Planting and caring for varieties of primrose ear
It is difficult to imagine a plant that would give more pleasure to the gardener for less growing effort than primrose. She has an ephemeral beauty that contradicts her stamina. The strength of the primrose is early and very long flowering, the presence of a variety of shades and shapes, simple care and sufficient resistance to withstand most weather conditions when grown in the garden. From the article you will learn about one of the types of this plant - primrose ear, about varieties and agricultural techniques of growing at home.
Types and varieties of primrose ear
It is often difficult to classify primroses, as they are often the result of crossing several small European alpine species and hybrids, and the shapes of the flowers, their shades and sizes are so different that it is sometimes impossible to determine which flower is in front of you. This fact and early flowering is reflected in the name of the plant from the Latin word Primrose (first rose). The term ear (or ear-shaped) is given to primrose for the similarity of the leaves of a rosette with the auricle of a bear (sometimes the flower is called "bear ears").The plant belongs to the family of primroses. An extensive genus of culture includes more than 400 species, mainly undersized grassy flowering perennials. About 70 species grow in Russia. Ear primrose was cultivated in the XVI century. Botanists divide this vast group into various sections and subsections, and flower growers are divided into 23 sections.
Auricula is a section of cultivated representatives of the genus, which often have multi-colored patterns on the petals. Initially, they were bred as a hybrid between two wildflowers: Primula auricula (primrose ear) and Primula hirsuta (primrose stiff-haired). Wild relatives of cultivated ear primrose grow in alpine meadows of the mountains of Central Europe (western Alps, Jura, Vosges, Black Forest and Tatra mountains).
Did you know? The primrose auricle is depicted on the obverse of Austrian coins worth 0.05 euros.
The leaves of this primrose are evergreen, fleshy, 10–20 cm long, covered with powdery coating to protect against intense solar radiation in the spring. They form rosettes up to 60 cm wide, close to the ground. Five-petalled flowers are round, 2-4 cm in diameter, with different shades of petals and the central circle, often have a fragrant aroma.
Peduncles are elastic, grow up to 25 cm. Up to 10 pedicels appear on one plant. In the inflorescence can be several flowers (up to 20) or single specimens. The beginning of flowering is mid-spring. Duration - up to three months (under normal weather conditions) and sometimes bloom again in the fall.Today there are many different varieties of ear (Primula auricula), bred as a result of selection and included in this section. These primroses are incredibly diverse in size and are represented by almost all possible colors (burgundy, carmine, coral pink, apricot with various shades of the central circles).
The name of the variety is Pegasus, which refers to the Primula auricula section. The height of the outlet is up to 25 cm, the peduncle is 10–25 cm. The leafy plates are fleshy, leathery, dense, dark green. Large fragrant lush flowers are dark pink in color, yellowish at the center. Collected in an umbrella inflorescence of 10-20 pieces.
Two-year-old Pegasus throws 4-10 peduncles. The beginning of flowering is April, the duration is up to 7 weeks. Requirements for growing conditions: moist, drained soil without stagnation of water, solar exposure, shading in summer.
The name of the variety Crimson Glow, which means "raspberry shine," refers to the Primula auricula section. The height of the outlet is 15–20 cm. The leaves are pale green. The flowers are bright raspberry, multi-petal terry (similar to roses). Collected in umbrella inflorescences of 5–20 pcs. The buds are darker at first.
The two-year-old "Raspberry Shine" throws 4-10 peduncles. Beginning of flowering - April - May, duration - up to 7 weeks. Requirements for growing conditions: moist, drained soil without stagnation of water, sunny or partial shade, regular watering in summer, winters without shelter.
The name of the variety Xaver (Xaver), refers to the section Primula auricula. The height of the outlet is about 15–20 cm. The leaves are light green. The beginning of flowering is April, the duration is 3 months. The variety has many varieties in color and size of flowers.
The hue of the petals varies from pale pink to lavender, from purple to reddish red, for example:
- Xaver Light (Xaver Light) - scented terry multi-petal primrose, pale pink with lilac border and speckled petals. The middle is darker.
- Xaver Deep (Xaver Deep) - fragrant terry coarse primrose, the color is blue-violet or dark lilac with a lemon center. Changes the hue during flowering from lilac to almost purple.
Requirements for growing conditions: moist, drained soil without stagnation of water, partial shade exposure, regular watering, winters without shelter.
The name of the variety Forest Lemon, which means forest lemon, refers to the Primula auricula section. Beautiful bright yellow blooming summer variety. The height of the outlet is 15 cm, the peduncle is 40–45 cm. The leaves are dense, fleshy, leathery, dark green, 10–20 cm long.The flowers are fragrant, velvety, densely doubled, lemon yellow. Collected in umbrella inflorescences of 5-20 pieces. The beginning of flowering is April, the duration is up to 7 weeks. Requirements for growing conditions: moist, drained soil without stagnation of water, diffused light or partial shade, watering.
The name of the variety Reni (Reni), refers to the section Primula auricula. Beautiful bright blooming summer variety, recently bred. The height of the outlet is 15–20 cm, the peduncle is 20 cm. The leaves are dense, fleshy, leathery, light green.The flowers are fragrant, velvety, densely doubled, saturated lilac, the petals at the center are darker, gradually brighten towards the edge, collected in a multi-petal rose. Beginning of flowering - April - May, duration - up to 7 weeks. Requirements for growing conditions: moist, drained soil without stagnation of water, diffused light or partial shade, watering.
The name of the variety Ted Roberts (Ted Roberts), refers to the section Primula auricula. A popular variety with large flowers up to 5 cm in diameter among a lush carpet of green foliage. Flowers on strong stems with one row of velvety petals. Shades of dark cherry, purple or brownish, often two-tone with a bright center of white, pale pink or yellow.The height of the outlet is 15–20 cm. The leaves are dense, fleshy, leathery, light green. Requirements for growing conditions: moist, drained soil without stagnation of water, diffused light or partial shade, watering.
Growing at home
Growing primrose does not require laborious efforts, but brings great satisfaction from the species of early and beautifully flowering plants. When creating your collection, try to find combinations of colors and shades pleasant to the eyes that this culture is so rich in.
Features of planting seeds
You should start growing primrose with the selection of seeds that you can harvest yourself or purchase in gardening stores.
Important! Primrose seeds quickly lose their germination, so for distillation, choose only freshly picked planting material. And store it in glass hermetically sealed jars in a refrigerator (not a freezer) at + 4 ° C until sowing.
Seeds should be sown in the fall from September to November, but before that they need to be prepared: freeze or stratify. This procedure is not necessary, but will not harm the seeds or young seedlings and accelerate germination.In the natural environment, many wild species of auricula grow in the highlands near glaciers, therefore, to obtain early seedlings, the seed should be frozen.For this purpose, the seeds are placed in a container with water and kept in the freezer until the liquid is completely frozen. Then the container is removed and thawed, after which it is again placed in the freezer. The procedure is repeated up to 7 times. This temperature buildup does not imitate negative winter temperatures, but serves as a stimulation for the friendly germination of seeds, which germinate very quickly after that.
Sometimes frost containers are planted with crops, sprinkled with a snow layer of 30 cm. You can use the combined method of stratification: first, seeds are laid out in a single layer on a damp cloth and placed in the refrigerator (but not in the freezer) for 2 weeks. Then transferred to a warm room until germination. In this case, you must ensure that the fabric always remains wet.
An indispensable condition for growing primrose is well-drained soil rich in humus and organic matter with a neutral or slightly acidic reaction. The finished soil mixture can be purchased at the store or prepared independently by mixing peat or compost, sheet or soddy earth, coarse river sand or vermiculite in equal amounts.
Another option for planting soil for primrose:
- 4 parts of good fertile garden land;
- 4 parts sifted coir (coconut fiber);
- 2 parts perlite.
This mixture retains moisture well, perlite gives air permeability, and the presence of garden soil will accelerate the process of acclimatization of seedlings in the garden. Avoid heavily fertilized mixtures.
If additional top dressing is necessary because the transplant is delayed, you can easily satisfy the needs of young plants using a diluted solution of liquid fertilizer (Flower Paradise, Mikom) during the growing season.
If you plant several varieties of primrose, then prepare labels for each species, where you write down the name, sowing date and other notes. If the seeds are bought in a store, then, as a rule, the package contains instructions for planting.
- Seeds can be sown at any time from January to the end of March.
- At the bottom of the tank or pot must be openings for drainage of water.
- Place the drainage layer on the bottom of the container and fill it with a moist soil mixture 2 cm below the edge.
- Take the ground so that the seeds do not fall deep, and evenly plant them on the surface, trying to avoid thickening. This can be done with a damp toothpick. Dense plantings are easier to get wet, and seedlings are subsequently difficult to separate.
- Sprinkle with a thin layer of vermiculite, coarse sand or coconut fiber and place a cotton cloth on top.
- Moisturize the sowing place well and do not let the seeds dry out by spraying the tissue regularly.
- Transfer the containers to a completely open bright place, but on the north side of buildings or under bushes to protect from wind and the winter sun. Cover the containers with plastic with ventilation holes so that they do not dry out too quickly and that rain does not wash the crops. This placement contributes to the hardening of seeds and young plants.
- After the shoots appear, remove the plastic and fabric, and move the containers to a well-ventilated and illuminated place.
- Primrose seeds germinate for about three weeks, depending on when they were sown. But the term may be longer - up to three months.
- Water the seedlings by immersing the container, followed by a thorough drain of water through the drainage holes.
- As soon as the seedlings have real, and not cotyledonous leaves, make a pick.
Even with careful placement of seeds during sowing, observing an unladen planting, primrose seedlings should be dived to enable young sprouts to develop correctly. A pick is done 2-3 times after the appearance of two to four leaves on the sprouts. Before the procedure, the soil is well moistened. With dense shoots, seedlings are planted more often (even with cotyledon leaves). A hole is made in the soil (with a finger or a pencil), carefully pick up the sprout with tweezers and transfer to a new place, slightly deepening. The picking allows you to update the air exchange of the roots and give space for overgrowth.
Did you know? In the language of flowers, primrose symbolizes early youth, innocence, a sense of loss and doubt of lovers.
Weak and thin shoots are removed. Strong and strong seedlings on the last pick are transplanted into the garden or containers when grown in pot culture. But experienced flower growers are advised to leave plants in seedlings for a year, so that they grow stronger and well developed, and they recommend replanting into the garden for the next season. When planting on flower beds, the distance between the sprouts of 15-30 cm should be observed, depending on the size of the varieties. Three-year-old plants have the most decorative appearance.Before planting seedlings in the garden, you will first need to carry out the "hardening" procedure. This will prepare the seedlings for the climatic conditions of the growing region. During the last week, keep a cool temperature up to + 10 ° С, refrain from fertilizers and water less often. Transplant seedlings on cloudy days or early in the morning when the sun is not too hot. Try to provide light shading, protection from the wind, and keep the soil moist during this period. Dry air and spring winds can lead to rapid transpiration.
Caring for primrose ear
Caring for primrose is simple, you just need to maintain optimal soil moisture, top dress, protect against pests and enjoy flowering.
In spring, when the weather is warm, they begin to water the plants little by little, keeping the soil under the plants moist. Thorough watering in summer is difficult because moisture can dry by the end of the day, which eliminates the development of rot, but when the temperature rises above + 30 ° C, primrose fall into a dormant state and consume very little water.Most species do not tolerate drought and, if allowed to dry on a hot day, plants may die. It is advisable to water in the morning in small doses and monitor the humidity in the root zone.
Vegetation of primrose begins early - in January. When the kidneys appear, a small amount of universal nitrogen-phosphate fertilizer, such as Ammophos, should be applied for several weeks for successful growth and development. Then move on to phosphate-rich nutrients to stimulate peduncle growth and bright, high-quality flowering during the main spring season.
Top dressing is carried out every 10 days from the appearance of buds until the end of flowering. The choice of complex mineral fertilizers can be made in the store, but the dilution rates given in the instructions should be reduced by 2 times.
Primrose does not need pruning except for the removal of rotting and dried leaves to reduce the risk of spreading fungal infections, and old peduncles with withered flowers, to avoid rotting in the crown, to stimulate flowering and not to deprive the plant of strength. Rosettes and new autumn leaves are not cut to avoid weakening the plant and poor wintering.
How to prepare a plant for winter
Primrose is a frost-resistant crop, but is sensitive to waterlogging of the soil and will not survive the winter in excessively wet areas. In preparation for winter, the root zone should be mulled with shredded leaves and water the plants well.When the ground freezes, the bushes are covered with spruce branches. If the primrose is grown in separate containers or pots, then in winter the plants are transferred to a cold, dry, bright place with a temperature just above freezing.
Suitable for these purposes: basement, unheated greenhouses, sheds. During the winter, you need to periodically inspect the plants, controlling the soil moisture, removing dried leaves, checking for pests. In early spring, such containers are given the opportunity to thaw under the protection of glass or plastic before moving to the garden.
Video: primrose in the fall
Disease Prevention and Pest Protection
Pests or diseases rarely affect primrose, but improper care and adverse weather conditions can affect plant health. In excessively humid places, the spread of fungal spores is faster and the development of pathogenic diseases (powdery mildew, wilt, rust, fusarium, spotting, anthracnose, gray and root rot) is possible, so moderate watering is important to allow plants to almost dry in the summer.
An equally important task in the prevention of diseases is the removal of infected leaves. In case of extensive lesions, spraying with systemic fungicides is used (Ultrafit, Carbesim, Horus, Derozal, Vitaros, Fundazol, Prestige). Slugs and snails can damage primrose leaves and inflorescences during wet summers. They do not bring significant harm, only reduce the aesthetics of the bushes. The corroded foliage is removed, and as a result, the plants will gain new growth in the fall.
Bait traps with fermented kvass or beer are placed against pests, and they are also collected manually. In hot and dry weather, problems with spider mites, some species of aphids, caterpillars, mealy bugs and weevils are possible. Pesticides should be used with caution so as not to harm beneficial insects that help suppress pest populations.Instead, monitor the plants for infection, manually pick up large specimens of the parasites, and keep the primrose clean and immune by regular watering and top dressing so that it can resist damage. If necessary, insecticides should be used, for example, Actellik, Inta-Vir, Confidor Extra, and Kaput biological product.
Reproduction of primrose can be done in several ways: seeds, cuttings and dividing the bush.
If there is no need to combine the division of primrose with its transplant, then you can carefully dig up the earth from the side of the bush and, without digging the plant, separate the stem stem from a piece of rhizome. Then it should be transplanted to a new place where he will take root well. This procedure is done in August.
Root processes of adult plants
Reproduction by root shoots consists in dividing primrose bushes into separate seedlings. This is done every 3-4 years in late spring or early summer after the plants finish blooming, and the planting layer becomes crowded. But even in the flowering state, the auricle easily transfers the transplant.The dug primrose bush is divided into sections, each of which contains roots and shoots. On a piece of rhizome, you can see the sequence of occurrence of annual processes and new roots. For propagation, shoots of the current year are selected, and the rest are cut off with the rhizome. Transplanted planting material at a distance of 25 cm from each other.
Propagating flowers by seeds is an economical way to grow large numbers of plants. Most primrose sprouts are relatively easy to germinate if the seed is fresh or stored under appropriate conditions, in a cool and dry place. New primrose species should be grown from purchased varietal seeds. Ear primrose itself looks great, adding new shades and aroma to the spring garden.
Important! Propagation by self-collected seeds does not always maintain variety, therefore it is advisable to propagate by dividing the bush.
They look good in large containers or in planted groups on the edge of flower beds, borders along paths, or in rockeries and rock gardens. But they can be planted along with companion plants. Plant rosettes under deciduous shrubs, such as roses, Primrose will fully enjoy the spring sun before the rose bushes unfold their foliage, protecting the primrose from the hot sun.