How to Care for Evening Primrose

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The evening primrose (Oenothera) is also known as Desert Evening Primrose and Sundrops. The plant produces tall spike stems that reach a height of 8 to 24 inches and width of 15 inches. The flower blooms are 2 inches in diameter and open in late afternoon. Evening primrose is a biennial plant native to North America but considered an annual by gardeners because of the invasive qualities it has by reseeding. It is common to find evening primrose growing naturally along roadsides and railways.

Things You'll Need

  • Evening primrose seeds or plants
  • Plant markers
  • Water
  • Dried manure
  • Compost
  • Plant clippers
  • Shovel
  • Plant the pink primrose in an outdoor location that will receive full sun to partial shade and has well-draining soil. The plants will grow in poor-nutrient-quality soil.

  • Sow evening primrose seeds outdoors just before the last spring frost. Lightly cover the seeds with soil or compost.

  • Mark the area where seeds were sown because evening primrose plants emerge late in spring. Mature plants will spread seeds if the pods are not removed. This causes new plants to emerge where you don't expect them.

  • Water evening primrose plants to keep the soil moist but not wet. Increase the water amount during periods of dry summer weather.

  • Apply composted manure around evening primrose plants as a fertilizer in spring. High-nutrient compost can be applied if manure is not available.

  • Prune evening primrose plants after flowering to prevent seed-pod formation and spreading.

  • Propagate the evening primrose plant if additional plants are desired by taking cuttings in spring. The evening primrose also can be propagated through the division of root clumps in spring.

Tips & Warnings

  • Evening primrose is an edible plant that has a history of medicinal uses.
  • Primrose plants can become invasive when the seed pods are not removed.

References

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