How to Care for Neglected Primroses


Primroses come in a large variety of colors, with many of the flowers sporting two colors on each petal. Their bright yellow centers cheer up the early spring landscape as they bloom profusely from early spring to midsummer. Perennial flowers, most primrose varieties are hardy and return year after year. If you have a neglected primrose bed that is beginning to bloom less often or is looking ragged, rejuvenating it takes little effort and the payoff in abundant flowers is worth it.

Step 1

Provide shade to the primrose bed if it is in a direct sun area. Erect a shade trellis or plant a shrub or tree nearby. Too much sun causes primroses to cook in the soil, as they only thrive in partially shaded areas. Alternately, transplant the primroses to a new bed in a shady spot.

Step 2

Trim off all the dead or spent blooms on the flower with a clean pair of shears. Cut off any damaged or dead stems or leaves as well as stems that have grown longer than the rest of the plant.

Step 3

Lay a 2-inch layer of compost over the bed between the primrose plants. Work it into the top 4-inches of soil to add additional nutrients to the bed.

Step 4

Water the bed regularly, providing approximately 1 inch of water a week. Lay a 2-inch layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips, around the plants. This preserves moisture and also improves the appearance of the bed.

Step 5

Divide the plants if the primroses appear overcrowded. Dig around each plant to a depth of about 8 inches, then slide the trowel under the roots and lift the plant out of the ground. Tease the roots apart to divide the plant in two then plant the divided plants 8 inches apart in the bed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Primroses are susceptible to spider mites. Treat the bed once monthly during the growing season with a miticide.

Things You'll Need

  • Trellis
  • Shears
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Trowel


  • University of Illinois Extension: Primroses
  • University of Vermont Extension: Primula
Keywords: caring for primroses, perennial flowers, neglected primrose maintenance

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.