High Desert Plant Finder & Guide
Primrose in bloom
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Plant Height: 6 inches
Flower Height: 8 inches
Spacing: 6 inches
Hardiness Zone: 4
Other Names: English Primrose
The primrose of the English countryside is hardy and prefers sheltered shaded areas but will tolerate dry soil for a while; deep green leaves are the backdrop for the natural shade of yellow flowers; many other colors are available as well
Primrose features delicate clusters of yellow star-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems from early to late spring. Its crinkled oval leaves remain dark green in color throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Primrose is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with a mounded form. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Primrose is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Primrose will grow to be only 6 inches tall at maturity extending to 8 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 8 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 6 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years.
This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in both summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.
Primrose is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.
Please note: Our Plant Guide is all about plants that will work in the high desert. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a current list of plants in stock on hand at each location or at our farm. We purposely do not sell or ship plants via the internet. Plant questions and availability are best determined in-store.