How to Divide Potted Primrose Plants


Primrose plants are not actually roses; the name primrose means "first bloom" in Latin, as they are the first flowers to bloom in the spring. Varieties of primrose plants are found all over the northern hemisphere, from Europe to Asia to North America. Most primroses are hardy to zone 4, and they can be grown in containers or in your garden. Dividing potted primrose plants every few years will give you the best blooms for your garden.

Step 1

Prepare a new pot for your divided primrose plants. The pot needs good drainage. Fill the pot with two thirds rich potting soil and one third compost. Mix the potting soil and compost together well.

Step 2

Remove dead foliage and blossoms from the potted primrose plant. Cut the potted primrose plant back to 6 inches above the crown.

Step 3

Dig up your potted primrose plants. Loosen the soil around the primrose plants carefully with your spade. Lift the potted primrose plants from the pot once the soil is loose and they pull free easily. Shake or brush the loose soil from the potted primrose plants.

Step 4

Divide the potted primrose plants into two pieces. Remove and discard the center of the crown if it is no longer producing blooms. Pull apart the roots and crown carefully using the spade to cut any stubborn pieces. Each half of the potted primrose plant should have a piece of the crown and viable roots with which to reestablish itself.

Step 5

Dig holes for the divided primrose plants in the prepared pots. The holes should be as deep as the roots and three times as wide. Place the primrose plants in the holes, spreading out the roots, and cover them with soil.

Step 6

Water the divided primroses plants until the soil is moist.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not allow divided primrose plants to dry out or they will die. Keep the roots moist at all times.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Well-draining pot
  • Rich potting soil
  • Compost


  • Primroses
  • Getting Started with Primroses
  • A Guide to Propagating Herbs: Division

Who Can Help

  • It's Primrose Time
Keywords: dividing potted primrose plants, primrose care, propagating primrose

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance for over a year and her focus' are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Hollan taught English in Japan. She has a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.