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How to Grow Primroses From Seed

The brightly blooming primrose is an indigenous plant to Western Asia and regions in Southern Europe. They are also referred to as primulas, and common primrose. They belong to the Primulaceae family of plants. The small, 1-inch-wide flowers of the primrose vary in color from yellow, red, blue and white. They are hardy in zones 3 through 8 and although considered a short living perennial, they prefer cool growing climates over heat.

Growing Primrose from Seed

Fill up plant cells, or 4-inch pots, with a sterilized seed starting mix. Water each planting receptacle until they are well-saturated.

Place 2 to 3 primrose seeds onto the surface of the soil, press them into the soil to a depth of approximately ¼ inch. Avoid covering the primrose seeds with any soil. Light is necessary for primrose seeds to germinate.

Loosely cover the pots or cells with clear plastic wrap. Place them into a propagation tray, or other large, shallow tray which can hold approximately 1 inch of water.

Put the primrose seeds in a cool location, out of direct sunlight. suggests placing primrose seeds under florescent lights. Place the cells, or pots, approximately 4 to 6 inches from the florescent lights. Keep them under the lights for approximately 10 to 12 hours a day.

Check on the primrose seeds daily. Add water when needed; enough to keep the soil in the planting receptacles moist. Ideal temperature is 60 to 65 degrees F. Germination is between 10 and 30 days. Once seedlings emerge, remove the plastic wrap. As soon as they reach 1 inch in height, remove all but one seedling per pot, or cell.

Once the seedlings have reached approximately 3 to 4 inches in height, you can transplant them outside into a place in your flower garden, or into larger growing containers, like tubs, or barrels.

Transplanting Primroses

Fill up a tub, or barrel, with enough potting mix so it’s just 1 to 2 inches from the top of the rim. If you’re planting primroses directly into the ground, suggests planting prirmroses in a humus rich soil that is moisture retentive, but not soggy.

Dig holes spaced 8 to 10 inches apart, and which are twice the width and depth of each of your pots, or cells.

Tap gently on the rim of each pot with your trowel to remove the primrose. To remove from a cell, force the seedling up from the bottom of a cell. Place the primrose in the hole. Make sure the crown of the plant is just slightly above the surface of the soil, approximately 1 inch. Fill up the entire hole with dirt. Water each primrose using a slow stream of water.


According to, primroses do best if planted in partially shaded locations.

If you're reusing planting cells, or pots, it's a good idea to sterilize them beforehand. Rinse them in a solution of 1 cup bleach and 9 cups water.

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