Growing primulas

Towards the end of winter and in early spring there is no cheerier sight than a wonderfully colourful patch of primulas. Simple to grow, these delightful little plants will form clumps within the garden, ensuring each years display is bigger and brighter than the year before.

Primula
Primula 'Evie'
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This guest blog post comes from Ken Evans, managing director of Plants 2 Gardens and QVC presenter.

Often considered harbingers of spring, the word primrose is derived from ‘primarole’ meaning ‘first rose of the year’. There are a great number of primulas to choose from but our absolute favourite is Primula ‘Evie’. Bred by Rudy Raes, this world-leading company was established in 1927, set up by Rudy’s grandfather. Rudy is keeping up the family traditions, naming ‘Evie’ after his granddaughter.

This new variety is more compact than others making it the perfect plant for pots and containers. The more rounded habit and darker foliage of this new breeding ensures that the large bright flowers are framed perfectly, showing them off the their best. ‘Evie’ flowers from December right through the spring giving you some much needed cheer during the long winter months.

Primula growing tips

  1. Plant in partial shade, for a natural effect try planting under deciduous trees.
  2. If planting in containers plant alongside Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’ or dwarf tulips for season long displays.
  3. Select a moist but well-drained spot. If your primulas are in containers make sure you water the compost not the flowers as this can damage new buds.
  4. Feed every two weeks from when the buds start to develop to the first flowers opening.
  5. Remember to deadhead regularly during flowering – this really does help new flowers develop. Remove any dead or decaying foliage at the same time to keep your patch pretty and healthy.
  6. Provide a ‘thank you’ feed when plants finish flowering to help them prepare for the following season.
  7. Rejuvenate your primula patch every 2-3 years by dividing plants in autumn. This will not only improve their performance the following spring but will also help you to create more primula clumps in other parts of the garden.

Watch Richard’s QVC gardening show on Sunday 3 January at 9am and 10am for an exclusive primula deal.

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