Primroses are a wildflower native to Britain. It is found widely both cultivated and in the wild and is a bright and yet delicate flower that is quiet, unassuming and yet very appealing.

Are primroses annuals or perennials?

Primroses are herbaceous perennials though they are often grown as annuals. They produce primrose yellow flowers in the late winter or early spring, forming clumps with their semi-evergreen foliage.

Do primroses like shade or sun?

Primroses are quite happy in full sun or partial shade. A sheltered spot is best. In warmer southern regions primroses will probably prefer a slightly more shaded, dappled shade position that mimics their natural woodland edge habitat. They like a soil that is moist but well-drained though are not particularly fussy about pH or soil type. Some people say they prefer a slightly acidic soil pH of around 6.5. They are a good choice for many different types of garden and garden design.

Growing primroses from seed or cuttings

Primroses can be propagated by seed or root basal cuttings. Many people simply choose to buy primroses as small plants from the garden centre or plant nursery. Primroses are very easy to plant and will require very little care – just water well until they are established. The problems that some people have with plants not acclimatising well are usually due to the fact that plants from a plant nursery were grown in peaty compost under cover. They are not particularly hardy. One option if you feel this might be the case is to keep the plant indoors until after it has flowered, re-potting it in a gritty compost before transferring it to the garden in September in a cool and semi-shaded spot.

If you do wish to plant primroses from seed then the tiny seeds can be sown on a bed of moist planting medium. The tray will then have to be put into the fridge for 3-4 weeks and then kept at a temperature of around 20-21 degrees Celsius for 3-6 weeks until the germination takes place.

Propagating primroses

After a couple of years, you can if you wish divide your plant. Simply take a clump from your plant with its roots attached and transplant it to somewhere else in your garden. Primroses are pretty tolerant of root disturbance so should survive the move.

Why grow primroses in the garden?

Primroses are not only a delight for our senses, they are also wonderful for bees. There is a lot of variety within primroses and varietals of unusual forms and colours have been grown in gardens for hundreds of years.

Since primroses flower very early in the year, they are useful for insect life in your garden when there are few other blooms about.

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Primula Vulgaris