Primrose is a low-growing herb that blooms in the spring with purple, yellow, pink, red or white flowers. They are often one of the first flowers to bloom in early spring. The plants prefer partial shade, cool temperatures and moist soils. They can be started indoors as long as the temperatures do no reach above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and nighttime temperatures must be cooler. They have adapted well to mountain climates. Primroses provide food for caterpillars and many varieties of butterflies. These herbs are typically easy to establish and are grown from seeds.
Mix together equal parts of sand, soil and peat moss. The amounts that you mix will depend on how many seeds you plan on planting. Start with 1 cup of each and mix together well. Fill seed trays almost full of this mixture, leaving 1/16th to 1/18th of an inch of space to the top.
Place the seeds into each planter in the tray without covering them with soil. Cover the tray lightly with plastic wrap, and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for two to three weeks to allow for germination. You can also germinate the plants in a cool basement or cellar. The plants should be placed in indirect sunlight in a non-drafty location. Keep the soil moist, but not saturated. The plastic wrap will help the plants retain their moisture.
Prepare the planting bed for your seedlings in advance. Mix three parts peat moss to one part soil in the bed. The depth of the mixture should be 4 to 6 inches. Add 1 cup of 4-12-4 commercial fertilizer to every 2 to 3 feet of soil. The plants should be fertilized again after they have bloomed and before the ground begins to freeze. Scatter the same amount of commercial fertilizer on the ground surrounding the plants.
Place the primrose plants into the garden bed when they have acquired two to three leaves and are around 2 inches tall. Turn the tray upside down gently to allow the seedlings to loosen from the tray. Pull gently at the base of the plants to slip the plant out of the tray. Plant the primrose until the roots are just covered. The hole will be approximately 2 to 3 inches deep. Place the plants 3 inches apart in the garden in early spring or early fall for best results.
Water your plants once a week in the morning. This will give the ground time to dry out before the cooler night temperatures.