Winter aconite/snowdrops

Carrie B(6B/7A)February 8, 2008

This past fall, I bought and planted winter aconite and snowdrops. A few days ago, I was walking around in a less sheltered, colder neighborhood and saw both blooming prolifically.

I went home and looked very closely at the ground where I had planted mine. Not a sign of them. Nada.

My garden is very urban, with lots of squirrels digging and some feral cats doing what they do as well. I suspect that maybe the squirrels ate the bulbs or the digging cats destroyed them. Is there hope?

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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

Don't give up hope yet. I don't have any direct experience- just planted winter aconite for the first time last fall, and I don't have any snowdrops (will remedy that soon) but spring bulbs are often off schedule their first year.

For example, fall 2006 I planted Tete-a-tete daffodils. I thought I had lost them because they're supposed to come up very early and there was no sign of them last spring, while my neighbors' tetes were up and blooming. They eventually did come up and put on an amazing show... in late spring.

That said, aconite corms don't have a very long shelf life and they might have expired before being planted. I tried planting snowdrops once before and they didn't come up... probably because I bought them at a box store, but I have heard that they can be hard to establish.

But keep an eye out for them- it's way too early to worry.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 11:10AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Ladychroe is exactly right in all she wrote. I have also read that snowdrops, in addition to eranthis, have a very short shelf life. When I ordered mine for the first time last fall, they were shipped early and separate from the other things and I was told to plant them immediately. So...give them some time in case they are just confused by being transplanted. If they don't show up, and you don't see any signs of critters disturbing the ground (You should if that's what happened. No critter in my experience was very neat in his mischief.), order them from a reputable bulb specialty company next time, as opposed to buying them off the shelf somewhere.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 4:02PM
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Winter Aconite is up and blooming for me, but Snowdrops is just beginning to show some green. I'm probably at the southern limit for the species I have, Galanthus nivalis and it often does not bloom here. Probably should have planted G. elwesii, which is more tolerant of the southern climate.
Eranthus needs a well drained, humusy soil. If you have heavy soil, plant half as deep as recommended. About 2", instead of 3-4". They do well here around and near the trunks of deciduous trees.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 7:38PM
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Carrie B(6B/7A)

Thanks, folks. I did buy them from a very reputable mail order company, and, as with donnabaskets, they were shipped early with instructions to plant immediately, which I did.

They may have been disturbed by animals, but I'm not certain if the disturbances in my yard are in the same location exactly or not. I'll give it a bit of time, though, with having seen other snowdrops and aconite nearby in full bloom, it's a bit worrisome to me that there's no sign.

I may call the company in a week or so to ask their opinion.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 12:13PM
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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

I have a few snowdrops emerging--from established bulbs/colonies. Eranthis start later for me, mostly because of where I planted them. Overall, snowdrops bloom later in their first spring after planting for me, while older colonies bloom when "expected". That said, depending on the shade and exposure of various patches in my garden, I have snowdrops and crocuses (as in same species and/or variety) blooming as much as a month apart, blooming much earlier in sunnier, sandier spots and much later in shady heavy clay.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 3:59AM
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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

I now have a nice little clump of Galanthus plicatus blooming--the oldest Snowdrop bulbs in my garden. There are also some scattered others blooming: they have to be G. nivalis, G. elwesii or G. ikariae, although I've no idea which. I tucked them everywhere over the last three years. The only snowdrops I KNOW are not blooming at this time are the double ones--they bloom later anyways. There are little green pointy things EVERYWHERE (tulips, crocuses, reticulata irises, alliums, daffodils, colchicums, scilla, puschkinia, muscari, lilies....) now. I'd resolve not to buy any more bulbs, but I know I'd promptly break my resolution.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 2:41AM
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kimpa(z6b PA)

Mine were planted last fall and I have no sign of them yet either. Good luck to us!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 7:46AM
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Hang in there. I planted some in a container the fall of '05. Nothing evident in early '06, so I planted new material. Two were apparently still in the pot, because they showed leaves last year. One survived, so I planted it in my back bed, facing south. In the last week I've noticed growth breaking through the soil; hope this one survivor blooms this year and sets seeds. Hope yours will too!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 2:32PM
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mcmburke(z5 IL)

I saw some yesterday, in a very sunny south-facing border garden. the Old House Gardens (very good source for very good bulbs), says that these bulbs are very animal-resistant, but I guess that wouldn't stop cats and squirrels from disturbing the beds enough to prevent the bulbs from rooting.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 1:09PM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

I'm in a colder zone than you and my aconites and snowdrops are just starting to bloom. The squirrels and rabbits ravage my crocus bulbs, but seem to leave everything else alone. Be patient, and regardless of how your aconites and snowdrops do this spring, remember to plant some more in the fall, to enlarge your patch. They look better in medium to large groupings, and yes, they WILL spread, but it takes a few years.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 9:36PM
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