Fri, 08 Apr 2005 06:54:44 PDT
The necessity of transplanting snowdrops 'In the Green' is nonsense, and
shipping them like that is craziness, resulting in a stressed and unhappy
plant that does not produce a full, mature bulb. Lifted in summer and kept
cool and dry all summer they can be treated like any other bulb and will
flower magnificently in the following spring. They must not become
desiccated in hot sun, and that is where the myth begins, as wild-collected
bulbs exported from Turkey had been dried-out in the sun, resulting in a
very low success rate. Snowdrops transplanted in the green, by comparison,
survived, and it became a shibboleth of the unthinking that it was a

It would not be right to condemn all transplanting in the green - on
Wednesday we had a group of violunteers here to do just that, spreading the
snowdrops in the wood here, and we must have done several thousand G.
nivalis and 'Flore Pleno'. Most will probably flower next year, but perhaps
not quite so well as if they were moved when dormant. But in the wood, which
will presently be under nettles etc, this is not really a practicality. A
freshly transplanted growing snowdrop needs care, especially with extra
watering, as its roots are invariably broken (and do not regrow). Watering
will keep it growing for longer and thereby enable it to fatten its bulb
better; if dry it will quickly go dormant and the bulb will be undersized,
resulting in poor performance for at least a year.

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Garden Manager, Colesbourne Gardens

Sycamore Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Louise Parsons" <>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2005 2:18 PM
Subject: Re: [pbs] Snowdrops

> > I know there is a seller of snowdrops in NY State.  It is called Temple
> >  I have not purchased from him but I know that he has a catalog.
> Several years ago, I wrote to someone in the US who, as it turned out,
> sold snowdrops "in the green". For this reason, they couldn't ship to
Oregon. I
> have always wondered where the idea that snowdrops could only be
> "green" came from. Maybe it is true for certain species, but in reality I
> never known any that would not stand being shipped dry, dormant, and free
> soil. Maybe there are some species that ~are fussy this way?
> Anyway, thanks to both of you for the pointer.
> Cheers, Louise

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