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How to Care for Primulas

By Dale Devries ; Updated September 21, 2017

Primulas are more commonly known as primrose and there are approximately 400 species of this plant. They require little sun and can be planted in gardens or containers. Primulas is a low growing plant, anywhere from 2 to 12 inches tall. The flowers come in just about every imaginable color and many various sizes. Probably the easiest of the species to grow is the polyanthus primrose which is not a true primulas, but a hybrid. The Primulas can be propagated by division or seed.

Place Primula plants in direct sunlight for no more than 2 hours a day. These make perfect plants for under planting trees and tall shrubs. If they are planted in a place where they are getting too much sun, place a taller plant to block the sun or set up a screen.

Top dress the soil around the plants with compost each year in the spring. This will help the soil stay loose and well draining. If your soil is not draining well, work some compost and sand into the soil without disturbing the roots too much.

Mulch in the spring to help retain moisture and keep the roots cool. Do not pile mulch around the crown of the plant or it may cause rot. Mulch again in the late fall to keep the plant from frost heave.

Use slug bait traps around the Primula in the garden or containers, as slugs like to eat the plants.

Divide the plants every other year by digging the entire plant up and cutting in the center of the crown. This should be done from right after blooming to late fall. Replant and mulch right away.


Things You Will Need

  • Compost
  • Sand
  • Pine needle mulch
  • Spade
  • Slug bait