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How to Divide Primrose Plants

By Melissa Lewis ; Updated September 21, 2017

Primrose, of the family Primulas, is a hardy perennial plant that blooms each spring with flowers that come in pink, fuchsia or red. Primroses can spread and get quite large. They can be divided and enjoyed elsewhere in your garden or given to a friend. Primrose plants are generally grown in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8, but some varieties, like Primula veris, can withstand cooler zones.

Wait until the blooms die off in the spring. Waiting until after the blooming season will help prevent shock, and dividing in the spring will give the primrose sufficient time to become established before the winter season.

Water your primrose a couple of inches the day before you divide it. After a rain is an ideal time.

Dig a circle around the perimeter of your plant. Stay about 6 to 8 inches away from the stems. Dig about 12 inches deep to clear the roots.

Push down on the handle of your spade or shovel in several spots to lift the primrose out of the soil. Shake off excess soil.

Lay the primrose on a tarp. See if any of the plant pulls away easily. If not, you will need to cut the roots to divide them. Take only outer cuttings with healthy-looking roots. Leave the center of the plant alone.

Replant your new primrose divisions immediately in a location that is in full sun or partial shade. The soil should be rich and well draining, so amend your soil with some compost, manure or peat moss, if necessary. You may also store the divisions in a shady spot with a wet piece of burlap wrapped around its roots until you can plant them.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel or spade
  • Tarp
  • Knife

About the Author


Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.