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The primrose spreads colorful flower flair everywhere in the garden and on the windowsill. Thanks to their breathtaking diversity and frugal undemanding nature, the flower should not be missing in our green realm. Find out here how much gardening attention the cowslip requires.

You can plant out your primroses in the spring after the frost

Table of Contents

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  1. Plant primroses correctly
  2. care tips
  3. Which location is suitable?
  4. The right planting distance
  5. What soil does the plant need?
  6. What is the best planting time?
  7. When is flowering time?
  8. Cut primroses correctly
  9. pour primroses
  10. Fertilize primroses properly
  11. Diseases
  12. pests
  13. hibernate
  14. multiply primroses
  15. Primroses in the pot
  16. Are primroses poisonous?
  17. Primula does not bloom
  18. brown leaves
  19. Yellow leaves
  20. How do I plant correctly?
  21. The most beautiful varieties
  22. Plant primroses correctly

    Plant a ready-made or hand-grown primrose as follows:

    • In the spring, thoroughly loosen the completely thawed soil
    • Dig small pits 15-30 cm apart, with twice the volume of the root ball
    • Optimize the excavation with peat, compost and horn meal
    • Unpot the flower, plant, water well and mulch

    Plant the primula no deeper than the pot and press the soil down with your hands without over-compacting it.

    care tips

    A look at the care log makes it clear why the primula is a beginner-friendly flower. Treat a cowslip to these attentions:

    • Keep the substrate constantly moist
    • Use soft water
    • Spray the foliage repeatedly
    • Clean up wilted and faded areas
    • Fertilize organically every 2 weeks during flowering
    • Transplant in beds every 2 years, in pots every spring

    Since the flower is only moderately hardy, it is protected outdoors from leaves, needle brushwood, reed mats or compost. Potted primroses spend the cold season on the bright windowsill at 5 to 15 degrees Celsius. The substrate should not dry out.
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    Which location is suitable?

    Assign the flower to a semi-shady location and the primula will thank you with a willingness to bloom. Those who delve deeper into the multifaceted diversity of species will discover specialists for sunny locations as well as experts for shady garden corners. Some examples to clarify:

    • Auricula (Primula auricula): sunny locations, provided the soil is fresh and moist
    • Cowslip (Primula eliator): semi-shady location
    • Bunch primrose (Primula bulleyana): sunny to partially shaded places
    • Bell primrose (Primula florindae): shady locations
    • Deciduous primrose (Primula frondosa): Shade preferred

    If the temperature ranges from 5 to 15 degrees Celsius, the flower feels right at home. Therefore, a place on the window sill in the bedroom is more suitable than in the cozy warm living room.
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    The right planting distance

    The exact planting distance depends on the selected species and variety. You are exactly right with a value that oscillates between 15 and 30 centimeters.

    What soil does the plant need?

    The undemanding flower thrives in any good garden soil. To experience a primrose at its best, however, it is worth taking a look at the detailed requirements it places on the soil. Based on the species, there are differences to consider here. The following overview reveals the details:

    • Alpine auricles thrive in calcareous, loamy-sandy soil
    • Globe primrose blooms particularly well in slightly acidic substrate
    • Marsh primrose likes a very moist and acidic soil
    • Tiered primrose does its best in loamy, humus-rich soil, rich in peat and with good water retention

    What is the best planting time?

    The best time to plant primroses is from March to May, when the soil is completely thawed. Another time window opens in September if you want to plant hardy species and varieties.

    When is flowering time?

    Cleverly combined, you can enjoy flowering primroses all year round. Within the more than 500 species there are cowslips for every season. The following summary may serve as inspiration:

    • Pillow Primula blooms from February to April
    • Alpine Auricula: Flowers from April to June
    • Tiered Primrose: Flowers from June to August
    • Head Primrose: Flowering period from July to November

    Planted in the pot in autumn, the ball primrose conjures up splashes of color on the wintry windowsill from December to February.

    Cut primroses correctly

    The primrose does not receive a pruning in the true sense. Nevertheless, cut out withered leaves from the rosette. In addition, the flowering period is extended by weeks if the flower is cleaned thoroughly every few days. Don't forget gloves!

    pour primroses

    The primrose happily spreads its roots in the slightly moist substrate. Ball dryness inhibits the abundance of flowers as well as waterlogging. Therefore, do not leave water in the coaster for a long period of time. The flower loves to be watered and sprinkled with soft, collected rainwater. Increased humidity at moderate temperatures strengthens the vitality of the small beauty of flowers.

    Fertilize primroses properly

    Similar to the flowering period, the primrose is grateful for a well-measured ration of fertilizer. In the bed, mature compost, horn shavings (€32.93) or granulated guano meet the requirements. Plant manure or mineral-organic liquid fertilizer is used in the bucket every 2 weeks as a nutrient supplier. Outside of flowering, no fertilizer is usually required.


    Regardless of the sometimes high poison content, the primrose does not always know how to defend itself against the following diseases:

    • Powdery mildew and downy mildew: treat by spraying a milk-water solution in a ratio of 1:9
    • Ramularia leaf spot: control with Neudovital or spray with horsetail tea
    • Gray mold: Isolate flower, cut off diseased parts, powder repeatedly with rock flour (€14.13).


    If uninvited guests colonize a primrose, they are usually the usual suspects in the garden and room.

    • Vine weevil: incorporate neem seeds into the soil, set up traps with nematode gel
    • Aphids: combat with 15 ml curd soap dissolved in 1 liter of water, sprayed on every 2 days

    Swarms of fungus gnats often cavort in the potting soil of primroses in pots. Unpot the flower and add a layer of quartz sand to the top third of the fresh substrate. From then on, you only water the primula from below and the plague is over.


    The neat flower is largely frost-resistant and can withstand temperatures down to - 5 degrees Celsius in the bed without complaint. In rough situations, the following protection is nevertheless recommended:

    • Cover deciduous flowers with reed mats, pine fronds or leaf compost
    • Protect wintergreen primula from frost with garden fleece or a thick layer of newspaper

    Primroses in tubs move to winter quarters at temperatures below freezing. On the bright window sill that is not in full sun, the flower comes through the cold season healthy at 5 to 15 degrees Celsius. Don't let the root ball dry out and don't apply fertilizer until March.

    multiply primroses

    There are two uncomplicated methods of propagating primroses to choose from. Every spring transplant and repot is a good opportunity to divide the root ball. If you then plant a segment with at least 2 buds, a new flower will thrive within a short time. Sowing the seeds is more exciting. Here's how to do it:

    • In January/February fill small pots with peat sand
    • Sow the seeds, sift thinly with sand and moisten
    • Equip each seed box with a transparent hood
    • Place on the balcony or in an unheated greenhouse at 0 to 4 degrees Celsius for 4-6 weeks

    After the seed has been exposed to a cold stimulus, place it in a partially shaded location where germination begins at 10 to 15 degrees. During this time, keep the seed constantly slightly moist and do not administer any fertilizer.

    Primroses in the pot

    In the pot, the primrose unfolds its blossom festival particularly impressively in a partially shaded, not too warm location. Add a handful of rhododendron soil or peat to the substrate and create drainage from potsherds at the bottom of the pot. How to care for the flower with expertise:

    • Water only when the substrate has dried
    • Fertilize every 2 weeks during the flowering period
    • In winter place bright and cool at 5 to 15 degrees Celsius

    Only use lime-free irrigation water, with which you spray the flower from time to time. Repeated pruning extends the flowering period by many days or even a few weeks.

    Are primroses poisonous?

    Be careful when handling primroses, as some species contain highly toxic contents. Explicitly the cup primrose (Primula obconica) as well as the cowslip (Primula elatior) are permeated by toxic primin. This natural substance can cause the worst irritations when it comes into contact with the skin. Intentional or unintentional consumption has life-threatening consequences for humans and animals. The flower should therefore be avoided in the reach of children and pets.

    Primula does not bloom

    If a primrose refuses to flower, the deficiency results from various causes. The most common triggers are:

    • Too cold or too warm location
    • Blazing midday sun
    • drought stress or waterlogging
    • nitrogen eutrophication
    • Calcareous irrigation water

    brown leaves

    Brown leaves are considered a typical symptom of Ramularia primulae, a fungal disease that specifically affects primroses. It starts with yellow leaf spots that turn brown and spread throughout the foliage. In the early stages of infestation, immediate removal of the diseased leaves can still save the flower. Neudovital von Neudorff, a well-known preparation against fungal infections in fruit and roses, acts as a control agent.

    Yellow leaves

    All primroses react to substrate that is too wet and a location that is too cold with yellow leaves. Therefore, only water after a thumb test and do not leave any water in the saucer. Ideally, cultivate the flower at temperatures between 5 and 15 degrees Celsius.

    How do I plant correctly?

    Periodic transplanting of primroses makes a valuable contribution to maintaining the flower's vitality and willingness to bloom. Follow this schedule to get it right:

    • Dig up, divide and transplant primroses in the bed every 2 years
    • Repot the flower in the pot every year in early spring

    Transplanting and propagating therefore go hand in hand with a primrose. At the same time, take the opportunity to pamper the flower with a fresh treatment in the form of fresh earth, enriched with a portion of compost and horn shavings.(32.93€)

    The most beautiful varieties

    • Gold Lace: a gold-fringed cowslip with mahogany petals in April and May
    • Rubin Auslese: magnificent spherical primula with ruby-red flower heads from March to May
    • Miller's Crimson: the tiered primrose impresses from May to July with its crimson abundance of flowers
    • Carnival Primrose: Lovely cushion primrose with pink, yellow, white and purple flowers from February
    • Red Hot Poker: Stunning orchid primula with candle shaped blooms all summer long

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