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Primula (75 photos): types and care

Primula (75 photos): types and care

On the hills and forest edges, bright primrose petals bloom before many other flowers. Even its name – Primulaveris – comes from the Latin “primus” – the first. The ancient Germans and Slavs called the sun bells of primroses “the keys of spring”, because one of the wild species of this plant really resembles a bunch of golden master keys. Primrose cultivars delight florists with a colorful variety of shades and long flowering. Throughout the season, these charming bouquets are a real decoration of window sills, balconies, flower beds, terraces and gardens, cheerfully welcoming the revival of the sun and warmth.

Description and types

Primula, or primrose, is a common plant in the temperate latitudes of Eurasia and North America. In nature, these beautifully flowering herbs are found on mountain slopes, meadows and forest outskirts. The primrose is easy to recognize by the dense rosette of dense, embossed leaves – in texture they resemble the wool of young sheep, astrakhan, which is why the people call the primrose “rams”. With the arrival of spring, stems with an umbrella-shaped or spikelet peduncle (in tall species) rise from the center of the leaf basket, or many large flowers open on short stems, forming a bright “cap” above the green base.

Tall primroses can reach a length of 30–35 cm, flowers have a diameter of 2–4 cm. They feel good in the open field and are unpretentious to care for. Low ones, in which the petals are more noticeable and wider, are popular as indoor plants, they are often presented for spring holidays. The special pride of breeders is terry varieties with lush multi-layered flowers, reminiscent of blossoming roses..

The palette of shades of primroses is incredibly rich: monochromatic ones alternate with expressive contrasts, gentle gradients – with patterns, unusual edging, strokes, veins. The central part of regular five-petalled flowers is most often bright yellow, around which all kinds of combinations of tones look even more saturated.

More than 550 plant species are ranked in the Primula genus, but for convenience they can be conditionally divided into several sections.

Toothed primrose

The toothed primroses are distinguished by leaves with small serrations along the edges, as well as a beautiful spherical inflorescence on a long stem. Its height can reach 60-70 cm.

Toothed primrose

Primrose capitate

It has a similar structure, but since the upper part of the inflorescence blooms more slowly than the lower bells, the shape of the flower remains flattened at this time. The stem and unopened mini-buds in capitate varieties are covered with a white bloom, which makes the plant appear “powdered”.

Primrose capitate

Common primrose

It is a short (15–25 cm) stemless plant with an abundance of flowers. Representatives of this section are ideal for growing both indoors and outdoors. They can be used to create living borders, paths, compositions on flower beds and ridges..

Common primrose

Primrose high

It blooms earlier than all other species and staunchly endures winter in natural conditions. The length of its stems reaches 30 cm, but the flowers themselves are small – up to 2 cm.The color of wild tall primroses is rather modest – usually it is a uniform lemon, white or raspberry tone with a yellow core.

Primrose high

Polyanthus primrose

This is a hybrid based on high varieties. The diameter of the flowers is larger, and the colors are more interesting – there are already red, orange, purple, purple and even brown tones..

Polyanthus primrose

Planting and breeding primrose

Most primrose species are perennials, so a single plant can live in a pot or outdoors for more than ten years. Reproduction is carried out mainly by seeds or dividing the bush, very rarely – by cuttings.

Sowing seeds it is advisable to carry out no later than 6 months after collection, since they quickly lose their germination. The ideal time to start the process is December-January, so that by the time the sprouts appear, the sunny day is already long.

Seeds are sown in light garden soil over the surface and are not covered from above. For the first 3-4 weeks, a container covered with a lid with moistened soil and crops is stored in the refrigerator – on the warmest shelf or in the doors, at a temperature of about + 5C. It is important that the substrate does not dry out at this time..

After such an “artificial winter”, the container is transferred to the windowsill (east or west) and the lid is opened to allow air to reach the sprouts. Young seedlings of primrose should always be in partial shade, they also need high humidity and a minimum of heat (no more than + 12 … + 15C). In summer, seedlings should be protected from direct sunlight and drying out of the soil. In general, it will take a year and a half before transplanting seedlings into open ground, and it will begin to bloom only by the third.

Dividing the bush – the most convenient and affordable way to reproduce primroses. To do this, an adult 3-5-year-old plant is dug up and divided into parts so that each has at least one bud with roots. This is best done immediately after the end of the flowering period, after feeding the mother bush with nitrogen fertilizers. The separated sprouts are planted in a permanent place in holes or new pots, deepening to the previous level, after which they are tamped and watered regularly.

Primrose cuttings carried out if there are no roots to divide. In this case, a shoot is cut off at the soil level, which is planted in a moist mixture of garden soil and river sand. The sprout is left in a bright place at + 18C until the leaves appear, after which it is ready for planting..

Primrose - Planting and Breeding Primula - Planting and Breeding Primula - Planting and Breeding

Primrose care

Given that the climate of the middle zone for primroses is quite familiar, this plant cannot be considered capricious. The exception is some late-flowering varieties that do not tolerate frost well. So, undersized and large-flowered species will need to be given more attention than “wild” ones with high stems – for example, it is recommended to cover these bushes with a large layer of mulch for the winter. In general, primroses are unpretentious, and anyone can grow them..

The soil

The soil for primroses should be loose, moisture and air permeable. In room conditions, you can take a mixture of leafy earth, peat and river sand in equal proportions. Be sure to put a good drainage layer on the bottom of the pot. When planting outdoors, humus, sand, rotted leaves, and needles should be added to the soil. Heavy clay and stony soils should be avoided – stagnant moisture, like drying out, is detrimental to these plants.

Primrose Care - Soil


Primroses love slightly shaded areas, but in the morning and evening hours, the sun should illuminate the flower bed well. Indoor primroses should not be left on the southern windowsills – it is better to move them deeper into the room.

Primrose Care - Lighting Primrose Care - Lighting


Watering primroses is necessary frequently so that the substrate remains moderately moist at all times. Spraying will only be necessary in extremely dry or hot air, although it is enough to simply remove the pot with the plant in a cool place. It is enough to moisten garden primroses only at the stage of seedling rooting. If the place is cool and shady, there will be enough rain for the primroses in the future..

Primrose Care - Moisturizing

Top dressing

To make the bushes look healthy, in early spring they are watered with a weak solution of mineral fertilizers for flowering plants, following the instructions. At the beginning of summer, organic matter, for example, humus, can be added to the root. In August, primroses are fertilized with a small amount of ammonium nitrate or potassium (15 g per 10 l of water) and superphosphate (20 g per 10 l of water).

Primrose Care - Top dressing Primrose Care - Top dressing

Pest and disease control

Compliance with the listed conditions is a guarantee that the plants will be strong and blooming, but sometimes even the correct agricultural technique does not save from the attack of insects or diseases. In the fight against them, special preparations will help – insecticides and fungicides. Sometimes ordinary pharmaceutical solutions, which are in every home, or folk remedies, are also very useful: ash, tinctures of garlic, onion husks, makhorka, aloe juice, etc..

The main pests of primrose:

Nematodes – give themselves away with swelling and curvature of the stems. To get rid of them, the soil is treated with sulfur. On flower beds, marigolds growing in the neighborhood will serve as a good prophylactic agent..

Aphids – appears when there is a lack of phosphoric acid, and you can notice it by sticky white or black dots on the stem and on the inside of the leaves. To eliminate, you can use insecticides or bioactive agents, infusion of garlic, onions or tobacco leaves, soap solution (100 g of tar soap per 10 liters of water), ash infusion (1 glass of ash per 5 liters of water, hold for 12 hours).

Slugs – can harm primroses if it grows in an area that is too humid or if it rains for a long time. You will have to collect snails by hand or transplant the bushes to a drier place.

Diseases of primroses are mainly caused by fungi. They can appear in the form of rust on the leaves, gray and brown spots, rot on the roots and stems. Spraying with Bordeaux liquid or Fitosporin helps to destroy harmful spores, but the main thing is to prevent waterlogging of plants by correctly regulating watering.

Primrose - Pest and Disease Control Primrose - Pest and Disease Control

Primula – photo

In our photo gallery you will find many images with primroses. Here are collected photos of various species and varieties of primrose, which can become a bright spring decoration for an interior or garden plot..

In compositions with other plants or even primroses themselves create an attractive pattern on flower beds, rocky hills, around water bodies, along paths and paths. One glance at the festive shades of primroses is enough to forever be enchanted by their radiant beauty and with tenderness to enjoy these flowers in your apartment or in the country..

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