March - HTA Plant of the moment - Spring has sprung with perfect primulas

March - HTA Plant of the moment - Spring has sprung with perfect primulas

Plant a rainbow of colour to welcome in spring by packing patio pots and filling flower beds with primulas and polyanthus. These cheerful bedding plants offer great value, flowering their hearts out for weeks on end to brighten your outlook on even the dullest of days.

New varieties are continually being bred offering outstanding garden performance, larger flowers and better resistance to the vagaries of our weather. Although single-coloured flowers are always popular also look out for bicolours, double and rosebud types, plus wonderfully scented new varieties too.

Bold blocks of primulas always look striking, but impressive displays can also be created by combining them with other spring bedding, flowering bulbs and foliage plants too. Small pot grown plants are available now in full flower, making them perfect for creating instant displays in any garden, patio or courtyard.

Primulas are one of the most popular wildflowers too. Make your own grassy meadow or plant banks, verges and other natural areas with dainty Primroses (Primula vulgaris) and Cowslips (Primula veris). Keep watered if conditions are dry and these hardy perennials will quickly establish, flowering and setting seed to slowly spread and cover the area with their progeny.

Primula enthusiasts often move on from growing bedding varieties to picking choice varieties of Auricula to grow and display in small terracotta pots on patios or shelved Auricula Theatres. A Victorian favourite, hundreds of exquisite varieties of these evergreen perennials have been bred over the years. Many have deeply coloured and patterned petals surrounding a white or golden eye, with rosettes of leathery leaves often intriguingly coated with a powdery bloom.


TOP TIPS FOR GROWING PRIMULAS

  1. Deadhead regularly to remove faded flowers and keep displays looking their best.
  2. The compost in patio pots can get waterlogged during wet weather, so always put a layer of coarse gravel or similar drainage material in the base of pots before filling with compost.
  3. Raise pots off the ground by standing them on ‘feet’ to avoid drainage holes in the base of pots getting blocked.
  4. Temporarily move pots to a sheltered position if snow or bad weather is forecast.
  5. Cheeky sparrows and other birds sometimes peck at primroses, damaging their blooms. It’s hard to stop these antics, especially with plants growing in borders, but try moving pots closer to the house to scare them away. Some people have noted that blue varieties often avoid their attentions.


SPRING PLANTING COMBINATIONS FOR PRIMULAS

Choose from a range of spring bedding plants, flowering bulbs and hardy perennials to create colourful displays for patio pots and flowerbeds. Here are some ideas of the flowers you could choose as companion plants for primulas and polyanthus.

  • Bedding Daisies (Bellis)
  • Bugle (Ajuga)
  • Daffodils and Narcissus
  • Forget-me-nots (Myosotis)
  • Grape Hyacinths (Muscari)
  • Heuchera
  • Hyacinth
  • Pansies and Violas
  • Sweet William
  • Tulips
  • Wallflowers (Erysimum)

You might also be interested in:

Plant of the Week: Erysimum

Wallflowers (Erysimum) usher in the early summer with a flourish of brilliant colour and, often, rich, spicy scent. They are often treated as spring bedding and make a perfect partner for tulips – choose contrasting colours to add zing and excitement, or match the colours more closely for a more harmonious combination..

They’ll keep flowering long after the tulips are gone, though, and even into a second year if you give them a haircut after flowering. Or...

Read more...
Fill grow bags with salads right now

Fill grow bags with salads right now for a steady supply of delicious leaves throughout the summer. It’s easy to grow the freshest salad leaves yourself even if all you have is a patio: all you need is a grow bag or two from the garden centre here in plus a selection of your favourite salad seeds. Ideal crops for growing bags include lettuce, rocket and radishes but also more unusual salad ingredients like beetroot, chard, coriander and red k...

Read more...
Now is the perfect time to sow French, climbing and runner beans

Now is the perfect time to sow French, climbing and runner beans into pots under cover. It’s a great year to do it, as 2017 has been declared Year of the Bean, so there are loads of new varieties to try plus old heritage favourites returning to our shelves too!

...Read more...
Mowing the grass could be on the way out

Mowing the grass could be on the way out after a survey showed the public is overwhelmingly in favour of leaving grass longer in parks and roadside verges to allow wildflowers to grow and help Britain’s beleaguered bees.

...Read more...

Need help or advice? Give us a call at 01609 882355. Mon to Sat 9am to 5pm and Sun 10am to 4pm.

Leave a review

Opening Hours

Monday   9:00 - 17:00
Tuesday   9:00 - 17:00
Wednesday   9:00 - 17:00
Thursday    9:00 - 17:00
Friday   9:00 - 17:00
Saturday   9:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 16:00

Contact

Whitegates Nursery Ltd.
West Rounton
Northallerton
North Yorkshire
DL6 2LL

Tel: 01609 882355
 

Follow us