With over 450 species of primrose, it’s likely that you’ve come across this sweet bloom in more than a few gardens. They make beautifully bright beds and are a great choice for gardeners looking to find pretty and easy to maintain perennials.
We’ve gathered up all you need to know about planting, growing and caring for primroses, as well as some common questions people have about these diverse blooms.
What is a Primrose Flower?
Primroses are a low growing flower from the Primula genus that blooms from a small, leafy bush. They present in a vast range of colours and shapes, but the one you’re probably most familiar with is the primrose with five petals that become yellow towards its centre. The most common colours are purple, white, red and pink.
How to Grow Primrose
Growing primrose flowers is relatively easy as the plant is hardy and adaptable.
Most of these perennials are readily available at garden centres and nurseries.
When choosing a primrose plant to take home from a nursery, make sure you choose one that has closed buds so you can enjoy the full duration of the bloom.
Primroses can be sold from seeds and can be grown either indoors or outdoors. Seeds are generally sown indoors during the winter months. Once they’ve sprouted their second or third leaves, they can be transplanted outdoors to the garden.
When to Plant Primrose
Deciding when to plant primroses will depend on whether you’re planting them as plants or from seeds. If you’re planting them as small plants, then it’s best to plant them in spring. But if you’re planting them from seeds, then opt for the autumn when the ground is still warm but it’s not too hot.
Where to Plant Primrose
When choosing a place for your primroses, make sure that you pick a spot that has sufficient shade. Primroses do well in partially shaded areas, like under the shade of leafy trees or in parts of the garden that only get sun for some of the day.
The soil in the patch you choose should also have good drainage so that your plants don’t get waterlogged. It’s recommended to turn compost and other organic matter into the soil to make sure it’s extra nutrient-rich.
How to Plant Primrose
Once you’ve picked the ideal spot, make small holes in the soil that are about 20cm apart and 10cm deep. Make sure you water them sufficiently and keep the soil moist through the dry summer months.
How to Care for Your Primrose Plant
Primroses are relatively low maintenance and caring for them is easy. The most important aspect of caring for your primrose plants is making sure they get just the right amount of water. If the soil is too dry, they’ll wilt and shrivel, and if the soil is water-logged, the roots will rot and die.
When watering your primrose, make sure to water around the plant and avoid watering directly onto the leaves and flowers. In dry environments or if you have your primrose plant indoors, it might be necessary to wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust buildup.
When caring for primroses, a common question is what to do with primroses after flowering. The first step and easiest way to maintain your plant is to remove the spent flowers. This will focus the nutrients on the rest of the plant and keep it growing from strength to strength. Trimming is another way to encourage new growth and give your plant a chance to grow more bubs than it had before. You can trim primrose back by up to a third of its size to see the best results.
Common Problems With Primroses
While primrose flower care is simple and they require very little maintenance, there are a few problems that you can encounter when growing them. This includes:
- Pests like slugs, snails, spider mites and aphids. These can be controlled with non-toxic slug bait and by spraying your plant with warm, soapy water.
- Insufficient draining – if your primrose is not getting enough drainage, it may be more susceptible to crown and root rot. This can be handled by amending the soil with compost or by relocating the plants to a well-drained site.
- Too much moisture, which could open the plant up to fungal infections. This can be prevented by establishing good watering habits and ensuring that there is adequate space between the plants.
Your Primrose Questions Answered
Do primroses come back every year?
Yes! In the right climate, primroses can be grown as perennials and can come back every year. In fact, given the proper conditions, primroses will not only come back each year, but they will also multiply.
How long do primrose flowers last?
Although there are many different factors that affect how long primrose flowers last, you can expect a blooming period of up to six weeks. The plant itself should continue to bloom every year for up to five years under the right conditions.
Do primrose flowers spread?
Absolutely! Primroses are known and loved for their ability to multiply and are fantastic for ground cover. Since they spread so quickly, it’s important to divide your primrose plants to make sure you’re giving each one enough room to grow to its full potential. If you’re looking to divide plants, it’s best to do it towards the end of summer and into autumn once they’ve finished flowering.
How do you get primrose to rebloom?
If you keep your primrose plants happy with sufficient water and light, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t rebloom. A trick to helping your primrose flowers bloom for longer is to make sure they’re getting the nutrients they need by adding some fertilizer to their soil.
What do you do with primroses when they are finished blooming?
When primroses stop blooming, you can dig the plants up and divide them. You can minimise any damage to the root by placing each clump in a bucket of water and gently washing away any soil from the roots. You can then discard the old plant and replant the new crowns.
Are primroses invasive?
Primrose plants do spread. Like lantana plants, they have the potential to be invasive as they are difficult to get rid of – when trying to pull a primrose weed out of the ground, the stem may well break off while leaving the roots intact.
Why are my primroses dying?
The main cause of unhappy primroses is an inconsistent environment. Their ideal conditions are mild temperature, moist but not overly wet soil and filtered sunlight. If your primroses are wilting, chances are they’re too hot or they’re not getting the right amount of water. Stick your finger in the soil to check whether the soil is too wet or too dry, and adjust accordingly.
If the soil has been too wet for too long, your plants might have root rot, so lay off the water for a few days and if the problem persists, you might have to replant to assess the damage.
Do primroses like coffee grounds?
Coffee grounds tend to make the soil quite acidic. This won’t necessarily affect the primrose itself and it might also serve as a good deterrent for any pests.
Are primroses poisonous?
While primrose plants are not poisonous per se, they can cause stomach issues if ingested by both humans and animals. On some varieties, the leaves have small hairs that contain toxins. If you come into contact with those leaves without garden gloves, you may experience mild skin irritation.
How many types of primrose plants are there?
There are over 450 varieties of primrose. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colours.
Primrose flower meaning
With their soft petals and varied colours, primrose flowers are said to represent young love and affection. Purple primroses are the birth month flower for February. When they’re given to someone, they are said to symbolise uniqueness and the fact that you can’t stand to live without that person.
When grown in the correct conditions, primrose flower care can be very easy. They spread to their surroundings, making them the perfect plants for garden beds. Furthermore, the colours they come in add a lovely, bold, vibrant pop of colour to the garden in which they are planted. These beautiful blossoms will go a long way in making sure your landscaping is well structured, with clearly defined borders.
Primroses are the ideal addition to any budding garden, indoor or out! As long as you keep your plants happy with enough water and light, they’ll gift you pretty blooms year after year.
Lily’s love for flowers and plants was nurtured in her grandmother’s vibrant garden. Over the years, this affection blossomed into a full-fledged passion for horticulture.
With formal training in botany and countless hours in her own backyard oasis, Lily has cultivated a deep understanding of plant care and garden design.
Jump To a Section Below
- What is a Primrose Flower?
- How to Grow Primrose
- How to Care for Your Primrose Plant
- Common Problems With Primroses
- Your Primrose Questions Answered
- Do primroses come back every year?
- How long do primrose flowers last?
- Do primrose flowers spread?
- How do you get primrose to rebloom?
- What do you do with primroses when they are finished blooming?
- Are primroses invasive?
- Why are my primroses dying?
- Do primroses like coffee grounds?
- Are primroses poisonous?
- How many types of primrose plants are there?
- Primrose flower meaning