The brightly colored flowers of Primroses will put you in a good mood early in the year. You can read all about planting and caring for the different species and varieties here.


With their varied, brightly colored flowers, primroses ensure a good mood in gray winters. They are among the first flowering plants in the New Year and live up to their name, because "Primula" means "the first". Primroses are almost always thought of as small potted plants available in the supermarket. But Primroses are actually sturdy perennial wild and garden shrubs that are native to the entire northern hemisphere. The genus Primula comprises over 400 species and continues to grow through new hybrids. In that, Auricula ( (Primula aurikula) hold a special position. In England enthusiasts present their treasures at auricle shows, at which the most beautiful are awarded.

Yellow Cowslip

The arrangement of the flowers of the Cowslip (Primula veris) is shaped like a key ring

The majority of Primroses are perennial, deciduous, herbaceous plants that form an underground network of rhizomes. Primroses are hardy and not very demanding, which makes them easy to care for in the garden. The flowers of the Primrose, which appear from February to May, usually consist of small inflorescences that sit close together and resemble umbels, panicles or a bunch grapes, depending on the type. You can find almost all colors, from white to yellow, pink and red to violet. The throat, however, is almost always rich yellow. The flowers of the Primrose have a slightly hairy stem up to 9.84 inches long, sometimes upright, sometimes drooping, which springs up from a rosette of leaves. Some wild species have flowers arranged as a bunch of keys, which has given them the common name, Cowslip (Primula veris).

Well-known potted and garden plants are the (Primula vulgaris hybrids), the drumstick primrose (Primula denticulata), the poison primrose (Primula obconica), the fairy primrose (Primula malacoides) and the rose-pink Primrose (Primula rosea). Particularly beautiful is also Candelabra primrose (Primula bulleyana and Primula Bullesiana-hybrids), in which the flowers are arranged in a whorl pattern along the stem. They bloom a little later than other primrose species, between June and July, sometimes even into August, and reach heights of up to 19.68 inches.

Caution! Most Primrose species contain the contact allergen primin, which can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. Therefore, it is best to wear gloves when planting. If large quantities are consumed, the active ingredient leads to stomach pain and nausea. The plants should therefore be placed out of the reach of children or pets.

Flowers of the Drumstick Primrose

The Drumstick Primrose (Primula denticulata) is enchanting in spring with its beautiful flower balls

Planting and Care

Most Primroses are available in spring as decorative flowers in small plastic pots. This gives an impression that you can discard them. In fact, the small early bloomers are perennial and can be planted in the garden in spring or autumn. Most Primrose species prefer a nutrient-rich underground in sun or partial shade. For this, some compost should be added to the substrate when planting. Primroses thrive both in pots and in flower beds. The rose Primrose is particularly suitable for planting the edge of the pond and for other very damp substrates, as it is not as sensitive to wet bases as its sisters. If they have enough space in the border, primroses spread quickly through their rhizomes. The low maintenance flowering plants do not need a lot of attention, only that which has bloomed and damaged parts of the plant should be cleaned regularly. Keep the substrate moist but not wet. Primroses do not like drought or bright summer sun. A composite fertilizer can be used to start sprouting in spring. In humus soil, you don’t need to additionally fertilize it during the year.

Colorful flower pots

Perfect plant partners in the pot: Primroses, Daffodils and Sedge

Where to plant

Potted Primroses are offered everywhere, especially at the beginning of the year. That is why they are often the star in colorful arrangements on the windowsill or in front of the house door. Primroses should be arranged in small groups in both the flower box and the flower bed. When combined with Tulips or Daffodils, the colorful early bloomers will bring in the spring fever. A little later in the year, Horned violets, buttercups, bellis and spring daisy are suitable plant partners. In an open space, embedded in soft moss, surrounded by a wreath or combined with green plants such as and potted grasses, they become stylish eye-catchers. The Oxlip (Primula elatior) are easily the most attractive because their flowers are found on stems about 3.93 inches high. The Drumstick Primrose (Primula denticulata) also stretches its flower balls out.

The Rose Primroses, which were considered as treasures just a few years ago, celebrated their success some time ago with varieties in yellow, white, orange, red and blue. Its particularly densely filled flowers exude nostalgic charm. The Primrose is a pretty herald of spring not only in pots, but also in the garden. It is suitable as understory plants of hedges, bushes and trees. Since the primrose partially retreats into the ground in autumn, it should be combined with ferns, grasses or late-blooming shrubs in the flower bed. The long-stemmed Primroses are even well suited as cut flowers — with other low-rise early bloomers, they can be combined to make pretty spring bouquets.

Candelabra Primrose

The Candelabra Primrose (Primula x bullesiana) is ideal for planting fresh to moist garden areas


Since many Primroses originally come from the Alpine region, they are generally quite hardy when planted in the flower bed. The Common Primrose in particular, which is one of the best-selling potted plants, is a hardy perennial that actually prefers to be in the flowerbed than in the pot. The Primrose flowers should only be covered when there is heavy night frost. Primroses in a pot are overwintered best in a bright, cold place.

Potted Primroses

Potted Primroses are sure to lift up your spirits in spring


Primroses form underground rhizomes, so propagation is quite easy. After flowering, the small plants can simply be divided using a spade and put back in at least 7.87 inches. Primroses can also be propagated by propagated. Some species are self-sowing.

Diseases and Pests

The robust Primrose plants are highly disease-resistant. If the plant is too wet, titlegray mold (botrytis) or root and stem rot can occur. The rot is manifested by pale green discoloration or leaf withering. The only thing that can help here is transplanting. Dispose of moldy plants. Pest infestation is seldom seen in planted primroses. Sometimes the Vine weevils prefer to infest them. In greenhouses, on the other hand, aphids, leaf miners or spider mites occur frequently.

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