The Q&A Archives: Primrose

Question: My neighbor has given me a primrose plant to transplant for her. How do primrose plants do indoors and is there anything special I should do when transplanting., fertilizer, special plant soil?

Yes, she does have it in a pot and wants it transplanted to a larger pot.

Thank you, PBender

Answer: Primroses are typically outdoor plants, grown in the cooler months of the year (November - January). However, primroses can be used to bring a unique touch of spring indoors in the winter. The key to getting the most out of an indoor primrose plant is to keep it where it receives bright light (but not direct sunlight), stays evenly moist and as cool as possible. In our winter climate, a sunny window that has a sheer curtain is almost always bright and cool. Direct morning sunlight is great, but avoid the afternoon sun. Ideal temperatures for an indoor primrose are mid-60?s during the day and mid-50?s at night. If you can't keep your primrose where it is cool, be sure to keep the humidity high. This can be accomplished by placing the plant on a humidity tray and misting the leaves (not the flowers) regularly. Primroses are sturdy plants that seldom have any insect or disease problems, but it is always advisable to be watchful. If the leaves get dusty, rinse them off with room temperature water. Keep in mind that while primroses need to stay consistently moist they cannot tolerate soggy soil.

Like cinerarias, primroses should be considered temporary indoor plants. Enjoy them while they are blooming and beautiful, and discard them when they are done. While they are technically longer-lived plants, getting them to rebloom indoors is a very difficult task. If you would like to try to keep them, continue watering the plant after the blooms have died back. Trim out the old flower stems. When the leaves die down, trim them off and keep the plant in a very cool place (such as a basement). In the spring, plant the primrose out in your garden. It may re-sprout and bloom again that spring and you may be lucky enough to have a perennial variety.

You can transplant into a larger pot without too much trouble. Use a good grade of potting soil and plant at the same soil level the plant is growing now. They won't need fertilizer, but they will need sunshine outdoors or bright light indoors.

Best wishes with your project!

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