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Family of primroses. Homeland - temperate regions of Europe, Asia, North America. More than 500 species of these annual and perennial herbaceous plants are known in nature. The following species and their hybrids are common in culture:
- Reverse conical primrose Primula obconica is a perennial herb that forms a rather large bush - up to about 60 cm tall. The leaves are pubescent, on long petioles, rounded, cordate at the base, wavy along the edge, up to 10 cm long. Flowers up to 4 cm in diameter, fragrant, collected in umbellate inflorescences, can be colored - white, pink, red, cherry, blue, lilac.
- Kew primrose Primula kewensis is an annual herb, with a rosette of leaves up to 35 cm tall. Leaves on long petioles, round-heart-shaped, serrated along the edge, with a whitish bloom on the upper surface of the leaf, about 15-20 cm long. Flowers are small, up to 2 cm in diameter with a long tube corolla, fragrant, collected in umbellate inflorescences. The only species that blooms with yellow flowers.
- Soft primrose Primula malocoides is an annual herb, with a rosette of leaves up to 45 cm tall. Leaves on long petioles, round-heart-shaped, serrated along the edge, about 15-20 cm long. The flowers are small, up to 1.5 cm in diameter, fragrant, collected in whorled inflorescences, in several tiers, there can be colors - white, pink, purple, red with a yellow spot in the throat.
- Chinese primrose Primula sinensis is a perennial herb with a rosette of leaves up to 30-35 cm tall. Leaves on long petioles, rounded-heart-shaped, dentate along the edge, up to 15 cm long. Flowers up to 4 cm in diameter, collected in umbellate inflorescences, and can be of different colors - white, orange, pink, red, purple, with a yellow spot in the throat.
Hybrid primrose Primula hybrids are most often sold as a houseplant. If you buy a primrose in a pot, keep in mind that the plants are short-lived, they live for a maximum of two years, but in normal home conditions, only the season, until the end of flowering. The only option is to transplant the plant into the garden.
Primrose care at home
Temperature: Cool, in winter, during flowering, the optimal temperature is about 12-15 ° C, for the reverse conical primrose it is slightly higher - about 15-18 ° C. After flowering, inverse primrose and Chinese primrose can be left for the second year, but for this they will have to be kept in very cool conditions - at a temperature preferably not higher than 15 ° C. To do this, they can be planted in the garden, preferably on the north or northwest side.
Lighting: Bright diffused light. In summer, shade in the afternoon - primroses do not tolerate heat above 24 ° C. In winter, during the most abundant flowering, the lighting should be maximum and the sun's rays at this time will not cause harm.
Watering: During flowering, primroses are watered quite abundantly - the soil should be slightly damp all the time, but have time to dry out in the upper third of the pot. Perennial primroses left after flowering are watered moderately. Primroses do not tolerate watering with hard water, do not tolerate chlorine and fluoride in water. If you are not sure about the quality of your tap water, use filtered water.
Fertilizers: Primroses are very sensitive to excess salts, so you need to apply fertilizers carefully, it is better to take half the dose recommended by the manufacturer. Top dressing begins at the end of winter in February - when the buds have already appeared or are just emerging and continue until the end of flowering, every two weeks.
For feeding primroses, use fertilizers containing not only macroelements (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), but also trace elements, especially iron, magnesium, manganese, boron. If your plant has yellowness on the leaves, first of all, make sure that the soil has not salted and the acidity has not shifted to the alkaline side. In this case, part of the nutrients (iron, manganese, zinc) ceases to be absorbed and signs of chlorosis appear on the leaves. There is no need to rush to feed the flowers, you need to replace the top layer of soil with a fresh one, and if the plant has finished flowering, transplant. In the future, use soft water and acidify it slightly with lemon juice.
Humidity: Primrose can be periodically sprayed with soft water. You can place the pots on a tray with wet pebbles, and be sure to protect from the directional flow of hot air from the batteries.
Transfer: Carried out after flowering. Soil - a mixture of 2 parts of leafy soil (or universal peat), 1 part of fine gravel (2-3 mm), 1/2 part of pine bark. Primrose reverse conic add 1 part of sod land. Be sure to pour drainage into plastic pots, but make large holes at the bottom. Drainage is not necessary in clay pots, but periodically check if the drain hole is clogged (pierce it with a stick).
Primroses are propagated by seeds and dividing the bush during transplantation. Primrose seeds lose their germination very quickly, so pay attention to the packaging time when buying seeds and storage conditions (only at cool temperatures).
The seeds of most primroses need stratification (cold preparation). The easiest way to do this is to sow seeds in wide bowls into a substrate of universal peat soil (preferably Terra Vita) and vermiculite (in equal parts), to a depth of about 2 mm. Then the bowls must be placed in a bag and placed in the freezer for stratification. The optimum temperature is -10-15 ° C.
After a month, take out the bowls with seeds and put them on the windowsill, where the sun does not get, or shade them with parchment. Moisten the soil from a spray bottle, you can keep it in a bag, but ventilate it 2-3 times a day, shake off the condensate. What is important - the temperature should not be higher than 14-18 ° C. Therefore, calculate the sowing time in advance, guessing at your conditions - either in the spring or in the fall, when you can keep the crops at the right temperature on the balcony. After the seeds have germinated, the temperature can be raised to 18-20 ° C (i.e., moved to a warmer place), and the lighting can be increased. The light should be bright, but not direct, diffused, the morning sun is allowed, until 11 o'clock. The rest of the care is the same as for adult plants - uniform watering, without waterlogging or overdrying.