Glory of the snow, or Scilla luciliae, is a spring flowering perennial with dainty blooms of beautiful, blue-purple hues. They grow to a height of six inches on average and are versatile, often grown under deciduous trees, in containers or gravel gardens.
They are native to western Turkey and gain their common name from their tendency to bloom early in spring, with their star-shaped flowers peeking above snow-covered ground.
Common mistakes with growing these plants include not knowing how to plant the bulbs or how to water them. Luckily, we've gathered expert tips for successfully growing these dazzling little flowers in your backyard.
How to grow glory of the snow
When to plant glory of the snow bulbs
As with other spring flowering bulbs, the best time to plant your glory of the snow bulbs is during fall.
'Glory of the snow bulbs should be planted in the fall, ideally between September and November, about 3-4 weeks before the first frost. You want the air to be cool but the ground should not be frozen yet,' says Alex Kantor, owner of Perfect Plants nursery.
Planting during this time with average temperatures between 40-50°F means that the ground isn't too hard or cold for the bulbs. Use sharp, clean tools, like this hand trowel from Walmart or this bulb planter from Lowes.
'This allows them to establish roots before winter and bloom in the spring. Whereas, summer-flowering bulbs like dahlias are typically planted in the spring after the danger of frost has passed,' says Paris Lalicata, head of plant education and community at The Sill.
'It's important to check the specific planting recommendations for the type of bulb you have, as different bulbs may have different requirements,' she adds.
Alex has worked in the horticultural industry for over 20 years and grew up on the farm since his childhood years. Alex is an expert on landscape trees, shrubs, and indoor plants. He is passionate about growing and helping others learn the trade.
Paris has been at The Sill for five years, looking after Plant Education and Community. She is a self-taught plant expert with over ten years of experience growing houseplants and is currently working on becoming a certified sustainable gardener. She maintains an indoor garden of over 200 plants in the north-east of the USA and is passionate about making plant care more digestible for budding plant parents.
Where to plant glory of the snow bulbs
In their natural habitat, glory of the snow flowers are found in open, bright spaces, so it is best to choose a spot in your yard that will give the blooms sufficient light.
'Glory of the snow requires full sun to partial shade. It typically does well in locations that receive morning sun and afternoon shade,' says Alex.
Lots of people choose to plant glory of the snow bulbs under trees to create a vibrant purple carpet. They can thrive in partial shade, so long as they are still getting indirect sunlight.
'Glory of the Snow will tolerate part sun but do best with six hours of sunlight per day,' says Jen McDonald, a co-founder of Garden Girls.
These flowers are highly versatile, so you can also grow them in pots, garden beds and pathways to create an array of different looks.
Something to keep in mind when choosing a location is that they will do best in neutral to slightly acidic soil. 'Planting in sandy loam, well-draining soil will yield healthier blooms,' Jen adds.
Jen McDonald is a garden expert and co-founder of Garden Girls, LLC, based in Houston, TX. With 14 raised garden beds and 400 square feet of garden space, Jen grows cut flowers to peanuts, amaranth to okra, and everything in between.
How to plant glory of the snow bulbs
Once you've found the perfect spot for your glory of the snow bulbs, with the right soil and lighting conditions, it's time to get planting.
For a uniform look, you can plant bulbs evenly, around three inches apart and two to four inches deep. 'Mass plantings are particularly beautiful and you can achieve it by grouping six to eight bulbs together,' says Jen.
'Make sure to plant them with their pointed ends facing upwards,' says Alex.
These plants are perennials, so you can leave the bulbs where they are after flowering to be treated to a returning beautiful display the following year.
Ongoing care for glory of the snow
There are a few things you can to help the growth of your glory of the snow bulbs.
'Bulbs can be a bit tricky for novice gardeners as it’s harder to assess whether or not it is actually growing and receiving proper nutrients. Rest assured, bulbs are hearty and when nature is left to work its magic, that bulb wants to grow,' says Jen.
Jen suggests adding a balanced fertilizer, like this all purpose 20-20-20 fertilizer from Garden Goods Direct, when planting the bulbs to help promote growth, but take care not to fertilize once flowering begins.
It's also a good idea to water the bulbs well when first planted to ensure they are receiving enough moisture.
'Avoid letting soil dry out completely. Adjust your watering schedule based on natural rainfall. Monitor any bulbs in containers more slowly as they tend to dry out quicker,' says Paris.
Can you grow glory of the snow indoors?
Glory of the snow flowers can be grown indoors if there is sufficient natural lighting. They like bright light, so it would be ideal to grow them near a south or west-facing window. Simply grow them in a container and ensure they receive enough water as they aren't getting moisture from rainfall.
How do you propagate glory of the snow?
You can propagate glory of the snow by taking their seed pods after flowering.
'Harvest those that haven’t opened up and prepare your soil for planting. Add in compost, surface sow the seed pods and water lightly. When planted by propagation, it may take a few years before you see flowers,' says Jen McDonald, a co-founder of Garden Girls.
Can you cut glory of the snow flowers?
Glory of the snow make for beautiful cut flowers. You just need to snip them with sharp scissors early in the morning when they are most fresh and put them in a vase of lukewarm water. This will help encourage blooming. Make sure to change the water every few days to keep it fresh.
Glory of the snow flowers can be a glorious sight among a wintery backyard landscape. They indicate the first signs of spring and add a pop of color to colder scenery. They're easy to grow and can spark ideas for your spring garden.
Sign up to the Homes & Gardens newsletter
Decor Ideas. Project Inspiration. Expert Advice. Delivered to your inbox.
Tenielle is a News Writer in the Gardens team at Homes & Gardens with five years of journalistic experience. She studied BA Journalism, Media and English Literature and MA Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University. Before coming to Homes & Gardens, Tenielle was in the editorial department at the Royal Horticultural Society and worked on The Garden magazine. She is passionate about sustainable living and likes to encourage gardeners to make greener choices to help tackle the effects of climate change with a trowel in hand. Tenielle is also a houseplant lover who is slowly running out of room for her ever-growing collection.
Designers say Jennifer Connelly's tile floors are an easy way to add subtle intrigue to any home
The actress's floors embody a simple, elevated style with subtly patterned geometric tiles – here's what makes this look timeless
By Sophie Edwards Published
Best red houseplants – 7 energizing indoor plants
Psychologists share how red indoor plants can boost levels and motivation
By Tenielle Jordison Published