Hardy Primroses are showy plants which fit in well with any Spring bedding design. The small flowers are graceful and dainty and the varieties can be so chosen that they will be in bloom from April for a month. Primroses grow from 6 inches to 18 inches high and have light green, hairy leaves. The colors of the hardy sorts range from white to the darkest crimson and yellow. Some of the varieties are double, and others present this appearance because the petals are wavy and crinkled.
The hardy sorts of Primroses are derived from Primula elatior, P, veris and P. vulgaris. These are much of one type, the flowers being borne in umbels or clusters of six to twelve flowers. There is, however, another interesting species, P. japonica, the Japanese Primrose, which bears the flowers so that one umbel, or cluster, is above another. The colors vary from rich dark crimson through the intermediate tints to white. The petals are of heavy texture and waved. Almost all the varieties of Primroses are worth growing and wherever planted, they increase in beauty and interest with each succeeding year.
UTILIZE. Primulas make delightful subjects for the rock garden, edging a shady border or against old walls. They naturalize readily along streams, woods or shrubbery and are also suited for growing in porch boxes or in pots. The flowers are fragrant and make splendid cut flowers.
GENERAL. Primulas are not difficult to grow, yet they reward one for any amount of trouble. One of the first requisites is to keep the soil moist. The plants will die if they are allowed to pass through the dry Summer months without plenty of water. Primroses should be planted in a rich, well-drained soil in a shaded nook in order. to protect the plants from the hot sunshine during the Summer. Slight protection during Winter is needed, such as a light mulching of leaves and straw. In the Fall, if the crowns of any of the plants are above the surface of the soil, these plants should be taken up and reset. Primroses resent a great deal of cultivation; good, rich soil, partially shaded quarters and plenty of moisture are all they need.
PROPAGATION. Primroses are usually propagated by seeds sown in March in a coldframe or in May to July outdoors in shaded places. The seed should just be scratched into the surface soil and firmed. The plants can also be divided early in Spring or in the Fall.
Primula – Primrose, English Cowslip, Oxlip, Polyantha