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Plants to Know & Grow: the Primrose

By March 8, 2021 No Comments

The primrose (Primula vulgaris) also called cowslips, are one of my favourite Easter plants.  These small, low lying plants have wrinkled leaves and five petalled flowers that are 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.  Traditionally yellow in colour, today they now come in rich tones of burgundy, deep purple, pink, red, orange and white, often with a contrasting centre.

In the house, primrose prefer being damp, but not wet, in a cool location out of direct sunlight, similar to their needs in nature.  And that’s part of the enjoyment of these plants: as soon as they’re done in the house they can be planted in the garden.

Outside, remove the pot and plant in a bright shady location in a soil well amended with compost.  Water them in well and expect them to flower late April or May, dependent on the weather conditions. They will slowly colonise into a low mass of colourful early season blooms lasting 6 weeks or more.

I received 4 of them as an Easter give 20 years ago and they still surprise and delight me despite the total lack of care I’ve given them.  Easy to grow in a bevy of colours make them a winner every time.

Garth Davey

March 2021

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