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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hardy Primroses

I have been planting an assortment of Primroses in the garden this fall and look forward to a colorful display next season. 

After being inspired by the gardens at the now closed Berry Botanic Garden, I have planted groupings of Candelabra Primroses in an area with heavy soil in part day sun. These deciduous primroses originate in meadows and wet areas of Asia and are best grown in moist, acidic soils in partial shade.  Many can also be grown in full sun if soil is kept moist or in a bog.  

Primula aurantiaca
Primula burmanica
Primula anisodora

Primula japonica 'Apple Blossom'
I’ve included a number of different species with an assortment of flower colors.  Primula aurantiaca has flowers in golden tone while Primula burmanica’s flowers are bright red-purple.  Primula japonica ‘Apple Blossom’ is an easily grown primula with pale pink flowers with a dark eye.  Another intriguing addition is Primula anisodora, Anise Primrose.  It has bold dark red, anise-scented flowers.

Primula kisoana
Primula kisoana foliage
I’ve also tucked some Primula kisoana into the moist woodland garden.  This creeping Japanese species has interesting fuzzy foliage and produces pink clusters of flowers in spring.  There is also a stand of Primula viallii, the Poker Primula, with its unique crimson and pink flower spikes.  They both should contrast nicely with the Himalayan Blue Poppies growing nearby.


  1. Nice post on these Primula! And your pics are really lovely. Have you thought of joining the American Primrose Society? Here's the link lots of other Primrose nuts to get in touch with there! And there's the seed exchange to get in on.
    I am so jealous of your blue poppies! I have a couple in my garden here in Vermont but they haven't bloomed yet. This will be their second winter...any tips on getting them to bloom?
    Thanks for the post, write more about your Primula!! AmyO

  2. Thanks for the suggestion, Amy. We also grow a number of alpine primroses at the nursery so this is a very interesting group of plants for us. I will look into joining the American Primrose Society. We belong to a number of plant societies and they are a great way to share information and the seed exchanges are terrific resources.

    Aren't those blue poppies great? I am glad to hear that you are growing them in Vermont. In our climate, the trick to getting them to bloom is providing enough light while protecting them from heat. In Alaska, they grow and flower in full sun. I'm not sure if this is an issue in Vermont. My other suggestion is making sure they are well enough fed to produce flowers but not so much that they spend all their energy on foliage growth. Sometimes it is hard to get fertility just right to promote flowering. Keep us posted on your progress.