How to Propagate a Primrose
Primrose plants are a beautiful flowing plant for your garden. Since they are perennials, they continue to grow and flower season after season. Over time, these plants can eventually overgrow to the point they strangle themselves and will either stop flowering or die.
By separating these hardy plants you can increase their population in your garden and get a longer life out of each one.
Step 1- Preparing the Soil
The Primrose grows best in a soil bed of loam and peat. Prepare the area before replanting. It will allow you to replant the newly separated plants without the chance of them drying out.
Step 2 -Removing the Plant
Dig a round hole around the plant large enough not to cut the root system. Allow at least 3 to 4 inches wider than the plant. Gently remove the plant from the hole, taking care not to tear any of its roots.
Step 3 - Exposing the Roots
First shake off as much soil as you can attached to the root ball. Then, with a strong water spray loosen and remove the rest of the soil trapped by the roots. The less soil embedded in the root system and the looser the root ball, the easier it will be to separate it. Wearing gardeners gloves will help protect your hands.
Step 4 - Dividing the Plant
Cut vertically through the plant, dividing it into pieces with a minimum of 2 stems. A strong knife or saw works well for this process. For a larger plant, a small hatchet can be used, taking care not to cut the stems.
If you are not immediately ready to replant these sections, cover the root in soil and wrap it in burlap. Keep the soil moist until ready to plant.
Step 5- Planting and Care
The Primrose grows best in a soil bed of equal parts loam and peat. It is best to replant these root ball sections in a depth equal to the depth of the parent plant. Pack the soil around the plant, but keep it loose enough for the roots to reestablish. Allow enough distance between the plants for them to grow freely. It is best to plant the smaller varieties 6 to 9 inches apart, and 40 inches for the more aggressive species.
Water these new plants thoroughly for the first few days. These plants will require more water than the original older plant. To help Primrose plants thrive they need a moist and cooler soil. Covering the bed with a layer of mulch will help retain the moisture and keep the plant bed cooler.
Wait until the following spring and allow the plants to show growth before fertilizing. Fertilizer can burn the new root system as it reestablishes itself.
Trimming the stems after the flowers have wilted can sometimes get you a second flowing in the season. Also, separating these plants before they become too large will give you continued growth and color in their beautiful flowers year after year.