Snow Crocus (Crocus Tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Snow Crocus (Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’): A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction to Snow Crocus (Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’)

The snow crocus, scientifically known as Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’, is a delightful and popular addition to any garden. This cultivar is valued for its early spring blooms, which bring a vibrant splash of color that signifies the end of the winter season and the beginning of the much-anticipated spring. The ‘Ruby Giant’ variant of the snow crocus is particularly sought after for its stunning deep purple flowers.

Key Takeaways – Snow Crocus (Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’)

  • Common Names: Ruby Giant crocus, snow crocus
  • Botanical Name: Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’
  • Type: Perennial bulb
  • Bloom Time: Early spring
  • Bloom Color: Deep purple
  • Growth Habit: Low-growing
  • Special Features: Deer resistant, suitable for naturalizing
  • Zones: 3-8

Culture of Snow Crocus (Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’)


The snow crocus is primarily cultivated for its ornamental purposes. Its vibrant flowers bring much-needed color to gardens and landscapes early in the year, providing a striking visual display after the dreary winter months. Additionally, these crocuses are ideal for naturalizing in grassy areas, creating beautiful, low-maintenance floral carpets.


Snow crocuses prefer moist, well-draining soil. It is essential to ensure that they are adequately watered, especially during their active growth periods.


These crocuses thrive in full sun to partial shade. When planted in a location with sufficient sunlight, the flowers will open during warm, sunny days, adding a charming touch to the landscape.


A light application of a balanced fertilizer in early spring will support the growth and flowering of snow crocuses.


Snow crocuses prefer well-draining, moderately fertile soil. They can adapt to various soil types, but they thrive best in soil that is not waterlogged.


Minimal pruning is required for snow crocuses. After flowering, the foliage should be left in place to allow the plant to photosynthesize and store energy for the following year. Once the leaves have withered and turned yellow, they can be gently removed.


Snow crocuses can be propagated by division. Once the foliage has died back, the corms can be carefully dug up and separated, then replanted in a suitable location.

Popularity of Snow Crocus (Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’)

The snow crocus, particularly the ‘Ruby Giant’ variety, has gained popularity among gardeners and landscapers for several reasons. Its early blooming period, vibrant color, and low-maintenance nature make it an attractive choice for many. Additionally, it is a welcome sight for pollinators such as bees, which adds ecological value to a garden or landscape.

Common Diseases and Pests

Common Diseases

Snow crocuses are generally resistant to most diseases, but they can occasionally be affected by fungal diseases such as Botrytis. Proper site selection and good cultural practices can help reduce the risk of disease.

Common Pests

While snow crocuses are relatively low-maintenance, they can be susceptible to pests such as squirrels and mice, which may dig up the corms. Additionally, aphids and thrips are potential pests that might affect the plant.

Botanist’s Tips

For enthusiasts and botany aficionados, it is essential to understand the specific requirements of snow crocuses to ensure their successful growth and longevity in garden settings. Here are some valuable tips from a botanist’s perspective:

  • Ensure proper drainage: Snow crocuses are sensitive to waterlogging, so it is crucial to plant them in well-draining soil to prevent bulb rot and other water-related issues.
  • Plant at the right depth: When planting snow crocus bulbs, ensure that they are at a depth of about 3-4 inches to promote healthy growth and blooming.
  • Consider companion planting: Pair snow crocuses with other early blooming bulbs and perennials to create visually stunning displays in the garden while providing early-season nectar sources for pollinators.

Fun Facts about Snow Crocus (Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’)

  • The genus name “Crocus” is derived from the Greek word “krokos,” which refers to the saffron spice derived from the Crocus sativus plant.
  • Snow crocuses are among the first flowers to bloom in the spring, often emerging through snow cover, hence the name “snow crocus.”
  • The blooms of the ‘Ruby Giant’ variety feature deep, rich purple flowers, adding a striking contrast to the predominantly white and yellow crocuses that are commonly seen in early spring.

Links to External Resources

For further information on snow crocuses and the ‘Ruby Giant’ variety, you can explore the following resources:

  1. The Royal Horticultural Society – Crocus tommasinianus
  2. University of Maryland Extension – Bulb Planting Depth
  3. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Plants – Comprehensive Plant Information


In the realm of early spring bloomers, the snow crocus (Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’) holds a special place, captivating gardeners and nature enthusiasts with its charming blossoms and resilient nature. By understanding its cultural requirements, propagation techniques, and appreciation of its botanical significance, individuals can embrace and successfully cultivate this delightful perennial bulb. Whether planted in beds, borders, or naturalized in grassy areas, the ‘Ruby Giant’ snow crocus adds a touch of elegance and color to the landscape, heralding the arrival of spring in a truly enchanting manner.

Remember, the joy of witnessing the emergence of these vibrant blooms in the earliest days of spring is a testament to the enduring beauty of nature and the resilience of life itself.

So, get ready to welcome the snow crocus into your garden and embrace the magical allure of its ‘Ruby Giant’ blooms, bringing forth the promise of a new season and the ever-renewing cycle of nature.

Happy gardening!

This blog post provides a detailed overview of the snow crocus (Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’), covering various aspects of its culture, uses, care, and botanical significance. Whether you’re a novice gardener or an experienced horticulturist, the information presented here aims to enrich your understanding of this splendid early spring bloomer and inspire a deeper appreciation for its unique charm and beauty.

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Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.