Caring for primroses — tips for the colorful spring bloomers

Primroses are among the most popular and well-known flowering plants. With more than 500 species and varieties, the primrose family is very extensive, many species are hardy and perennial. The species, also known as the cushion primrose, can be kept indoors or outdoors for a short time. With a large variety of strong colors, the classic convinces as an interior decoration from January. From March, the spring flowers decorate balcony boxes, baskets and containers outdoors and are decorative and colorful for many weeks with little care.

Other names: primrose, cushion primrose, spring primrose
Use: houseplant, balcony plant, pot planting, bedding plant
Origin: Asia and Europe
Flowering period: Depending on the variety from January to April. There are early flowering and late flowering varieties.
Flower colors: yellow , red, pink, white, purple, two-tone and double varieties
. Special features: With primroses, color and spring feelings will find their way into your home. The winter hardiness of primroses varies greatly. The plants are usually intended as flowering spring decorations in the house.

After flowering, they can be planted in the garden, where they delight year after year with a lush abundance of flowers.In which location does the primrose feel most comfortable?IndoorsPrimroses are suitable as houseplants for a short time. The colorful plants do well in a bright, not too sunny location. The cooler the seasonal plant is, the longer it blooms. A house entrance that is not too warm or the stairwell is ideal. In the heated living room, the cushion primrose is a floral decoration comparable to a bouquet, the flowers of which have faded after 1 to 2 weeks at temperatures of over 20 °C.

Nevertheless, primroses are easy to care for indoors and then continue to cultivate in the garden. Outdoors Effective outdoor plantings can be realized with spring primroses from March. The motley splendor can be planted in baskets, bowls, boxes or on beds. A semi-shady location is ideal, but a shady or sunny spot is also possible for the spring-like decoration. Basically, the sunnier the place, the faster the splendor of the flowering plants fades. Individual plantings can be carried out with primroses in many different colours.

Depending on your preference, bright colors can be varied, planted in the classic white-green, yellow-white or blue-white. How do I plant my primroses in the garden? Primroses can simply be placed in pots or transplanted into larger boxes and containers. By repotting, you give the flowering plant a larger root volume and reduce the watering effort. However, repotting is not absolutely necessary.

Use high-quality potting soil for repotting and add a layer of expanded clay to the container for better drainage.How do I care for my primroses?During floweringIn addition to an even water supply, primroses only require regular cleaning of the withered flowers. As a result of this care measure, new buds are formed and seed formation does not take place.After floweringPrimroses are perennial plants which can be cultivated in the garden after flowering and are valued as permanent garden plants. Planting is done in well-drained soil with good quality potting soil.

Additional watering is required for the first few weeks until spring plants are rooted. Planted in the garden, the flowers of the spring primrose are smaller and less intensely colored.How do I water my primroses?Primroses are extremely easy-care plants, but regular watering with a watering can is essential. It is important that the primrose is not poured over the flowers and that it never dries out. Waterlogging should also be avoided. The so-called demand-oriented watering means the even moisture in the soil. How often you have to water depends largely on the location and the radiation.

Spring primroses in the garden only need additional watering in the first year after planting. In the years that follow, watering is only necessary on light sandy soil and in phases without precipitation. How do I fertilize my primroses correctly? Primroses are very decorative on the windowsill in spring. The nutrient content in the pot when you buy it is sufficient for the plant and therefore fertilization is not absolutely necessary. If necessary, liquid fertilizer can be used with Kölle’s organic natural fertilizer. It is important that the root ball is well moist to avoid root damage.

Primroses planted in the garden receive an organic fertilizer in early spring, which supplies the perennials for months. Primroses are so-called weak eaters and generally have a rather low need for fertilizer. What types of primula are there? Most primrose species are herbaceous, perennial plants with low demands on soil and care. The deciduous perennials delight year after year in spring with strong colors. Depending on the species, the flowers are arranged in umbels or panicles. In addition to the classic spring primrose, the most commonly planted species are rose primula, auricula, cowslip, globe primula and carpet primula.

The pink flowers are on upright stalks and sometimes the leaves appear after the pile. The perennial perennial is best suited for planting along the edge of a pond. Due to the bright color, this perennial primrose has a good long-distance effect. The robust garden plant can also be used for seasonal planting in boxes or tubs.


In recent years, auricles have become collector’s items, mainly in England. The variety of colors is endless and so rarities are traded at special garden fairs. With their fine fragrance, the beauties attract the first insects and are ideal rock garden plants. Without much care, garden auricles can last for many years in the same place in the bed and with a bit of luck they will self-seed. Cowslip

Another well-known type of spring bloomer is the cowslip. The species that is native to us is also known as the heavenly key and in its natural habitat it is mainly found in shady deciduous forests. Due to the declining stocks, the cowslip (Primula elatior) and the medicinal cowslip (Primula veris) have been placed under nature protection. The commercially available species are produced through complex cultivation measures and therefore do not come from natural stocks. Heavenly keys bloom very early in the year and are suitable for sunny and partially shaded locations in the garden. A calcareous, humus-rich soil without waterlogging is ideal. As a seasonal plant, primroses can also be planted in baskets, boxes and pots.Globe primroseWith spherical inflorescences in white, pink, lilac, Violet and burgundy delight this special type of primrose. As an easy-care perennial, it can stand in sunny to partially shaded locations for decades.

With a long flowering period from March to May, this valuable plant is an asset to any rock garden. The ball primrose is also very well suited for balcony and bowl planting. Carpet primula This pretty group of primroses gets its name from its carpet-like growth. This species is sometimes also referred to as the cushion primrose. As a woody perennial with dense growth and blue-green to dark green leaves, the carpet primrose is a valuable plant that does not make any great demands on care or location. Violet-purple flowers with a bright yellow center delight from February to April. The attractive ornamental plant is suitable for extensive planting in the cemetery, in the garden or in balcony boxes and containers. A semi-shady location with humus-rich soil is important for a long splendor.

FAQ — Frequently asked questions about primroses

Which plants are suitable for combining with primroses?

All spring plants such as pansies, forget-me-nots, bellis, tulips or daffodils and grasses, ivy, box, small conifers and structural plants are ideal for combining. What are the optimal temperatures for primroses? Temperatures between 10 and 15 °C are ideal for outdoor plants. At room temperature, the colorful plant withers quickly.

However, the primrose is indispensable as a spring decoration.Are primroses poisonous?

In the original forms of the primula family, all parts of the plant are poisonous. Today’s cultivated forms contain only a small proportion of irritating substances. To prevent skin irritation, however, it is advisable to care for the plant with gloves. Swallowing parts of the plant may cause discomfort and vomiting.

What does the word primrose mean? The word primrose comes from Latin and means «the first», which indicates early flowering. How are primroses protected in winter? Most species are hardy and sprout again in spring. The best protection is your own leaves and some brushwood. Only in the spring should the old leaves be carefully removed.

With our winter protection you support your primroses. How are primroses propagated?

Vigorous perennial primroses can be propagated by division. This propagation method is ideally carried out in late summer. In addition, many types of primrose can be propagated by sowing. Primroses are light and cold germs.

This means that the seed is only sprinkled onto the seed compost and not covered. The fine seeds germinate perfectly at temperatures of around 10 °C. Therefore, the seeds are placed in a sheltered place outdoors and regularly moistened. After two to three weeks the first primrose seedlings are visible and after another three to four weeks they can be isolated.

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