Galanthus 'Greenfinch', commonly known as the snowdrop, adds beauty to gardens with its delicate white blossoms particularly striking in winter landscapes.
    • Early Bloomer: One of the first flowers to bloom in late winter or early spring, providing a much-needed splash of color after the gray of winter.
    • Attracts Pollinators: Snowdrops can attract early-season pollinators such as bees to the garden, which is beneficial for plant pollination and overall garden health.
    • Low Maintenance: Snowdrops are generally easy to care for, requiring minimal maintenance once established in the right conditions.
    • Naturalizing: Galanthus 'Greenfinch' has the ability to naturalize, meaning it can spread and create larger displays over the years without much intervention.
    • Cold Tolerant: Snowdrops are hardy and can tolerate cold temperatures, making them excellent for gardens in colder climates.
    • Symbolism: Often associated with hope and the arrival of spring, adding symbolic value to gardens where they are planted.
    • Companion Planting: Due to their early bloom time, snowdrops can be effectively paired with other spring bulbs and perennials to create diverse and layered garden designs.

  • 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

    • Naturalizing in Lawns: Planting snowdrops like 'Greenfinch' in lawns can create a naturalized look. They often bloom before lawn grass starts to grow vigorously in the spring, allowing them to stand out.
    • Companion Planting: Snowdrops can be planted under deciduous trees or shrubs. Their flowering time often coincides with the dormant period of such plants, providing color when most of the garden is still asleep.
    • Collectors' Specimen: Due to its unique characteristics, such as the green markings on the flowers, 'Greenfinch' can be cultivated by enthusiasts as a collector's item, particularly appealing to those interested in rare or distinctive bulb varieties.
    • Early Pollinator Support: Snowdrops are among the first flowers to bloom in late winter to early spring and can provide an important nectar source for pollinators that are active during this period.
    • Cut Flowers: Although they are small, snowdrops can be used in tiny cut-flower arrangements or "posies," adding a delicate touch to indoor decor.
    • Fall Planting Education: 'Greenfinch' can be used as an educational example to teach gardening enthusiasts about fall bulb planting, as they require planting in fall for a spring display.
    • Art and Photography Subjects: The unique beauty of snowdrops makes them attractive subjects for botanical art, watercolor painting, and garden photography.
    • Garden Design Marker: Snowdrops can be used to define garden pathways or border edges since they are small and low to the ground, thus providing a subtle outline to garden beds before other plants emerge.
    • Floral Emblem: In some cultural contexts, snowdrops represent purity and the onset of spring, and can thus be used symbolically in celebrations or as gifts.
    • Craft Projects: The small bulbs and flowers of snowdrops can be incorporated into craft projects, such as making miniature fairy gardens or seasonal table centerpieces.

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, commonly known as snowdrop, often blooms in late winter or early spring, sometimes even pushing through snow. This has made it a symbol of hope as it heralds the coming of spring and the end of dark, cold days.
    • Purity: The snowdrop's crisp, clean white flowers symbolize purity and innocence, which is why it’s often associated with the Virgin Mary in Christian symbolism and used in religious ceremonies.
    • Consolation or Comfort: In the language of flowers, a snowdrop can be a symbol of comfort to someone who is grieving or sadden, as it brings the promise that winter will eventually give way to the growth and warmth of spring.
    • New Beginnings: Because it is one of the first flowers to emerge after winter, the snowdrop is associated with new beginnings and rebirth, making it a powerful symbol for starting fresh or embracing new chapters in life.

Every two weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3 years
Early spring
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Snowdrops require consistent moisture, especially during their active growth and bloom period in late winter and spring. Water snowdrops when the top inch of soil begins to feel dry, avoiding excessive watering that may lead to bulb rot. Generally, snowdrops may need about 1 inch of water per week, depending on the climate and weather conditions. It's best to water deeply rather than frequently, ensuring the entire root zone is hydrated. During the summer, when the plant is dormant, reduce watering significantly or rely on natural rainfall, unless conditions are unusually dry.

  • sunLight

    Snowdrops thrive in partial to full shade, making them ideal for planting under deciduous trees or in areas that receive dappled sunlight. These conditions mimic their natural woodland habitat. While they can tolerate some morning sunlight, they should be protected from the harsh afternoon sun to prevent the foliage from scorching. A north-facing garden that gets indirect light is also a suitable spot for snowdrops to flourish.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Snowdrops prefer cool to cold climates and are well-suited to USDA Hardiness Zones 3 through 8. They can survive temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit during dormancy and can handle winter frosts and snow. The ideal temperature range for active growth is between 35 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Warmer climates may not provide the necessary chill period required for snowdrops to bloom properly.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning snowdrops is generally not necessary, as they are small and have a tidy growth habit. After flowers fade, it's beneficial to leave the foliage in place until it naturally dies back, allowing the plant to photosynthesize and store energy for the next season. If leaves or flowers become brown or damaged, they can be gently removed at the base to maintain a clean appearance. The best time to remove spent foliage is when it turns yellow and begins to wither, typically in late spring or early summer.

  • broomCleaning

    Not needed

  • bambooSoil

    Snowdrops like Galanthus 'Greenfinch' thrive in rich, well-draining soil with a mixture of loam, sand, and organic matter, such as leaf mold or compost. The ideal pH range for snowdrops is neutral to slightly alkaline, around 6.0 to 7.5. Amending the soil with compost before planting can provide the nutrients these plants need to flourish.

  • plantRepotting

    Snowdrops like Galanthus 'Greenfinch' rarely need repotting as they prefer to naturalize and be left undisturbed. They are usually replanted only when the clumps become overcrowded, which is generally every 3 to 5 years.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Snowdrops like Galanthus 'Greenfinch' do well in the outdoor humidity levels found in their natural growing zones. They do not have specific humidity requirements, but they thrive in environments that mimic their native woodland settings.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place snowdrops in bright, indirect light, cool temps.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, well-draining soil, cool area.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Snowdrop 'Greenfinch' typically begins its lifecycle in late winter or early spring, emerging from bulbs as temperatures start to rise. During this growth stage, it produces narrow, green leaves and distinct nodding flowers characterized by their green markings. After flowering, the plant undergoes pollination, often facilitated by early-season insects attracted to its blooms. Following successful pollination, the flowers develop into seed capsules, which eventually mature and release seeds into the surrounding soil. As the above-ground foliage dies back in late spring, the plant enters a period of dormancy, where it conserves energy within the bulb. Underground, the bulb divides and multiplies, preparing for the next cycle of growth in the following winter or spring, thus continuing its perennial lifecycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early spring

    • The Galanthus 'Greenfinch', commonly known as the snowdrop, is most frequently propagated through the division of its bulbs. The best time to do so is after the leaves have died back, typically in late spring to early summer. To propagate snowdrops, one should carefully lift the clump of bulbs from the ground using a garden fork, ensuring minimal damage to the bulbs. The bulbs can then be gently separated by hand and replanted immediately at the same depth they were originally growing, which is usually about 3 inches (about 7.6 centimeters) deep, respecting their natural spacing. Replanting promptly helps reduce the stress on the bulbs and ensures a better chance for successful establishment in their new location.