In general, snowdrops are easily grown in the UK climate, thriving in most soils and aspects, and this probably accounts for their popularity as garden bulbs.
Most cultivars do best in well-drained soil and partial shade, with some organic material such as leaf-mould added to the planting area.
Some of the smaller cultivars may be better in raised beds or rock gardens, where they will not be overlooked or overwhelmed by neighbouring plants.
Snowdrops also make excellent container plants. All our nursery stock is grown in pots or aquatic baskets, but they can be added to mixed containers for winter and spring interest as for daffodils.
The compost for containers should again be well-drained, so add extra grit, perlite or composted bark chips. I prefer to use soil-based compost such as a quality John Innes with extra perlite added for all my pot-grown bulbs.
Where seedlings or young bulbs are growing on they can be planted in aquatic baskets in the same compost, and plunged to the rim in a raised bed or cold frame.
Planting in baskets
I use 11cm square aquatic baskets, which will each hold 9-16 bulbs, depending on the size of the bulbs.
I begin by putting about 4cm of compost in the base of the pot.
I then add a thin layer of coarse sand
You can sub-divide the pot with sections of plastic bottles if the pot will hold more than one kind.
I then nestle the bulbs onto the sand
I then add more compost, laving 1cm of space at the top. DON'T FORGET THE LABEL!
I then top off the pot with grit, and plunge it up to the rim in sand. When all the baskets are in place, it is watered thoroughly.
The plunge frame filled and ready to go.
This is what they look like in growth. Note we use code numbers for all our snowdrops instead of names, for security purposes.
The frames are covered with insect netting to exclude pests. They are also shaded from April until October.