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Marie Iannotti

Nothing Prim about Primroses

By January 28, 2013

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The weather is messing with my head again, promising a warming trend... but first a little ice storm. So of course, I head to the nearest nursery greenhouse. The primroses are on display. Mine won't be out for months yet, but I like to wait for the sale at the greenhouse and scoop up a few to add to the path by my gazebo. They are so bright and cherry, they're easy to spot, even at a distance.

These are woodland plant, not prim hothouse flowers. They may have a British pedigree, but they're as unpretentious as the woodland gardens they grow in. Primroses are extremely easy to grow and there's enough variety to suit most any garden, from USDA Zones 3 - 10! Some like it dry, some wet. Some scream for attention in flashy, bold colors. Others, like my common cowslips here (Primula veris) greet you with the pastels of spring. But they all look perfectly at home spreading slowly under a tree or dotted throughout a border. Primrose make a nice addition or alternative to flowering spring bulbs. (And deer barely notice them.)

I've had pretty good luck moving the forced greenhouse flowers out doors. I don't think I've more than a couple. Do any of you do that? Any tips?

Photo: Marie Iannotti


January 28, 2011 at 9:14 am
(1) ks prairie gardener says:

I picked up some primroses in the floral dept at the grocery store a couple weeks ago. They are blooming away in the house (don’t like that sunny window, though) and will transplant nicely when spring finally gets here.

January 28, 2011 at 2:08 pm
(2) gardening says:

That’s a good idea. I’ll have to look around my area and see if they’re out. Although spring doesn’t appear to be in any hurry this year. I can’t wait to see what the groundhog has to say next week.

January 29, 2013 at 7:56 am
(3) Lauren says:

I just bought a few at Aldi’s, where they were on sale for 49 cents each! Any tips on transplanting in spring would be most welcome. They certainly look cheery on a gloomy January day!

January 31, 2013 at 4:41 pm
(4) gardening says:

Wow Lauren, 49 cents? I have an Aldi’s near me. I’ll have to see if they have any left.

I don’t do anything special to transplant them. I wait until my existing primroses are in bloom and then I tuck them in and keep them moist. The new ones may be out of bloom by then, but the plants seem to acclimate well.

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