MojaveLove(5 - IL)January 23, 2012

Anyone else seeing Primrose EVERYWHERE? I bought a yellow flowering one from the grocery store and I've seen it in droves in all the big box stores since then. They're inexpensive, have bright pretty colors and grow similarly to african violets - I believe they're related. I looked them up but only found them as being outdoor plants. I don't recall them being sold as houseplants before but I guess I never really looked before either. So far it's been pretty easy to deal with, it's just really thirsty. It has wilted on me a few times, once really bad where I was sure it was a goner, but it pops right back up and still keeps its blooms. Which is key for me because I can't keep ANYTHING that has flowers. It does not smell all. But that's about the only downfall so far.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
zzackey(8b GA)

There are different kinds of primrose. The outdoor one is very sweet smelling. I don't remember an indoor one that is yellow, but it has been several years since I had an indoor one. They have a much longer stem and a more dainty foliage and fragrance than the outdoor one. I really miss them. I rarely see them down here. I used to work for a garden center in Pa. and the owner would take me with him to go buy plants. There is nothing more awesome than having a greenhouse door opened at a wholesale nursery and seeing and smelling primroses in the dead of winter.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 7:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

It sounds as if you have bought one of the bedding Primulas which are essentially outdoor plants. They are often used in winter containers. Indoors they should be considered temporary residents as they do not like warm temperatures long term and are seasonal flowerers. For best results it needs to be as cool as you can make it with plenty of light but not direct sun. I would not expect yours to last as long inside as an African violet (Saintpaulia). They are not related.

The alternative possibility is that you have bought a Cape Primrose (Streptocarpus) which is not a true primrose and IS related to Saintpaulia. However, I doubt it as yellow ones are not cheap and not common. If you Google these names maybe you can id your plant more accurately and people can help you with tips on care.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 11:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
MojaveLove(5 - IL)

Thanks - it is Primula vulgaris, the bedding type. It smells horrid. I must have smelled it once when I was a kid because I "remember" the smell from some time back. Ugh. I love all the bright colors it comes in and would love use them in the yard but I couldn't imagine the smell.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 11:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mojave, be careful handing Primula/Primrose. One species is a skin irritant. Worse, if you happen to be allergic.

Primrose found at the store now are not hardy. They're annuals. Non-hardy Primula comes in different colors, including bi-colored.
They're usually discarded after flowers fade, but with some work they can be kept as house plants..Actually a lot of work. Very difficult if not placed in a cool green house.

Although Primrose sold at the grocery stores/nurseries this time of year are tender tropicals, when grown indoors, if placed in a warm/hot room they wither fast. If over-watered, they rot.

Bottom-watering is better than watering directly in soil. While flowering, keep out of direct sun. They do well in bright light. 'whatever light we get here in IL.' lol.

Hardy Primrose are meant to grow outdoors, 'in the ground,' and last many years. They flower when temps are cool, 40-50.

Here's a pic of my hardy Primrose planted in the early 90's. This type needs cold temps to grow and flower. The pic was taken Jan 7, 2012 when temps were in the 40's..44F to be exact.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 2:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

hopefulauthor - you are quite right about the short-lived nature of Primula vulgaris indoors but it is not a tender tropical. It is native to Europe. Plant breeders have increased the flower size and the colour range but it has not become a tropical plant. That's the reason they tend to die off indoors.

'Hardy' and 'annual' are not opposites. Many plants are both hardy and annuals i.e. they flower and die in a single season but survive the winter as seeds or seedlings. 'Hardy' is not synonymous with 'perennial'. Primula vulgaris, although frequently seed raised in the nursery trade is a hardy perennial plant when growing in its natural conditions. If Mojave hardens off his/her Primula and plants it out in the garden it has the potential to live several years albeit probably getting scruffier as the breeders have not selected for longevity.'Annual' and 'perennial' are botanical terms with a fixed meaning whereas 'hardy' and 'tender' are looser and depend on the climate the plant is grown in.

The main Primula culprit in cases of contact dermatitis is Primula obconica, and this is not the plant Mojave has. And even that is less of a problem since the breeding of Primin-free cultivars.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 6:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Flora. I've never tried, but some people vow P. vulgaris can be rooted from stem cuttings. Also, divisions and seeds.

I once sowed Primrose seed, but they never germinated. lol. Maybe they needed more time, but I tired waiting and tossed.

Flora, if Mojave planted her Primrose in the garden in our zone, next spring she'd find nothing but soil..Because Primrose are inexpensive, usually .99 per plant, I bought 3. I then planted in the garden, 'as an experiment' mulched before the temps got too cold. The following spring, I checked and rechecked for signs of life. Actually, out of the three, one started to grow, but didn't make it after a late snow. It didn't look like much, but ID'able by its few leaves.

Since it wasn't definate which Primrose Majave purchased, I wanted to warn her..that was the reason I posted a pic of my hardy Primrose that can be a skin irritant or cause allergic reactions. Google pics after handling Primrose. Not a pretty site.

You are right, I never should have used the term, tender tropical..they are not tropical.

Do you know which plant/s in our zone is both hardy and annual?


    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 2:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I've not heard the claim that Primula vulgaris can be rooted from stem cuttings. Essentially they don't really have stems since the flowers and leaves arise directly from a basal rosette. But older plants do develop a sort of slightly fleshy root/stem which develops rootlets and can be used for propagation. They are also very easy to propagate by division. I have not grown P vulgaris from seed since they self sow in my garden. But I have grown P veris, our native cowslip, and gold laced polyanthus from seed. They don't need heat and would be good candidates for winter sowing.

Can you give me a link to the images of dermatitis from P vulgaris you referred to? I had a look but couldn't find any. I would be interested to see them.

The photo of your P vulgaris looks to me like a form much closer to the wild species than the large-flowered colourful cultivars sold for temporary bedding. That's probably why it has proved longer lived. If you wanted to divide it it looks big enough to make half a dozen new plants. They are very amenable. Is it in bud now? They are just starting here with a few open flowers in sheltered places. I have just planted out some of the larger flowered cultivars in my window boxes to replace the violas which succumbed to rot with the damp winter weather.

I know very little about growing conditions in your zone but I am pretty certain there are abundant hardy annuals which grow there, including all the native annuals. Maybe there is some confusion with the terminology. Annual and perennial are botanical terms with specific scientific meanings. Hardy and tender refer to the behaviour of plants in certain climates. For example, Scarlet runner beans are botanically-speaking perennial. But they are only hardy in warm climates. In cool climates they die in the winter and do not return.

What is hardy in your zone will not be the same as what is hardy where I garden. The zone cannot change whether a plant is perennial or annual but it can determine whether it is hardy or not.

I apologise if I'm teaching my grandmother. I'm a bit of a nit-picker :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Primula vulgaris information.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 4:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Flora, 'teaching your grandmother,'

Actually, I found a few sites that said this Primrose can be rooted by cuttings..Have to find them, then cut and paste.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 4:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Flora..sorry it took long..had to make dinner for dh, son, birds and dogs, and still have to run to two stores, possibly three if there's enough time. Or maybe I'll go tomorrow, it's freezing!

I spent 15 mins trying to find the darn sites I read earlier..even checked history, but not sure how to use it. � ... � Wildflower Gardens

Feb 6, 2011 � The common or English primrose, Primula vulgaris, mentioned in his ... At times he may have just rooted leaf cuttings in water or woodland soil

In bringing potted primroses to Anne Hathaway he may have divided the roots of some specimens, a common propagation method. At times he may have just rooted leaf cuttings in water or woodland soil to form new plants. Wild primroses can self-seed or be started from seed

Read more at Suite101: Shakespeare's Primrose Path :
Like I said earlier, a few people I know said they've rooted primrose from stem cuttings. I took their word for it since they had no reason to lie.

Back from two stores. 9:30 PM

The Primrose outside pretty much is self-caring. You asked if it was still blooming. Yep, yellow flowers, though not many or as large as usual.

Flora, my Primrose isn't the wild-flower variety, especially if you're referring to P. oenothera/Evening Primrose. Flowers from my plants do not grow off large stalks---flowers and leaves differ from oenothera. One wild-flower type in IL can grow 8' tall. My plant is 7-9" tall, including flowers, with a 12" spread.

I checked three IL garden centers, one of which my Primrose was purchased. These nurseries list Primrose as: 'Hardy Primrose and/or Perennial Primrose,' no botanical name.

Speaking of which. I have a major sinus infection and am on super, strong meds. I meant perennial, NOT tropical. Duh..Never take Vicoden 10mgs, Day-Quill and/or Alka-Seltzer while driving, walking or chatting online. I fell on my b*** while walking the dog two nights ago. lol

Anyway, don't know why I can't find this variety. It's become an obsession. My Primrose is evergreen whether it's the coldest days of winter or hottest days of summer, but tends to bloom more when temps are between 40-70F. It's normally a 3-season bloomer, but this winter, when temps were in the 40's, 'day I snapped pic above,' it was blooming. So, in 2011 and nearly a month in 2012, it's flowered.

Flora, although I've indoor-gardened a lot longer than outdoor, I know what annual, biennial and perennial means. They're common words one should know even if one doesn't garden.

Of course, plants hardy in my zone may not be hardy to yours and visa-versa.

Mojave. I'm so sorry. I meant to say perennial, not tropical. :) It occurred to me while driving to the store. Toni
Time: 11:31 PM

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 12:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Hi Hopeful - hope you are feeling better. The reference to 'teaching my grandmother' is a saying here. I hope you didn't take it amiss.

I definitely wasn't thinking of Oenothera when I was talking about your outdoor primrose. Oenothera is not a true primrose since it does not belong to the genus Primula. From the photo yours appears to me to definitely be a cultivated form of Primula vulgaris, no doubt about it.
I looked at your Shakespeare link and I have to say I am sceptical about the author's knowledge. For example, the illustration is not of the wild primrose Shakespeare would have know. In fact I looked at some of the other articles on the site and several of the illustrations and facts are incorrect.

I have found only one other reference to growing primroses from leaf cuttings and that one said it doesn't work. I can't help thinking that the common name has caused the confusion and the author has transferred the attributes of Cape Primrose to the true Primrose. I will continue to look and maybe will even try it as an experiment. Wiki has a better article on Primula vulgaris and this link is good too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Primula vulgaris

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 2:28PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Spider plant looking pale
I have a spider that plant that has started to look...
Money tree problems
Hi, I'm having some trouble with my Money Tree. It...
Can i repot a pothos by sticking it in a larger pot and adding soil?
I have some pothos that are in 4 inch pots. I need...
Worried about my Philodendren, Please help!
Hi there everyone. I loved the help that I got about...
White bugs in saucer under spider plant
I found a pile of these small white bugs in the saucer...
Caitlin Maraist
Sponsored Products
Chicology Cordless Panel System French Primrose
Furniture of America Primrose Brown Cherry Finish Round Dining Table
Primrose Gold Leaf Swarovski Spectra One-Light Bathroom Light
$250.00 | Bellacor
Primrose Patchwork Table Runner
$24.99 | zulily
Primrose Collection Gold 24" Wide Bathroom Light Fixture
Lamps Plus
Primrose Collection Silver One Light Wall Sconce
Lamps Plus
Primrose Gold Leaf Swarovski Spectra Three-Light Bathroom Light
$300.00 | Bellacor
Furniture of America Primrose Country Dining Table - Cherry / White - IDF-3122T
$841.67 | Hayneedle
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™