about fake news itís fake flowers that have my
attention. Actually, they are not fake; they are the
brilliantly colorful primula. Recently, the astonishing
color and beauty had passersby gawking in amazement.
took about 72 hours of temperatures in the 20ís and I
was begging for mercy, and just like magic there they
were, in a grocery store of all places, offering the
respite so needed during an arctic blast.
do not understand why every florist, flower shop, and
garden center doesnít have a truck full of half a
dozen or more, varieties for us to buy. There is no
plant that can cure the winter doldrums like the primula.
comes from the Latin word which means "firstling of
spring" which quite accurately describes this
plant. There are about 400 species of primulas, which
are mostly alpine perennials with short rhizomes. Since
they are alpine perennials and I have always lived in
the hot south, I have treasured them in containers. You
may be able to enjoy yours in the morning sun or
afternoon shade of the landscape.
are not lantanas that will bloom until fall but will
simply give you 12 to 14 weeks of unimaginable color
that no other plant can match and at an otherwise bleak
time of the year. If you see them at a garden center or
flower shop looking like they are waiting for adoption,
give them a try; you will never go without again unless
of course, you canít find them.
love their brightly colored flowers clustered together.
Some of the mixes are so pretty an artistís palette
would be jealous. They also do well in mixed containers
grown with pansies, daffodils, mustard or kale. Choose a
good light, well-drained mix for your container, and
then plant at the same depth as they grew in the
original pot. Look for plants with healthy foliage that
fills up their container.
am partial to the Primula acaulis varieties like the
Orion series and the beauty of the bi-color selections
in the Danova series. These are fairly short plants with
short flower stalks, but they have colors that are so
bold you will feel like a kid opening up the first box
next tallest of the primulas come from another species
or group known as Primula obconica hybrids. These plants
can reach 12 to 18 inches in height producing taller
flower stalks. The colors are very pretty, not as bold
but look like fine depression-glass. The Libre and Juno
series are the most popular in this group. Another
species you might like is the Primula malacoides with
taller stalks but airy clusters of slightly smaller
you get your plants keep them moist and fed with a
dilute water-soluble, 20-20-20 fertilizer that has
micronutrients. Avoid overhead watering to lessen fungal
diseases. I use a small watering can with a tiny spout
that allows me to pinpoint where the water goes. Be sure
to deadhead old flowers for a tidy appearance and
increased flower productivity. Pots of flowers with
riveting color until spring is well worth it to me.