With its bright flowering umbels and upright growth, the Himalayan meadow primrose is a special eye-catcher on your garden pond. Here are some tips for planting and care.
Profile of Himalayan meadow primrose:
Scientific name: Primula rosea
Plant family: primrose family (Primulaceae)
Other names: –
Sowing time: autumn
Planting time: spring to autumn
Flowering period: March to April
Location: (sunny) to partially shady
Soil quality: sandy to loamy, lime sensitive, nutrient rich, humus rich
These information are for temperate climate!
Use in: flower beds, planters, pond planting, cottage garden, natural garden, potted garden, water garden
Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 6 (-20 °C / -5 °F)
Bee and insect friendly: Yes
Plant characteristics and classification of Himalayan meadow primrose
Plant order, origin and occurrence of Himalayan meadow primrose
The Himalayan meadow primrose (Primula rosea) is originally found in the western Himalayas, where it covers with its flowers wet meadows and swampy places on the banks of ponds and streams. It belongs to the primrose family (Primulaceae) like the primroses. The genus name “Primula” means “the first” and refers to the early flowering period of primroses.
Characteristics of Himalayan meadow primrose
The Himalayan meadow primrose is a deciduous, persistent herbaceous perennial. Several upright flower stems, 15 to 20 centimeters (6 to 8 in) high, first sprout from the underground rootstock of the plant, before the basic leaf rosette develops.
The leaves usually appear only after flowering and lie almost on the ground as a basal leaf rosette. A single leaf can grow up to 20 centimeters long, has an elongated, egg-shaped shape and a strong green color. The scape is unleaved.
The Himalayan meadow primrose is characteristic of many primroses and flowers early in the year, in March and April. Up to twelve flowers stand together in an umbel at the end of the upright stems. The single flower has five crimson-red petals, which are fused to a crown tube with a yellow sap mark.
After pollination, elongated, slightly bulbous capsule fruits develop, which contain the tiny seeds.
Himalayan meadow primrose – cultivation and care
The plant thrives best in partially shady places. In full sun, the soil must be reliably moist. A sheltered location is recommended, as the plant is at risk of late frost due to its early flowering time.
The Himalayan meadow primrose will only survive in the garden for a long time on damp, swampy and nutrient-rich soil.
It is recommended to plant the Himalayan meadow primrose during the garden season between March and November. In the case of large-scale planting, it is advisable to leave about 15 centimeters (6 in) distance between the plants.
Care / Watering / Fertilization
A good water supply is essential for the thriving of the Himalayan meadow primrose. The soil must never dry out. Make sure that the soil is watered thoroughly so that deeper layers of soil are also moistened. To cover the nutrient requirements, compost should be spread in spring. When the plant has withered, you can cut off its flower stems.
In order to keep the plants vital, it is recommended to divide them every two to three years. To do this, dig the rootstock out of the ground, remove all dead, weak root parts and divide it. The best time for this is early spring or autumn.
The Himalayan meadow primrose can be propagated well by dividing its rootstock in spring or autumn. It is also possible to grow it from seed, but you should keep in mind that the seeds need cold to germinate.
Diseases and pests
It is very rare that the Himalayan meadow primrose is attacked by plant diseases or pests. A deficiency symptom can be chlorosis, which is shown by a yellow coloration of the leaves. Mostly it is caused by drought stress. Persistent drought can also quickly lead to the death of the whole plant.
The plant is hardy down to -20 °C / -5 °F. In locations exposed to cold, the plant should be covered with a layer of leaves in autumn.
Use in the garden
Because of its special soil requirements, the Himalayan meadow primrose is ideally suited for planting in constantly damp riparian zones along garden ponds and streams. Planted in groups, it becomes a striking eye-catcher. Beautiful flowering partners are globeflower (Trollius × cultorum), marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) and true forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides). If the plant is purchased as a potted plant in the spring, it can be grown in a pot for a while, but it should be planted out afterwards in a suitable location.