A Japanese import some 130 years ago, Primula japonica is a classic garden plant of easy culture. A very typical candelabra Primula it has striking whorled tiers of rich colours standing majestically above striking mid-green luxuriant foliage.
Primula japonica 'Millers Crimson' produces whorls of scarlet-red blooms and makes a wonderful display in shady, damp spots and woodlands. It is very tolerant of the wettest heavy soils, in fact it will thrive under such conditions. Flowering time is May and height at its peak is 60cm (2 feet). It forms a large clump which is easily divided and will self seed given damp dappled conditions.
It will grow in full light in the bog garden but given some dappled shade will grow in most situations where the soil remains moist at all times. For the best impact, plant them in large drifts.
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 on the surface of seed compost, cover with grit and keep in a shaded cold-frame or cool glasshouse.
Sow seed 2.5cm (1in) 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.
Although most seeds should germinate in 4 to 5 weeks, germination can be erratic, 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 to 15 days before planting out. Plant them in a humus-rich, moisture retentive soil and in partial shade. Tolerates full sun if soil remains moist at all times.
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.
Allow this Primula to seed down and you will get a colourful array of seedlings to carpet the moist area.
Shade and Woodland Gardens. Bog, ponds and streams. Wildlife and Pollinators.
Primulas are one of the most popular species of plants which are seen in gardens. There are at least 425 species with over 300 of them found in Asia. 33 more are found in Europe and 20 found in North America.
Botanists have subdivided this large genus into thirty-seven sections. The vast majority can be found in the high, damp meadows of the Himalayas and western China, where 334 species are native. They are also familiar spring wildflowers of the European country-side, where they have been appreciated for centuries.
The genus Primrose is ultimately derived from Old French primerose or medieval Latin prima rosa, meaning “first rose".( Latin primus - meaning ‘first’ and Rosa for Rose). Primroses flowers in early spring, one of the earliest spring flowers in much of Europe.
The species name japonica simply means that it originates from Japan.
Primula japonica is a 'proliferae' type of primula, the word derives from 'proliferate', meaning to increase in number rapidly, which refers to the whorls of flowers. They are also commonly called Candelabra section primulas.
Candelabra primulas take their name from the fact that the flowers on the plants in this group are arranged in whorls set at intervals up an otherwise bare stem. The general effect is like a candelabrum.
Primrose and Polyanthus are a diverse group of the Primulaceae, the Primula family. There are societies dedicated to single species that are centuries old and many other societies which have their roots in the Victorian era where several species where highly desirable for collections and collectors.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 50mg Average Seed Count 160 Seeds Seed Form Natural Seeds per gram 3,200 / gram Family Primulaceae Genus Primula Species japonica Cultivar Millers Crimson Common Name Japanese Hardy Primrose Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Whorls of carmine-red flowers. Natural Flower Time March to april Foliage Mid green, oval, velvety, scalloped Height 50 to 60cm (24 to 30in) Spread 30 to 38cm (12 to 15in)