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Putting snowdrops in pots for a February wedding

I would like to put snowdrops from my garden into small pots for display at my daughters wedding next February.

Any advice please - should I transfer them to pots when they finish flowering this year or will they stay strong and upright if I dig them up a couple of days before the wedding when in full bloom.  My worry is that the shock of digging them up may cause them to flop

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  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,397

    I'd get them into pots so you can bring them on or hold them back next year if they are too far ahead or behind. Get some of those pots for ponds (plastic mesh) then you can put them back in the ground til you're ready. they can be left in those inside a more decorative pot

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,500

    I agree with everything Nut has said image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,630

    Me too.   In spring 2016 I knew I'd be moving in autumn to a garden with no flowers, let alone snowdrops so I lifted a few clumps, divided them into one or two bulbs each and put them in 4" square pots in good compost.   They were then watered until the leaves died down and then kept in a shady spot.  We moved at the end of September and they had to stay in pots till we could get new beds made.  They all flowered last Feb in their pots and then went out in the garden where, I'm happy to say, they've survived and thrived and are in flower again today as it's been sunny and they've finally opened.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • cefcef Posts: 4

    Thank you for your replies - I will buy some mesh pots and split once they have finished flowering then replant in the same area immediately.  Hopefully this time next year I can transfer them to decorative pots.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,630

    That's a good plan as long as you can guarantee the ground won't be frozen or covered in snow when you go to dig up your mesh pots.  I kept mine in solid plastic 4" pots all together in a square basket tray so they were easy to keep an eye on, water and move to cool shade or sun as needed while they were still in leaf and then went dormant. 

    If you lift yours once they've finished flowering and pot them up you'll be able to keep yours frost free in January if you need to hurry them on a bit but also put somewhere colder if you need to hold them back and you'll know exactly where they are.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • cefcef Posts: 4

    Good advice - thank you. Did you leave the basket of pots outside all year?

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,630

    Yes.   That was in central Belgium where it can get quite steamy in summer so I kept the pots on the north side of the house.   We moved to western France at the end of September and I put the snowdrops, along with a but 100 other small and large pots outside along a south facing wall so they'd be sheltered from the colder northerly winds but still get rain from prevailing westerlies.

    Worked a treat.   This photo was taken on Feb 19th last year.   As yours are for a wedding, you could pack more into your pots for impact but make sure you add a bit extra fertiliser to the compost if you do to help them build up the bulbs for a good display.

    image

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I saw an article suggesting it's better to divide snowdrops in the brown rather than in the green, i.e. once the leaves and roots have started to die back and the bulb is in a dormant state. Snowdrop bulbs are a bit fussy and this method is supposed to cause less disturbance, ensuring a better display the following winter (whereas otherwise the first year's display might be weaker).

    If you have a lot of snowdrops, I would be tempted to try both methods and then pick the best plants on the day of the wedding.

    https://www.gardenmyths.com/snowdrop-transplanted-in-the-green/

  • cefcef Posts: 4

    Thank you -  lots of different advice so probably a good idea to try a few different ways -  I will let everyone know how it all works out 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,397

    I think what garden noob says is the latest thinking but finding snowdrops and digging them out of your garden at that stage is a tricky job. I shall continue to do it while I can see the leaves and before I have to disturb other growing plants to get them out. 

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