Although members of the Primula plant genus are hardy or half hardy perennials, they are frequently grown as annuals in the garden.
They are a large genus, and therefore have a large range in height of between 7 and 90 cm (2 to 36 inches). Most garden grown Primula plants are below 30 cm (12 inches).
The time of year that Primula blooms in is species dependent. The blooming time ranges from late in winter through to summer.
Primula are rosette plant,s and may have flat, tubular or bell shaped flowers.
Primula by Hello-Julie.
As they love moist soil, Primula make great little plants to grow in boggy areas, as well as in borders or in rock gardens.
Some common names for Primula genus members include Primrose, Cowslip, English Primrose, Fairy primrose, and Polyanthus.
Primula vulgaris (Pink and white forms of the Common Primrose / English Primrose), photograph by Maja Dumat; CC.
Primula veris syn. Primula officinalis
Primula veris (Cowslip / Cowslip Primrose), photograph by Kristian Lindqvist; CC.
Primula auricula (Auricula / Mountain Cowslip / Bear's Ear), picture by Judy Dean; CC.
Common Names: Primrose, Cowslip, Oxlip, Auricula. Primrose: German; English; Scottish; Arctic; Snowy; Anise; Northern; Burma; Ruby mountain; Fairy; Giant.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial or half hardy perennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 2 to 36 inches (5 to 90 cm).
Native: South America, Europe, Asia, Northeast Africa.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10.
The primrose seeds should be sown on the surface in the autumn. As they are difficult to grow from seed in many areas, you may prefer to use Primula plants bought from a garden center. Plant these out following the last frost of spring.
In both cases, small varieties of Primrose should be spaced about 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches) apart; and larger Primula varieties about 40 cm (16 inches) apart.
Primrose plants prefer a partially shaded area of the garden, but may require a fully sunny area in colder regions.
The soil should be moist and humus rich, with very good drainage, and a slightly acidic to neutral pH (5.5 to 7).
When starting off primrose from seed indoors, do so about 2 to 3 months in advance (with a view to transplanting them outdoors after the last frost of spring).
The seeds should be mixed into soil, and put in a plastic bag. Put the bag in the fridge for 20 days. The Primrose seeds should then be moved into the light (out of the plastic bag), and germinated at 15 to 18 degrees centigrade (59 to 64°F). This should take from two to six weeks.
It is fairly easy to look after primrose, Cowslip and other Primula plant genus members. They have a preference for a cool soil, so it is good to supply a mulch before summer.
Primula should be fed with a non-organic fertiliser just before flowering. Following flowering remove stems, and top dress the soil that the Primrose grows in with peat moss.
If you require more Primula plants then they can be propagated by division.
I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Primula plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Soldanella, Hibiscus plant, Aster plant, and Cyclamen plants.