How to Prune English Primrose After Flowers Are Spent


English primrose (Primula vulgaris) is one of many species of primrose prized for its brightly hued bloom with colored center eyes and a furry, crenellated leaf surface. English primrose is hardy in USDA Zones 5 though 8 and flowers reliably in late spring and summer. Handling spent flower heads is simple and will keep the plant looking tidy and spur new bloom development.

Step 1

Deadhead individual spent primrose flowers beginning in late spring with first round of bloom and continuing through the summer. Frequent removal of spent flowers will encourage the plant to throw up new bloom buds.

Step 2

Pinch the dying flowers off by using your fingers to snap or sever the thin green stem from the main flower stalk just above the first pair of leaves, below the bloom. Alternatively, you can use small scissors to make the cut. Look carefully at your work to make sure you are cutting just the small stem from the spent bloom and not into living tissues or adjacent flower bud stalks.

Step 3

Allow a portion of the spent flower heads to remain on the plant undisturbed to form into seed heads. You can collect the seeds when mature or simply allow them to fall and self-sow into the soil below, propagating more primrose plants at the site.

Things You'll Need

  • Small scissors


  • University of Vermont: Primula
  • White Flower Farm: Deadheading, Pinching and Pruning Perennials
Keywords: deadheading English primrose, pruning Primula vulgaris, trimming primrose flowers

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.