Tulips and daffodils are top of mind when gardeners consider planting bulbs. I relish their bold, bright colors as much as the next gardener, but I adore the minor bulbs. Falling into the small but mighty category, these bulbs are long-lived and often naturalize, forming small colonies. Many bloom early in spring rousing the landscape from its winter sleep.
Chionodoxa lucilae, commonly called glory-of-the-snow, is one of the minor bulbs my gardens would never be without. Enchanting, star-shaped flowers pop up toward the end of March and continue blooming well into April. Over time, they spread into delightful clusters of color.
Enjoy their flowers in spring, but plant their bulbs in fall in a spot with well-drained soil and part to full sun. Plant them about 3 inches deep and a few inches apart. Water them thoroughly after planting to encourage roots to grow. Then relax with a stack of gardening books, magazines and catalogs while the snow flies outside and the bulbs rest.
After glory-of-the-snow has finished blooming in spring, the foliage yellows the same as other bulbs but in a much less obnoxious manner. The foliage of Chionodoxa fades away quietly and quickly.
Plant Chionodoxa in swaths in beds and borders, rock gardens, or interplant them with other early spring-flowering bulbs in living bouquets. The two varieties in my landscape are Chionodoxa lucilae and Chionodoxa lucilae ‘Pink Giant’. Both grow up to 6 inches tall.
Where will you plant glory-of-the-snow next fall? Mark the space with a plant marker or small wood stake, and garden with me!