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How to Grow Mexican Evening Primrose

By Barbara Raskauskas ; Updated September 21, 2017
pink flower on rock image by Claude Wangen from Fotolia.com

Mexican evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa), also known as pink evening primrose, is an 8- to 24-inch tall perennial flower that is cold hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9. Late spring to late summer, Mexican evening primrose will produce fragrant pink blooms with yellow centers. You can plant Mexican evening primrose seeds outdoors in the spring, or anytime summer to fall. Plant container Mexican evening primrose in the spring.

Choose a full-sun, well-drained location to plant Mexican evening primrose. The plant will spread, so choose a location where spreading is welcome, like on a hillside. This perennial will grow in most soil conditions, sandy to some clay, and will even grow in rock gardens.

Break up the surface of the ground down to 2 to 3 inches using a hoe or three-prong rake if planting seed. The soil can be worked deeper if desired. Water the worked soil lightly so seeds will adhere. If planting container Mexican evening primrose, use a spade to dig a hole down and across twice the height and width of the container to loosen the soil. Space container plants 24 inches apart.

Spread the seeds on the moist soil. When the sprouts appear in less than two weeks, gently pull out weaker sprouts. When planting from a container, remove the plant from the container. Back fill the hole as needed so top of the plant is at ground level.

Water newly planted Mexican evening primrose every seven to 10 days during the first growing season if there is no rainfall. From the second year on, rainfall alone should provide this drought-tolerant plant with sufficient water.

Dig up the plant every three years and divide the root ball into two sections (divisions). The division can be planted elsewhere to expand the Mexican evening primrose flower bed.


Things You Will Need

  • Mexican evening primrose seed or
  • Mexican evening primrose plant
  • Hoe or three-prong rake
  • Spade


  • The root system of Mexican evening primrose is extensive. Runners can spread underground, sending up sprouts that will ultimately root and send more runners. Because of this growth activity from runners, Mexican evening primrose can become invasive.

About the Author


Barbara Raskauskas's favorite pursuits are home improvement, landscape design, organic gardening and blogging. Her Internet writing appears on SASS Magazine, AT&T and various other websites. Raskauskas is active in the small business she and her husband have owned since 2000 and is a former MS Office instructor.