How to Prune Snow Trillium


Snow trillium is a species of perennial flowering herb in the lily family. It produces crisp white blooms in the spring over deep bluish-green foliage. Diminutive in stature and growing to just a few inches tall, snow trillium has a a small footprint growth habit and is considered an endangered or threatened species in many parts of the United States. It grows in moist woodlands, on slopes and in flat lands near rivers and lakes. It rarely requires pruning, but when it does, small cutting tools are needed to prevent damage to the surrounding tissues of the small delicate plant.

Step 1

Deadhead snow trillium flowers in the spring as they fade and begin to die back. Careful deadheading may encourage successive blooming. Use small-blade scissors and cut just the thin flower or fruit stem to the crown of the plant. Never pull the blooms off; this can damage and dislodge the tender plants from the soil.

Step 2

Prune away any dead, diseased or damaged leaves during the growing season. Carefully cut back just the damaged plant leaves, flowers or stem parts, and discard them.

Step 3

Water your snow trillium after pruning. This helps to reduce stress on the plant and prevent shock. Apply water only around the base of the plant at the soil level. Pouring water over the top of the plant risks damage to the delicate plant foliage and can invite disease. Mulching around the base of the plant can help hold moisture to the soil, insulate the roots and ease trauma from pruning.

Things You'll Need

  • Small scissors
  • Organic mulch


  • USDA Plant Database Profile
  • Michigan State University
  • Illinois Wildflowers
Keywords: winterize snow trillium, trillium nivale, endangered species perennial

About this Author

A communications professional, D.C. Winston has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals and film/broadcast media. Winston studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.