Filling my supermarket cart with spring
I am mesmerized by primroses as I veer my grocery cart by the produce section. Cheerful blooms of primroses in golden yellow, fuchsia pink, creamy white and deep wine entice me to fill my cart. So I do and find they are a beacon of spring not far away. They generally appear in February or March and help brighten the gray days of winter.
Primroses add a cheery ambiance to the indoors. They must be treated as a short-lived houseplant if you choose to enjoy primroses inside your home. Proper caring for primroses indoors is important for the survival of the plant. Here are some tips to keep your harbinger of spring happy until you plant it outdoors:
• Primroses prefer bright or indirect light.
• Keep the soil moist. This is important since indoor primroses tend to suffer from root rot.
• Water once the top of the soil feels dry to the touch.
• Give your primroses some humidity. Place the plant on a humidity tray filled with pebbles.
• Primroses like temperatures below 80 degrees F. Ideally, temperatures for indoor primroses are around 50 to 65 degrees F.
• Fertilizing is not necessary while the plant is in full bloom.
• Pinch off old blooms to promote extended bloom time.
Most primroses do not bloom the second time while indoors, but the plants can be set outside during the warmer months. Sometimes primroses will produce flowers again once the plant is set outdoors in a shaded area. Primroses outdoors in zones 8-10 should always be in a shaded spot since they prefer a woodland type of climate. Sometimes they will go dormant in the summer. In colder climate zones, primroses will need to be brought indoors for repeat blooms.
Though noted as short-lived houseplants, primroses are worth the time to grab a few the next time you eye them up at the grocery store. I hope primroses capture your attention as they did this week for me with their cheerful nod to spring.
Carole McCray resides in Cape May, New Jersey and is an award-winning garden writer who has been writing a monthly garden column, The Potting Shed, for regional newspapers for nearly 20 years. Her articles have been published in The Christian Science Monitor Newspaper, Coastal Living Magazine, Cape May Magazine, Growise Garden Guide and Ideals Magazine. She won the Garden Writer’s Association Award for newspaper writing for The Christian Science Monitor Newspaper.