Snowdrop Galanthus 'Imbolc'

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


Galanthus 'Imbolc', commonly known as the snowdrop, is a perennial flowering plant that blooms early, often while snow is still on the ground. The snowdrop typically has two to three slender, green leaves that emerge from a bulb. Each plant produces a single flower, which is held on a slender stalk just above the foliage. The flower itself is delicate and nodding, with three outer petals that are pure white and much longer than the inner petals. The inner petals are also white, but they are shorter and often have distinctive green markings. Snowdrops are known for their bell-shaped flowers, which have an elegant and simple appearance. The inner and outer petals together create a harmonious contrast that is both graceful and charming. Overall, the appearance of the snowdrop is one of purity and resilience, signalling the first whispers of spring.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Snowdrop, Common Snowdrop, Milk Flower

    • Common names

      Galanthus 'Imbolc'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant known as Snowdrop (Galanthus 'Imbolc') contains compounds that are toxic to humans. While generally not considered highly poisonous, ingesting any part of the Snowdrop can possibly cause symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, and abdominal pain. Contact with the plant's sap may also cause skin irritation in some individuals. If large quantities of the plant are eaten, the alkaloid content can lead to more severe symptoms including convulsions and significant gastrointestinal distress.

    • To pets

      Snowdrop (Galanthus 'Imbolc') is also toxic to pets, such as cats and dogs. Ingesting this plant can lead to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, ingestion could result in changes in heart rate, breathing difficulties, and seizures. Given the potential for these serious side effects, it is advisable to keep the Snowdrop plant out of reach of pets.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 inches (15 cm)

    • Spread

      4 inches (10 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Early Blooming: The Snowdrop 'Imbolc' typically flowers in late winter or early spring, offering an early burst of life and color during the colder months.
    • Pest Resistant: Snowdrops are generally resistant to pests, reducing the need for chemical interventions in the garden.
    • Drought Tolerant: Once established, Snowdrops can tolerate periods of drought, making them suitable for a variety of climates.
    • Low Maintenance: Snowdrops require minimal maintenance, making them an ideal choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.
    • Naturalizing: Snowdrop 'Imbolc' bulbs multiply and spread over time, creating a naturalized look in the landscape without much effort.
    • Attractive to Pollinators: Early-blooming snowdrops provide a valuable food source for bees and other pollinators emerging in the spring.
    • Cold Hardy: Snowdrops are hardy plants that can survive cold winter temperatures, making them suitable for cooler climates.
    • Ground Cover: When planted in groups, Snowdrops can form a carpet of green and white, serving as an effective ground cover.

  • 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 'Imbolc' bulbs can be used as a natural pest deterrent by planting them near vulnerable plants, as certain pests are averse to their compounds.
    • The crushed bulbs of Snowdrops may sometimes be applied to the soil as a fungicide, owing to their natural antifungal properties.
    • Galanthus 'Imbolc' can serve as a "marker plant" to indicate the presence of other bulbs in a garden during dormant periods, preventing accidental disturbance.
    • Because of their early blooming, Snowdrops can be a useful tool for beekeeping, offering a critical early source of pollen for bees.
    • Snowdrop blossoms are edible and have been used as a garnish in fine cuisine, providing a delicate aesthetic touch to dishes.
    • Extract from Snowdrop flowers is sometimes used in perfumery to create unique floral scents.
    • The robust growth of Snowdrops can be employed in soil erosion control by stabilizing topsoil with their root network in vulnerable areas.
    • In artistic contexts, Snowdrops are used in pressed flower crafts for their distinct shape and lasting quality when dried.
    • Gardeners sometimes use the timing of Snowdrop 'Imbolc' flowering as a phenological indicator of other garden events or climate trends.
    • Snowdrops can play a role in environmental education, teaching about plant life cycles and adaptation to climates, due to their early blooming nature.

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: The snowdrop (common name for Galanthus 'Imbolc') typically symbolizes purity due to its bright white color, reminiscent of unblemished snow and innocence.
    • Hope: As one of the first flowers to bloom at the end of winter, snowdrops represent hope and the promise of new beginnings.
    • Consolation or Sympathy: In some cultural narratives, the delicate appearance of the snowdrop suggests comfort and is seen as a gesture of empathy towards those who are grieving.
    • Resilience: Snowdrops are known for their hardiness, often pushing through frozen soil and snow, symbolizing the plant's resilience and the ability to persevere through hardships.

When soil is dry
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Early Spring
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Snowdrops, including Galanthus 'Imbolc', require moist soil, especially during their growth period in late winter to spring. It is optimal to water them thoroughly, allowing the soil to become slightly dry between waterings. Roughly 1 gallon per square yard every week should suffice, depending on rainfall and soil drainage. During the dormant period in summer, watering can be reduced significantly. It's important not to overwater, as snowdrops are prone to bulb rot when subjected to waterlogged conditions.

  • sunLight

    Snowdrops prefer partial shade to full sun conditions. They thrive best under deciduous trees where they can receive dappled sunlight in spring before the trees fully leaf out. Direct harsh sunlight can be detrimental, so a spot that receives morning light with afternoon shade or a light all-day filtered sun is ideal.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Snowdrops are hardy and can withstand cold winter temperatures, often emerging when there's still snow on the ground. They can survive in temperatures as low as 10°F but perform best when the temperature range is between 30°F and 55°F. Avoid extreme heat, as temperatures consistently above 70°F could impact their growth cycles and dormancy periods.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning is not typically required for snowdrops. However, it's advisable to remove spent flowers to prevent the plant from expending energy on seed production. Trim these off at the stem base after flowering. Additionally, foliage should be left to die back naturally to allow nutrients to return to the bulbs for the next growing season. This usually occurs by late spring.

  • broomCleaning

    Not needed

  • bambooSoil

    Snowdrop 'Imbolc' thrives in well-draining soil enriched with organic matter. A mix of one part loamy garden soil, one part peat or compost, and one part perlite or sand makes an ideal soil base. The soil pH should be maintained between 6.5 and 7.5, which is slightly acidic to neutral.

  • plantRepotting

    Snowdrops like 'Imbolc' typically do not need frequent repotting and can be left undisturbed for several years. They should be repotted only if the clumps become overcrowded, generally every 3 to 5 years.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Snowdrop 'Imbolc' prefers outdoor conditions and doesn't require specific humidity levels. It can tolerate the natural humidity levels of temperate climates without any additional requirements.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in cool room with bright, indirect light.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade with rich, moist soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Galanthus 'Imbolc', commonly known as the Snowdrop 'Imbolc', emerges from a bulb in late winter or early spring, typically flowering between January and March. The flower stalks rise, displaying single, nodding white flowers, each with a distinctive green mark on the inner petals. After blooming, the plant produces linear leaves that perform photosynthesis to replenish the underground bulb. Throughout spring, the foliage gathers energy before dying back in late spring as the plant enters dormancy. Through summer and autumn, the Snowdrop 'Imbolc' remains dormant underground, with the bulb surviving on stored nutrients. The life cycle restarts with the next cold period, when the bulb initiates new growth to produce flowering stems the following winter, perpetuating the cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early Spring

    • The Galanthus 'Imbolc', also known as the Snowdrop 'Imbolc', is typically propagated through division of its bulbs. The best time for this process is after the plant has finished flowering and the leaves have yellowed, usually in late spring to early summer. To propagate by division, carefully lift the clump of bulbs from the ground and gently separate them using your hands or a small gardening tool. Each bulb should have a portion of the roots attached. Replant the bulbs at the same depth they were growing previously, which is typically about 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) deep, and space them approximately 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) apart. Water the newly planted bulbs well to encourage root development. This method of propagation is favored due to its simplicity and effectiveness in expanding one's collection of Snowdrop 'Imbolc'.