Care of Primroses


Primroses (Primula) are popular bedding plants for shady areas of the garden. They bloom in early spring in lots of colors, allowing the gardener to mix and match the plants or use them to contrast the color of other shade plants. Primroses enjoy partial shade, rich soil and cool temperatures. In fact, the primrose will die when the mercury climbs above 80 degrees F. Other than making sure they have plenty of water if planted in the sun and when the temperature climbs, primroses have very few care requirements.

Step 1

Amend the planting bed with equal parts of compost and peat moss mixed into the top 6 inches of soil.

Step 2

Water the primrose to keep the soil moist, but not wet. During hot, dry weather, provide extra water to keep them from wilting.

Step 3

Fertilize the primrose in early spring and early fall. Spread 4-12-4 fertilizer, at the rate suggested on the package, in the soil around the base of the primrose and scratch it into the soil with a hand cultivator.

Step 4

Place a 3-inch layer of mulch over the plants at the end of the growing season to protect them during the winter.

Tips and Warnings

  • Insecticides may contain dangerous chemicals. Read all package instructions and warnings and wear protective clothing during application.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Peat moss
  • Fertilizer
  • Insecticide


  • Cornell University: Primrose, Drumstick
  • ‭"‬California Master Gardener Handbook‭"; ‬Dennis R.‭ ‬Pittenger‭; ‬2002
Keywords: grow primroses, care for primroses, primrose care

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.