Plant Pick for January 2010
Primroses or Primula are perennial bedding plants more often grown as
annuals. The 3 types most often seen are Primula acaulis and polyantha
(English Primrose), Primula obconica (Florist’s Primrose), and Primula
malacoides (Fairy Primrose). These colorful winter bloomers will take full
sun in cool coastal areas but require part shade more inland where it is
hot. Plant in soil enriched with organic matter or potting soil. Average
water is required. Feed with a liquid bloom formula while in flower such as
Maxsea 3-20-20. If the nitrogen content of the fertilizer ( first number on
the package) is too high, the leaves will overshadow the flowers. Regular
“deadheading” will keep these bright and pretty plants blooming well into
English Primrose are ideal for massing, planting with bulbs and growing in
pots. There are many different strains available such as Pacific Giants
whose flower stalks reach 1 foot and Danova whose flowers are held closer to
the plant. Flowers are brilliantly hued in every color of the rainbow. Some
are two toned and others have a distinctive gold or yellow margin around
each petal. They have a sweet scent, especially the yellow and apricot
Florist Primrose come in pastel shades of blue, pink, salmon, rose and
white. Flowers are held above round light green leaves. They can be used as
flowering houseplants in cooler, well lit rooms but are just as happy
outside. They are nearly everblooming in cool summer areas! Some people find
that the foliage can irritate their skin. The Freedom and Libre selections
do not have the little irritating hairs on the leaves.
Fairy Primrose have rounded, scalloped leaves. The tiny blossoms are held in
tiered whorls on tall stems. Choose from white, rose, pink, and lavender.
They are ideal for containers.
Available at all Sloat Garden Centers!