Growing Primroses Indoors as Houseplants

Primroses, an outdoor perennial,  can be grown indoors as houseplants if you provide the right climate. These plants remind me of African Violets with their likes and growing conditions. I find that mixing the two plants in their own growing climate works well.

The Primrose (primula) likes a growing climate with cool night temperatures of 50-60° F. It also likes filtered sun and moist soil. Daytime temperatures must not exceed 80 degrees.

My new Primrose plants I purchased were forced to bloom early so I know they will need a little fertilizer and extra care. I applied an eggshell water watering to the plants when they were brought home. I make my own by using 3 eggshells to a 2-quart saucepan of water and boil for about 10 minutes. Let set for a few hours and then use on plants.

Tip: It’s best to underwater your indoor plants. It prevents soil disease and encourages healthy roots.

You may want to acclimate the plants to their new home by placing them in a terrarium covered with plastic for a day or two. You can use a plastic Ziploc bag and create the same greenhouse effect. Leave the plastic bag unzipped ½ inch and do not sit in direct sunlight.

I also check the plants over well for any signs of insects. I usually spray the plant with a homemade plant insecticide just in case there are insects in the soil. Find a climate that has adequate sunlight and cooler temps at night, but not cold temps. If I have a problem with cooler temperatures than I want at night I will place the plants in a terrarium or cover with plastic at night. This is only a problem in the winter months in my climate.

After the plants have been watered and trimmed I place them on trays with pebbles to create a humid climate for the plant and protect my tables.

When the primrose plants have finished blooming in the house it is best to plant them into the garden, or summer them outdoors in their pots and moved back into the house at the end of the season.

I have found I like to grow these plants in containers. I seem to loose too many to animals if they are planted directly in the ground. Other neighbors do not seem to have this problem. I blame it on over active squirrels!

There are at least nine varieties of Primrose. This variety I bought is the English Primrose (Primal vulgaris). It grows well in zones 5-9 and are heavy bloomers, producing 2-3 single flowers on each stalk. They are available in a wide assortment of colors: I selected, white, yellow, purple and red.

I also removed any damaged leaves, which made the one plant look sparse and removed any spent bloom. It’s always best to remove any damaged leaves to prevent insects and disease.

I was a little disappointed with the white primrose after I took damaged leaves off of it. It looked a little sad. But then I looked and saw all the blossoms the plant had nestled deep inside and knew it would look fine in a week or two.

I am hoping to get a few weeks of color in the house then I will move these plants to the greenhouse and hopefully be able to divide them for more plants for my home and garden areas.

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3 responses to “Growing Primroses Indoors as Houseplants”

  1. Thanks, Denise! Until Summer arrives this will just have to do. Re-posted article at

  2. The Big Kahuna

    Hey Denise. Just finished watching a video on horizontal gardening with pallets. Going to try it with strawberries this spring. I just love your site. AND YOU. Keep up the good work.

  3. Denise

    I think strawberries might do better with a vertical wire. It would get more sun on the strawberries – but I might be wrong too. Love vertical growing. Easier on the back and less insect problems.

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