Primula rosea grandiflora is a very long-lived, accommodating and very hardy garden plant and is often the first Primula to be in flower alongside Primula denticulata.
Growing to around 20cm tall, this primrose gives a display of bright pink flowers early in the season, the flowers appear before the leaves followed by wonderful rosettes of mid-green leaves, often bronze-flushed. This most attractive of foliage remains handsome all season.
Primula rosea grandiflora is a delightful plant that grows a tight clustered crown of glossy pointed leaves 10 to 15cm (4 to 6in) tall. The flower stems grow to around 20cm (9in). After the initial bloom it sets seed that ripen quickly, probably in memory of its alpine home at 10,000 to 12,000 feet throughout Kashmir and Afghanistan. The seed capsules are red and not unsightly in the garden. One must be watchful if one is to gather seeds, as the pods burst quickly.
Native to the north-western Himalayas, it used to extreme weather conditions. It prefers a fertile soil and will grow in sun or in part shade, it makes the most satisfactory subject for the shadier portions of the rock garden. It delights in a wet, boggy soil, thriving even in the wettest places and is a popular Primula for beside streams and ponds.
Sowing: Sow seeds in late spring/early summer or late summer/autumn.
Primula seeds need a period of cold and damp to enable them to germinate. Sow from June onwards on a surface of seed compost, cover with grit and keep in a shaded cold-frame or cool glasshouse.
Sow seed 2.5cm (1”) apart in trays or cells containing seed compost. Sow the seeds on the surface of the compost, (Do not cover - they need light to germinate) and place in a light position at a regular temperature of around 16°C (60°F) Germination should take place between 21 and 40 days.
Primula seeds can also be sown during warmer times of the year, but it would be necessary to artificially simulate “winter” using the following method of “stratification”:
Place the seeds between two pieces of damp filter paper or folded kitchen roll then put into a polythene bag and place this into the fridge at 4°C (39°F) which is the temperature that most fridges are set at. Inspect the seeds after two weeks and remove as the seedlings appear, returning the ungerminated seeds to the fridge.
Germination can be erratic, although most should germinate in 4-5 weeks, it is not unknown for seeds still to be germinating up to two years after sowing. Remove the seedlings and place the pot in a shaded corner of the garden….just in case!
When seedlings have their first pair of true leaves and are large enough to handle, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots containing peaty compost. Grow on then gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10-15 days before planting out. Plant them in a humus-rich, moisture retentive soil and in partial shade.
The important factor is that the roots should not dry out, so incorporate plenty of organic matter when you plant, mulch well in autumn and spring and water regularly if they are in the open.
Cut back after flowering. Once established, they benefit from being lifted and divided every two years in early spring.
Bedding schemes. Indoor plants, Pots and containers
- Additional Information
Packet Size 6mg Average Seed Count 50 Seeds Family Primulaceae Genus Primula Species rosea (P. auricola x P. hirsuta.) Cultivar Grandiflora Synonym Farinosae type. Oreophlomis section Common Name Pink Primrose, Large Pink Primrose Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers March to May Foliage Mid green, oval, velvety, scalloped Height 20cm (8in) Position Light Shade Soil Moist, fertile, humus rich soil