Blooming Plant of
Primula acaulis (syn. P. vulgaris), Primula x polyantha
English primrose, Polyanthus
This large group of hardy, mostly perennial herbs have brightly
colored, rounded 1- to 2-inch-diameter flowers in various types
of clusters held above the foliage. The leaves usually form a
clump and are a pleasant spring green. Most primroses are
produced in greenhouses and bloom in late autumn, winter and
early spring. Many cultivars have a beautiful Freesia-like
Primroses are available in vivid reds, blues, yellows, oranges,
purples or pinks. Most have yellow centers that form star,
circle or scalloped patterns or even raised rings with dots of
Primroses will bloom indoors for two to four weeks or more,
depending on care. In many cases, they can be planted outdoors
when blooming has finished.
Primroses are available year-round but are most heavily marketed
in the spring.
1 Upon arrival, remove the plants from the shipping boxes
by grasping their protective sleeves and lifting the plants out.
2 Carefully remove each sleeve by tearing along the seam
upward from the bottom.
3 Inspect plant variety, size, color and quality.
4 Remove any damaged stems, leaves and blooms.
5 Inspect each plant for disease or damage. Isolate
diseased or damaged plants, and report them to the grower or
buying office immediately.
6 Determine water needs by pressing a finger into the
soil or using a moisture meter.
7 Water each plant, as necessary, with room-temperature
water, and allow excess water to drain from each pot.
In-Store and Consumer Care
The plants generally do well in light levels bright enough
to read a newspaper in comfort, but more light is better.
Keep the soil moist at all times, but allow water to drain
Primroses’ shelf life can be extended by keeping them in
cool areas at 55 F for short periods of time in the store, and a
bright, cool (55 F to 65 F) location is best in the home.
Severe leaf damage can result if the plants are exposed to
air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide.
Some primrose species are reported to cause contact
dermatitis in some people.
Primroses are members of the Primulaceae family. The most
common commercial crop relatives include Cyclamens,
shooting-star (Dodecatheon) and loosestrife (Lysimachia).
Avoid plants that show signs of mold on the blossom
stems, a frequent problem.
Check the plants for signs of wilt rot or leaf damage.
Snails, slugs and silkworms can attack the leaves; aphids
and thrips can infest the flowers. quality checklist.
You can reach “Blooming Plant
of the Month” writer Steven W. Brown, AIFD,
or by phone (415) 239-3140.
Images courtesy of The John
Some information provided by:
The American Primrose Society,
Chain of Life NetworkÆ,
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