Care for a Primrose Plant

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The common primrose, known botanically as Primula vulgaris, is a low-growing, herbaceous perennial plant that bursts onto the scene in early spring with clusters of tubular blossoms in vibrant shades of yellow, orange, red, white, pink and purple. Native to southern Europe and western Asia, primrose plants thrive in cool, shady locations with moist soil. Follow these simple instructions to keep the primroses in your garden or home landscape looking great year after year.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need:

  • Garden hose or watering can
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Peat moss, pine straw or bark pieces
  • Pruning shears
  1. Water primroses every two to three days to maintain evenly moist soil. Water your plants in the morning to ensure that their foliage is dry by nightfall.

  2. Fertilize primrose plants in the spring as soon as they start growing. Feed your plants with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, or one that has been specially formulated for use with flowering plants. Follow the application directions on the fertilizer label.

  3. Spread a 2-inch layer of peat moss, pine straw or bark pieces on the surface of the soil around your primroses to help them conserve moisture. Add additional organic mulch as necessary to maintain a 2-inch layer.

  4. Deadhead your primrose plants throughout the growing season to keep up their appearance, as well as to encourage the production of additional blossoms. Snip spent primrose blossoms from the plant with a pair of sharpened and sterilized pruning shears.

Tips & Warnings

  • Propagate additional primrose plants by seed, cuttings or division.

  • Avoid watering primrose plants at night, as doing so can invite fungal and bacterial diseases.

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