How to Prune Primroses


Primroses are low-growing, herbaceous perennials that produce brightly hued blooms in the spring and early summer. Most commonly found in garden beds and borders, primroses require some occasional deadheading and tidiness pruning in most climates but will require shearing in cold climes where the top foliage does not overwinter.

Step 1

Remove fading or spent flower heads as they die to encourage and make room for new blooms and keep the plant looking tidy. Cut the individual flowers off on the short, thin stem on the multi-bloom heads.

Step 2

Inspect the plant each time you water to look for damaged or diseased foliage or flower stems. Cut away any damaged leaves or stems down to the crown of the plant and compost or discard.

Step 3

Shear off the primrose top foliage in the late fall or early spring in cold climates where the green tops do not overwinter. If you leave the foliage to die back over winter, be sure to remove the dead foliage in early spring so the emergence of new growth is not impeded.

Things You'll Need

  • Secateurs or scissors


  • University of Vermont
  • Michigan State University
  • White Flower Farm
Keywords: primula primrose, prune cut back, herbaceous perennial

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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.