The primrose plant care and planting

The primrose, from Latin Primula, is an essential flower in our gardens. With its pretty colors, light fragrance, and long flowering, it brightens up the garden all year round. The primrose is the symbol of spring par excellence because it is the first to flower, from April. In the ground, in a container, in a pot, or in a planter, it is easy to maintain and requires little care to flourish.

Description of the Primrose

  • Latin name: Primula
  • Synonyms: Common primrose, Garden primrose
  • Family: Primulaceae
  • Origin: Europe
  • Flowering period: from October to April or from February to September (depending on the variety)
  • Flower color: white, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, multicolor
  • Plant type: flowering plant
  • Type of vegetation: perennial
  • Type of foliage: evergreen, semi-evergreen or deciduous (depending on the variety)

Characteristics of the Primrose

The primrose belongs to the Primulaceae family which includes no less than 1000 different species. Native to Europe, it is the primrose or Primula veris which is the best known and most cultivated species in the garden.

Due to its small size (20 cm maximum height), the primrose is ideal for growing in a planter to flower a balcony or terrace. But it also goes wonderfully with other plants (pansies, violets, tulips…) on the borders of flower beds. Depending on the variety, the flowering of the primrose is autumn, winter or spring. Its flowers like its leaves are very decorative.

How to maintain the Primrose?

Exposure Sunny or partly shaded
Watering Summer: every day
Autumn and Spring: 2 to 3 times a week
Fertilizer Spring-Summer: Special fertilizer for flowering plants or geraniums every 15 days
Cut 20 cm maximum
Diseases Red spiders, aphids

Exhibition / Location

Indoors as in the garden, the Primula needs a sunny or semi-shaded exposure. Be careful, however, to protect it from the too-hot sun but also not to install it too much in the shade. In winter, the most fragile species would not resist the north winds. The primrose thrives in a soil rich in humus, fresh, light, and well-drained. In pots, she needs a light mixture of potting soil and peat.

How to water the Primrose?

If the primrose appreciates wet soils, the water should not stagnate otherwise the roots will suffocate or encourage the appearance of gray rot. So avoid excessive watering. Water your primroses every day in summer to keep the soil moist, then 2 to 3 times a week in fall and spring.

Which fertilizer to use?

To promote the development and flowering of the primrose, add special fertilizer for flowering plants or geraniums every 15 days. Stop adding fertilizer in winter.


The primrose is an easy-care plant. However, some species are sensitive to cold. Shelter the less resistant varieties and mulch those that will remain in the garden.

How to report the Primrose?

After flowering, it is possible to keep the primroses from one year to the next. To do this, repot in the spring, in a soil rich in compost. Water copiously and keep the pot in a cool place.

How to multiply it?



Primroses multiply by sowing seeds or dividing the clump every 3 or 4 years. After flowering, dig up the primrose (or remove it from its pot). Take young shoots already rooted and replant them in pots. Keep the pots sheltered and proceed with the final planting in autumn.


How to prune the Primrose?

No need to prune the primrose. To prolong flowering, remove only the faded leaves and flowers as you go.

Diseases and Parasites

The sweet flowers of the primrose are particularly popular with slugs and birds. It can also be attacked by red spiders and aphids. Finally, gray rot, caused by excess moisture, is the primrose’s main enemy.


Primroses can cause allergic reactions on the skin.

Some species of Primrose

  • Primula vulgaris or garden primrose:

common, flowering from late February to May and very fragrant, persistent leaves, multiple colors;

  • Primula auricula:

ideal for container culture, evergreen foliage, flowering from March to May, yellow flowers;

  • Primula obconica:

particularly suitable for indoor cultivation, flowering from December to April, various colors.