How to Prune Primrose

Primula japonica in bloom. image by Stan


Primrose, known botanically as primula, is a genus of spring flowering perennial plants. Primula produce large bright green crenulated leaves that grow outward in a fountain form and small flowers on slim upright central stalks. Primrose are popular for being low maintenance and versatile plants. They are grown in containers, beds and borders, massed in drifts and used as indoor plants.

Step 1

Groom your primrose plants throughout the growing season. Pluck the individual spent blooms or petals from the larger flower stalk as they brown and shrivel. Inspect the green foliage for any signs of damage, dieback or disease on the leaves. Cut any problem leaves that you find off at the base of the plant with your secateurs.

Step 2

Deadhead fading flower stalks after all of the buds have opened and completed bloom. Reach into the foliage with your small scissors and cut the stalk at its base where it meets the main stem. The small scissors allow you to see your work in the small plant and prevent cuts that can damage other plant parts. Compost or discard the cuttings.

Step 3

Prune off dead or dying plant tops in the fall after the first frost and when the foliage has turned brown. Shear the foliage clean off at the soil level with your secateurs and toss into the compost bin.

Things You'll Need

  • Secateurs
  • Small sharp scissors


  • Washburn University
  • USDA Plant Database profile
Keywords: primula primrose, prune cut back shape, flowering annual

About this Author

A communications professional, D.C. Winston has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals and film/broadcast media. Winston studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.

Photo by: Stan