Leucojum, also known as summer snowflake, is a carefree and adaptable spring-blooming bulb. Though its name suggests otherwise, summer snowflake blooms in mid to late spring, just after the daffodils. The pure white, bell-shaped flowers are decorated with lime green accents and dangle in clusters from arching stems.
The flowers and foliage of summer snowflake resemble snowdrops but the plant stands at least twice as tall. The bulbs grow in clumps and are reliably perennial, You can expect them to bloom again every spring for years to come.
When you compare two leucojum bulbs side by side, it’s easy to see differences in quality. The greater the bulb size, the more food is stored inside. A larger bulb will produce a stronger plant with bigger flowers. Longfield Gardens supplies 13/14 cm leucojum bulbs so you can always enjoy the biggest, brightest blooms.
Sun and Shade: Leucojum is happy to grow in sun or partial shade.
Hardiness Zone: The bulbs are winter hardy in growing zones 4-8.
Soil Conditions: Leucojum is not fussy about soil conditions and will tolerate acidic, neutral or alkaline soils. The bulbs need moisture early in the growing season, but when they are dormant during the summer months, the soil can be either lightly moist or dry. Avoid soggy soil.
In the wild, leucojum grows at the edge of woodlands where the soil is moist and the plants are lightly shaded. It is well-suited to shade gardens and woodland gardens, as well as wildflower meadows.
The bulbs form a tidy clump of strappy, deep green foliage that stands about 20” tall. The flowers are a similar height. In flower gardens, leucojum is a long-lived well-behaved plant and an ideal companion for other shade lovers such as pulmonaria, trillium, primroses and bleeding heart.
When to Plant: Plant the bulbs in fall any time before the ground freezes, between late September and the end of November.
Depth and Spacing: Plant the bulbs 4” deep and 5 to 6” apart on center.
Planting Tips: To get the most natural look, plant leucojum in groups of 6 to 10 bulbs. These long-lived perennials may take a couple years to bulk up, but once they do, you'll enjoy flowers every spring for years to come.
Leucojum blooms for 2-3 weeks in mid to late spring, at approximately the same time as most tulips.
Once established, the plants are long-lived and dislike being moved. If a clump gets too large for the space, dig up the bulbs in early summer after the foliage has turned yellow. Divide and replant.
Leucojum grows more rapidly in warm climates and may spread itself around. This is usually considered a good thing.
Like other spring-blooming bulbs, summer snowflake uses its foliage to produce the energy it needs to form next year's flowers. Once the plant has finished blooming, you may cut off the spent flowers and stems, but it’s not necessary. Allow the foliage to continue growing until it withers and fades away, which usually happens about 6 weeks after flowering.
Mulching around the plants with compost will feed the bulbs, improve the soil and help control weeds.