How to care for a primula

Updated April 17, 2017

Primula -- commonly called primrose -- is one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring. Depending on the type of primula you buy, the flowers are hardy but most often are grown as annuals in the UK's climate. They grow 5 to 60 cm (2 to 24 inches) high and 20 to 30 cm (8 to 10 inches) wide and bloom in almost every colour in early spring. Following a few guidelines will help you care for your primulas and let them thrive.

Choose a site to plant the primula with part shade and well-drained, rich soil. Amend the soil liberally with organic compost, digging it into the soil where you will plant the primulas. Break up large clumps in the soil with your spade at this time as well.

Transplant your primulas as soon as you can. Keep the soil moist to the touch before planting. Dig a hole twice the width of the container and at a depth the same height of the container to allow the roots to spread easily in the soil. Take the primula out of the container and place in the hole. Back fill the soil around the roots of the plant, patting it down.

Water deeply after planting, making sure the roots are wet. Place a 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inch) layer of mulch on the ground to protect it against both extreme cold and heat, and to keep down weeds and to hold moisture for the plant.

Water regularly, keeping the soil moist. The primula usually likes cooler conditions but will do well as long as it has enough moisture.

Fertilise with a complete fertiliser, following the directions on the packet for application instructions. Too much fertiliser can produce long leaves that look out of place, so apply sparingly.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Water
  • Complete fertiliser
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About the Author

Sarah Morse has been a writer since 2009, covering environmental topics, gardening and technology. She holds a bachelor's degree in English language and literature, a master's degree in English and a master's degree in information science.