Skip to Content

How to Grow and Take Care of Primroses — Top Tips

How to Grow and Take Care of Primroses — Top Tips

Primroses are one of those plants known for early blooming in the spring and last for a long time.

Their lush and colorful flowers add a lot of color to a garden, not to mention their beneficial air purifying properties and a magnificent fragrance that attracts a significant number of insects & birds every day.

Owing to their intermediate maintenance, beautiful flowers that come in a number of varying colors, and their long blooming season, they are ideal for bordering a garden, in a garden bed, or simply in a flowering pot.

Growing a primrose is not very hard, although you may have to spend some time looking for pests and insects that have the potential to cause harm.

The botanical name of the primrose is Primula polyantha, and it belongs to the family of Primulaceae.

The family contains a lot of rose plants that bear flowers in many colors, including red, pink, purple, yellow, orange, and white.

Furthermore, there are a lot of types of primroses which include the common primrose (Primula vulgaris), Japanese Primrose (Primula Japonica), Drumstick Primrose (Primula Denticulata), and Cowslip Primrose (Primula Veris).

Each of these species has unique characteristics in the form of different care styles, flowers, and blooming seasons.


How to Grow and Take Care of Primroses

Primroses are showy and short-lived perennial plants that produce tiny flowers that sometimes take the shape of rosettes. They’re best grown in the USDA hardiness zones of 5 to 7 and should be placed in part sun and part shade. They prefer high levels of humidity and excellent quality soil.


How to Grow and Take Care of Primroses

How to Grow and Take Care of Primroses



Primroses Growing Guide



Primroses prefer bright sun, but not for the entire day.

It is best to keep this plant in a location where it gets exposure to direct sunlight for four to five hours, after which shade reaches the soil of this plant.

Primroses thrive in areas that receive 4-5 hours of sunlight

Primroses thrive in areas that receive 4-5 hours of sunlight

Remember that if this plant is exposed to direct sunlight for a very long time, its leaves may burn, and the soil may become very crumbly.

If you are growing this plant indoors, it is ideal to keep it on a windowsill as it will ensure that it gets a good duration of shade and sunlight.

However, if you are planting it outdoors, keep it in a shady area to protect it from the scorching heat.



For optimum growth of the primrose, it is advised to use well-drained and loose soil that does not retain water for long.

Keep in mind that if you are using hard soil that does not lose moisture quickly, you may have to deal with rotten roots every once in a while.

Ideally, the soil should be very high in nutrition, as this requires an excess of nutrition in its blooming season.

It is best for the primroses to be planted in soil that's well-draining, loose, non-water retaining, and high in nutrient content

It is best for the primroses to be planted in soil that’s well-draining, loose, non-water retaining, and high in nutrient content

If you are making your own potting mix instead of using store-bought material, you can add peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite separately.

Before pouring the homemade potting mix into the planting pot, ensure all the components are well-mixed.

Make sure that the planting pot has huge drainage holes so as to ensure maximum water drainage and prevent the chances of rotten roots.



Although primroses require constant watering in order to produce and sustain foliage and flowers, excess water can lead to root rot and other fungal infections.

Primroses require constant watering for them to grow and sustain their leaves and flowers

Primroses require constant watering for them to grow and sustain their leaves and flowers

If you find the soil to be soggy at all times, try stopping the watering schedule for a few days until the texture of the soil comes back to dry.



The best temperature in order to grow primroses is between 50 to 65 Fahrenheit (10 to 18 degrees Celsius).

Although this plant does not mind higher temperatures, the growth may be stunned at some point in higher temperatures. 



Primroses thrive in higher levels of humidity. So, if you live in regions with lower levels of moisture, you may have to walk an extra mile in order to provide the desired humidity levels.

For an outdoor-growing primrose, you can mist it every once in a while.

However, if you have planted it indoors for aesthetic purposes, it would be ideal for keeping a tray filled with pebbles and water underneath the planting pot.

This technique is called the pebble tray method and serves to maximize the levels of humidity for indoor plants.



It is always advised to fertilize plants at the beginning of their blooming season so that they are well prepared to produce flowers and sustain them. The same rules go for the primroses as well.

Feed them with a mild control-release fertilizer once before their blooming starts and once during the blooming season.



Propagating primroses through seeds is an activity that does not always lead to fruitful results and may end up in vain sometimes.

However, there is nothing wrong with practicing as there are high chances that if you follow the instructions carefully, you will have beautiful white rosettes growing in your garden at the end of the process.

In a pot filled with sphagnum moss and vermiculite, place the seeds evenly spread and then water the entire pot or planting tray.

More commonly, it is advised to use trays for propagating primroses as seedlings require proper spacing and time in order to sprout. Keep the tray in bright indirect light, and allow it to rest for a couple of weeks.

Make sure to water the tray thoroughly at regular intervals. Because primroses require good levels of humidity, mist them once every two days initially.

However, this can be reduced once your plant starts to bear leaves.

Note that not all seedlings may sprout, so do not be disappointed if only a few of your seedlings begin to develop roots.

Moreover, the germination period for all seedlings may also not be aligned, so be patient and give each of them good enough time to show results.


Common Problems with Primroses


Vine Weevil

The most disastrous pest problem when it comes to Primula plant (Primroses) is that of infestation by the vine weevil. These are tiny grubs that have cream colors and thick brown heads.

One of the most common problems in caring and growing for primroses are vine weevils

One of the most common problems in caring and growing for primroses are vine weevils

They move quickly and love the potting soil of primroses. Because of that, they start to eat the soil of the plant and eventually reach their roots.

If your plant dies suddenly someday, it could be because these vine weevils have been doing their magic on your plant.

If facing such an issue, it is advised to immediately dispose of the dead plant and the infected soil to prevent further spreading of these grubs. 


Adult Weevil

Adult weevils are not as dangerous to your plant as vine weevils but still hold considerable control over the plant. If not trapped at an early stage, their spread may even result in the death of the plant.

These are tiny insects with brown heads and resemble beetles a lot. Unlike vine weevils which are not that easy to detect, adult weevils are pretty visible on the leaves.

Adult weevils love to munch on the leaves of your primroses

Adult weevils love to munch on the leaves of your primroses

They mainly attack the leaves by eating their notches and spreading the infection.

To trap adult weevils, you will have to place pots in your garden with fresh green grass in them. There can be nothing else that will attract these adult weevils more.

Moreover, you can also leave the corrugated paper on some of your plant’s leaves so that once they go inside, you can immediately dispose of the paper.

To prevent these weevils from laying eggs on the soil of primroses, place gravel around them as gravel repels these adult weevils.



Aphids are attracted mainly by weeds.

Since many gardeners do not pay attention to the rapid growth of weeds in their plants for a long time until it finally becomes a concern, aphids have a great potential to infest your garden.

Aphids, though they love to munch on your primroses, are primarily attracted to the weeds surrounding them

The immediate solution to control the presence of aphids is to simply keep your garden free of weeds.

Once weeds are entirely removed, aphids will have a place to stay and gain nutrition from.


Other Insects

Other pests that may infest your plant are snails and slugs.

These pests are widely known for eating the foliage and require considerable attention.

Snails and slugs are known to munch on the primroses' leaves

Snails and slugs are known to munch on the primroses’ leaves

A suitable method of getting rid of these snails and slugs is by placing slug bait in different places in your garden so that when these pests enter the bait, they can be trapped.

Spider mites are another cause of concern for primroses, as they also eat the beautiful flowers and destroy the overall appearance of the plant.

Spider mites love to eat both the foliage and flowers of your primroses, ultimately affecting their appearance

Spider mites love to eat both the foliage and flowers of your primroses, ultimately affecting their appearance

To reduce the visits of these spider mites on your plant, spray the leaves and flowers with soapy water and gently wipe them with a light and soft fabric.


Fungal Disease

Apart from all the pests, there is a fungal disease that does immense harm to primroses.

This fungal disease mainly occurs when the plant is placed in a compact space, and the air can not circulate efficiently throughout the plant.

Excess water can also result in the build-up of this fungus. To prevent such a fungus, ensure that air circulation in your plant is abundant.

It is also advised to keep this plant in ample space so that it is not cluttered among other plants.


Yellow Asters

The presence of this disease can easily be detected as you will see that the shape of the flowers has considerably changed.

Instead of round and lobed flowers, you will witness star-shaped flowers with excess and unusual branching within the plant.

To control the spread of this plant, you will have to dispose of the plant immediately and repot it.


Frequently Asked Questions About How to Grow and Care for Primroses


Where to plant Primroses?

The best location to plant primroses is in a cool and sunny spot. By cool and bright, I mean places where the plant can get part shade as they’ll die in full sun. If you want to plant them in hotter regions, grow them indoors. But, you can place them under the sun outdoors in cooler areas.


How do I make my primroses bloom again and again every year?

The ideal way to rebloom primroses is to pinch them in their old age. You’ll see the flowers darkening, wilting, and aging. Pinch the stems by breaking them out at a point where a bud is beginning in the remaining leftover stem. This bud will then encourage the growth of new branches and flowers.


In what months does the primrose plant develop flowers?

This plant grows flowers in the winter. Mostly, they keep blooming from the month of December till May, after which they begin to wilt and show signs of aging. These flowers are very small and often form rosettes, giving the plant an excellent appearance.


Why are my primroses dying quickly after maturation?

Excess watering is one of the foremost reasons why your plant may be dying rapidly. Ensure that you do not water the plant very often in colder regions or cold weather. Moreover, the plant’s death may result from fungal diseases like botrytis.


Can I put coffee grounds in my potting soil for primroses?

Primroses are vulnerable to infection by snails and slugs. However, there is nothing to worry about as they can easily be kept away by putting used coffee grounds inside the soil. Coffee grounds act as natural chemical control that protects the plant against serious problems.


Conclusion On How to Grow and Take Care of Primroses

Owing to their variety of flowers, great fragrance, and enormous beneficial properties, primroses are a great addition to your garden.

Although it is a bit of a challenge to take care of this plant in terms of keeping the harmful pests away, the results are surely rewarding enough for you to try it.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.

Plantophiles Shop