Plant Guide

perennial

Fairy Primrose

Primula japonica

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Fairy Primrose (Primula japonica) at Longfellow's Greenhouses

Fairy Primrose in bloom

Fairy Primrose in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  8 inches

Flower Height:  18 inches

Spacing:  7 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4

Other Names:  Candelabra Primrose

Description:

This variety features fantastic clusters of blooms in magenta, white, and shades of pink, all above deep green foliage for wonderful contrast; a colorful display in a border or container planting

Ornamental Features

Fairy Primrose features delicate clusters of shell pink star-shaped flowers with pink overtones and red eyes rising above the foliage from early to late spring. Its crinkled oval leaves remain dark green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Fairy Primrose is an herbaceous perennial with tall flower stalks held atop a low mound of foliage. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Fairy Primrose is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Fairy Primrose will grow to be about 8 inches tall at maturity extending to 18 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 9 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 7 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years.

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in both summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.

Fairy Primrose is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers against which the larger thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, most plants cannot be expected to survive the winter if left in containers outdoors, and this plant is no exception. Contact our store for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Texture 
Ornamental Features

Disclaimer - This Plant Finder tool is an online resource representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact the store directly for current availability. It does not include our entire selection of plants, so be sure to visit our store to see varieties that may not be represented on this list.

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