Chionodoxa [Kye-oh-no-DOKS-uh] is a genus of bulbous perennial plants belonging to the Asparagaceae family along with Agave and Sansevieria.
Known by its common name, Glory of the Snow, this plant is native to the eastern Mediterranean, particularly Turkey, Cyprus, and Crete.
Chionodoxa species are very similar to the plants from the Scilla genus. The significant difference is their tepal arrangement.
Numerous experts merged these two genera believing this difference isn’t very meaningful to merit a different genus status.
Popular Chionodoxa Species
- Chionodoxa forbesii – narrow, sparse foliage clustered with varying shades of blue flowers an early spring bloomer. “Blue Giant” is an improved selection.
- Chionodoxa luciliae is very similar to forbesii, produces light blue blooms with white centers.
- Chionodoxa sardensis
Chionodoxa Bulbs Plant Care
Size & Growth
The Chionodoxa genus naturalizes easily through self-seeding and bulb offsets to create a spread of early spring blooms.
This plant grows 3” – 9” inches tall and spreads 3” – 6” inches wide with a bulb size of 2″ inches.
However, the foliage starts fading after the bloom time is over, typically around late spring season, this is when the plants enter a state of dormancy till the next early spring season.
Flowering and Fragrance
Chionodoxa bulbs sprout two to three narrow leaves and a flower stalk which stands upright about 6” inches tall.
The bulb produces a raceme of flowers with 3 – 5 star-shaped, six-petal flowers in early spring.
The flower colors range from violet-blue to lilac-blue or pink flowers, each with small white centers.
Light & Temperature
Chionodoxa loves the full sun but also grows properly in partial shade.
These plants are grown under a deciduous tree since they bloom rather early.
Position this plant in partial shade or sunny location and the Chionodoxa bulbs will reach their full potential.
Recommended for USDA hardiness zone 3 – 9.
Watering and Feeding
The glory of the snow should be watered if the spring season is too dry.
This plant needs even moisture throughout its growing period.
Since it’s dormant during the summer, it withstands drought in this season.
It’s ideal to feed this plant with the right food during the early spring season.
Soil & Transplanting
This plant grows well and prefers a gritty, fertile, well-drained soil. The soil must be moist with a pH level of 6.
It’s best to plant bulbs at a 3” inch planting depth about 3″ – 6″ inches apart during the fall season to enjoy early bloomers.
Plant the bulbs in a location with good drainage.
If the soil is heavy (compacted or clay), dig in a reasonable amount of soil amendments like a mixture of compost and coarse sand, well-rotted manure, or leaf mold.
Grooming and Maintenance
Chionodoxa is not a fussy plant to grow.
It’s ideal to plant them during early fall and care for them to help their growth.
Once this plant is established, it doesn’t require much attention.
Ensure the bulbs are protected from any disease or insects during their growing season.
Ensure the foliage is left as it is right till the fall season, as this allows the plant to collect and store solar energy to fuel the growth of the next season.
The bulbs must be divided every few years.
How To Propagate Glory Of The Snow
This plant freely self-seeds and often creates colonies.
The propagation of this plant is done through bulb offsets, and seeds in a cold frame.
- The holes must be 4” inches deep and filled with a handful of compost.
- Include a small amount of amended soil in the hole and place the Chionodoxa bulbs, making sure they are 3” inches below the line of soil.
- The pointed end of the bulb must face up.
- Fill up the remaining hole with the soil and gently pat a few times to remove any potential air pockets.
- Thoroughly water to settle the soil.
There is not going to be visible growth during the fall season, but this is the time when the roots of the bulb start forming and establishing a network to absorb moisture and nutrients.
Make sure to plant 10 to 12 bulbs every square foot.
Glory Of The Snow Pest or Diseases
The Glory of the Snow is deer resistant and is hardly troubled by critters, so it’s safely planted where chipmunks and squirrels are an issue.
Learn more about –> Deer Resistant Annual Plants
This plant doesn’t experience any significant disease or pest problem.
However, the flower bulbs of Chionodoxa might start rotting when fertilizer is used containing excessive amounts of nitrogen, or constant wet soil, cut, poor quality or bruised bulbs.
It’s best to provide this plant with good drainage to prevent rotting.
Chionodoxa Plant Uses
Chionodoxa looks excellent in rock gardens, sunny woodland borders, and garden borders.
Ideally plant it in the sun, en mass in lawns, slopes, and under deciduous trees.