This year’s snowdrop bulbils

In July our group propagated a fresh batch of Galanthus ‘Magnet’ by chipping and twin scaling (see July post).  The bulb slices (chips) have spent 12 weeks  in a mixture of peat and perlite in sealed plastic bags, kept in the dark at around 20 degrees Centigrade, now small white bulbils (or bulbels or bulblets) are visible between the leaf scales and it is time to pot them up.  The RHS recommends “potting up  the ‘chips’  individually in 8cm (3in) pots of free-draining loam based compost such as John Innes No.2.  Inserting the chips with the basal plate downwards and the bulblets covered by about 1cm (½in) of compost. Leave the scales exposed – they will slowly rot away as the bulblets develop”.

One of our members has over 100 bulbils from her efforts and has provided the following photograph and comments “Really excited today as I looked at the snowdrop scalings. They have all but a few, created new bulblets so I’ve potted them up into seed trays and pots and have 100 potential new bulbs.  They are outside in the cold frame now, looking forward to seeing how many develop.”



Looking after your bulbils 

  1. Do not over water.  Water them in when you pot them up and thereafter keep the soil only very slightly moist.  Snowdrop bulbs put on a lot of root growth in the autumn so do not let them dry out completely.
  2. Provide some shelter from the elements, ideally a cold greenhouse or cold frame.
  3. Label them!

Good luck!