It’s not quite spring yet, but we can still daydream about planting flowers outside. One of the first signs of spring is the primrose or the primula, a genus of 400-500 flowering plants. These popular ornamental plants can be found all around the world, from the temperate climate of the northern hemisphere to the tropical mountains in Ethiopia, Indonesia and New Guinea.
These early-bloomers will flower from March until May. They come in a wide variety of forms, sizes and colours. Although yellow is the most common colour, there are also pink, purple, red and white varieties. Most varieties will grow between 4-6 inches in height.
Primroses are easy to grow, low-maintenance and vigorous plants. These bright, vibrant flowers will add a splash of colour to the landscape. For the best impact, plant them in masses, ideally as borders in a garden bed. Primroses are shade-loving plants and prefer cool temperatures. A good spot for these flowers would be under a deciduous tree or beneath the foliage of other shade lovers. Use moist, fertile and nutrient rich soil.
With the proper growing conditions, these plants will multiply each year! Mulching around plants is recommended. Deadheading will extend blooming time. After flowering period, be sure to remove dead leaves around the plant. In ideal conditions, primrose may self-seed.
They are also good for container gardening and some varieties can even be grown indoors as a houseplant.
Climate zones: 5-9
Fun Flower Facts about the Primrose:
- the scientific name primula comes from the Latin word primus, meaning first or early; the primrose is one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring
- the plant is food for caterpillars
- it was once believed that the primrose had great healing power, healing all sorts of diseases, even paralysis
- The Germans had a belief that the first girl to find a primrose on Easter would marry that year
- during the Middle Ages, primrose was used to create love potions
- dried primrose can be used to make teas and other beverages
- the young leaves are edible and would be tasty in a salad
- the roots can be used to make relishes