Giving Primrose A Shot - March 2023

There we were...wandering around the Garden Show at Wannemaker's earlier this month when I was smacked with a burst of color.  The lure of color and vibrancy is almost too much.  Not to mention that Nat was with me and she fell in love with some color and picked out a new (to me) flower and put it in our cart.  What caught her eye?  See below for a peek at a purple/blue flower:

At the show, there were various growers with little 'booths' or setups - the one that we were most drawn-to was from Elite Growers in Volo.  Here's the Elite Growers booth below.  

But....come on.  It is mid-March.  

All logic went out the window.  That's what happens when you go plant shopping without a plan.  

What did we get?  A set of Primrose.  Primula belarina 'Blue Champion'.  See below for the plant tag:

Primrose are not - nor have *ever* been on my radar.  But, now they're going to be in our garden.  That tag talks about location - part shade and how they need to be watered in all Summer.  Are these 'Spring Ephemerals'?  I don't think so, but they're early bloomers like Hellebores.  

Below is a look at the nursery container and the pricetag:

Below are a couple of photos showing the plants once we brought them home.  Just look at these - they look totally fake.  How could you NOT want to have them in your garden?

What have I learned the past few days about Primrose?  A few things:  they are hard to keep happy.  They'll go dormant in Summer.  And, shade will be helpful in keeping them watered-in.  But, if you can keep them happy, they put on quite a unique early-season show. 

This 'Blue Champion' cultivar (see what I did there?) isn't on Walters Garden's site, but they have other Primrose Belarina series listed including this cream-colored one.  From that listing:

BELARINA® primroses are refined beauties that completely embody the joy and hope that spring offers. Their sizable double blossoms in a rainbow of colors bloom profusely throughout the spring season atop the compact, bright green foliage. Sterile flowers result in plants that are particularly long blooming.

NC State has more here.   

They like the cold.  But not too cold.  They want some sun.  But, not too sunny.  They need to be wet.  But...of course...not TOO wet.  

How am I treating these?  Right now, they're NOT in the ground.  They've been spending their days on our unheated screened porch where the temps are in the 40's during the day, then I tuck them into our un-heated garage overnight.  

Seems like A LOT of trouble, doesn't it?  Now...I have to watch the 10 day forecast and figure out when we're out of frost-season.  Then, I'll find a home and dig them in.



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