There are some wonderfully colourful flowers you can plant in borders, hanging baskets, and containers at this time of year, but none are as colourful as the humble primrose. We love primroses, so in case you are looking for some gardening inspiration this spring, here is a quick guide to primroses and how to care for them.
Primroses, like snowdrops, are one of the earliest flowering plants. It doesn’t matter if the ground is frozen solid or it’s been snowing – you can still look out and enjoy a beautiful floral display thanks to primroses.
The main reason why we love primroses is that they are relatively easy to care for. The one thing primroses hate is heat, but we are in the UK, so excessive heat is rarely a problem. They much prefer shade and cool weather, so spring is an excellent time to plant some pretty primroses in your garden.
Primroses will bloom year after year if you look after them. As long as they are not exposed to too much heat, your hardy primroses will live to fight another day. It’s important to remember this if you want your primroses to survive the summer. Always avoid planting primroses in full sunlight. They dislike being in the sun and will wilt and fade away very fast. Instead, plant your primroses in shaded borders or containers.
These plants prefer cool soil, but they also dislike being waterlogged, so well-drained soil is ideal, and if you plant primroses in containers, make sure there is adequate drainage at the bottom. Shade is preferable, but you don’t need to avoid sunlight completely. It’s OK to plant primroses in a section of your garden that gets the morning sun. Dappled shade also works well, so planting primroses under a tree or near large overhanging shrubs is a good solution.
Deter Garden Pests
If you decide to plant primroses in containers of baskets, use sterilised potting compost, as it will be disease-free. Slugs love primroses, so watch out for slug trails and if your primroses prove to be a tasty snacking station for the local slug population, sprinkle eggshells or gravel around the plants to deter pests.
Always water primroses from below, as this prevents fungal diseases from destroying the leaves.
Caring for Primroses
Remove dead flowers daily during the main flowering period, as this encourages the plant to keep producing flowers. Once primroses finish flowering in late spring, you may be able to persuade your plants to return for a second flowering period later in the season. Do this by trimming the leaves by up to 50%. Prune back all foliage in late winter to encourage new growth in early spring. Some of our customers find it easier to use scissors to prune primroses, as they don’t have tough woody stems like some other plants.
You can also grow primroses indoors on a window sill with a decent amount of natural light, but as we mentioned above, avoid placing them in direct sunlight. They look lovely in an east-facing kitchen!