Primroses give your house and garden a bright look. Not only are primroses among the first perennials to bloom—some even flower in late winter—but their very name implies earliness: Primula derives from the Latin word for “early.” On the cusp of spring we’re so starved for color that we can hardly resist the English primroses.
Over 450 species of primroses are found worldwide. Bloom colors are all the colors of the rainbow. Their native ranges are Japan, Alaska, the Himalayas, western China and Europe.
Primulas are perfect in our Pacific Northwest gardens. They usually go dormant with foliage disappearing from July through October or so. Rosettes of leaves begin sprouting again in winter with blossoms coming on from January through June, depending on the variety. Twelve to 14 weeks of outstanding performance during a dreary time of the year makes them a real delight in the garden.
Primroses excel in mixed containers with pansies, daffodils, tulips, mustard or kale and other early-spring color. Their flowers are so bold and bright they might look a little artificial. They can be used indoors and on the porch or patio where they get morning sun, but they need shade or indirect light in the afternoon the more the weather warms in spring.
In fact, when given the proper growing conditions, these vigorous plants will multiply each year, adding stunning colors to the landscape. Blooming often lasts throughout summer and in some areas, they will continue to delight the fall season with their outstanding colors.
Most primrose flowers seen in gardens are Polyanthus hybrids, which range in color from white, cream and yellow to orange, red and pink. There are also purple and blue primrose flowers. These perennial plants prefer damp, woodland-like conditions.
Growing primrose is easy, as these plants are quite hardy and adaptable. You can find primrose perennials at most garden centers and nurseries. Look for primroses that are healthy in appearance, preferably with unopened buds.
Primrose perennials should be planted in lightly shaded areas with well-drained soil, preferably amended with organic matter. Set primrose plants about 6-12 inches apart and 4-6 inches deep. Water thoroughly after planting. Add a layer of mulch around the plants to help retain moisture.
Most Primula are hardy in USDA zones 5-9. Primroses prefer cool temperatures, rich humus soil with lots of compost and leaf mold added. Primrose plants appreciate full sun in the spring but they must have partial shade as the summer temperatures warm.
Primulas are quite tolerant of being transplanted, even when they are in bloom. Newly purchased plants can be set into the garden in early spring. Older plants can be divided and transplanted right after they are finished blooming.
Primroses prefer shade garden with rich, well draining,slightly acid soil (pH 6.5). Primroses must be planted so that their crown is right at soil level and at least six inches apart.
The primrose flower appreciates light applications of organic fertilizer throughout the growing season. Keep primrose plants looking their best with regular pruning of dead leaves and spent blooms.
Division is the ideal way to propagate primroses and the only way to maintain specific cultivars. You can also grow primroses from seed. But, their need for temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees F (4 to 10 degrees C) during the long period between sowing and the first blooms, makes indoor gardening impractical for most of us.
Suitable primrose companions for a moist, partly shaded spot include hostas, Japanese iris (Iris ensata), forget-me-nots, marsh marigold and cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
I am partial to the Primula acaulis hybrids like the Danova Bicolor and others. These are fairly short plants with short flower stalks, but their flower colors — yellow, orange, scarlet, red and a crisp, yellow-centered white — are so intense they brighten a gray, gloomy day even from the street.
Primroses give your house and garden a bright look. Tuck some in amongst your plantings on porches, steps and pathways. Many primroses have a lovely scent. Take time to smell the primroses. You’ll be glad you did.
Here is the link about benefits of primrose oil:
Tweet me about your success in Tweeter and follow me on Facebook.
Yours truly, Polly – Organic Gardener