How to Prune English Primrose After Flowers Are Spent
The common title “English primrose” really describes two species of primrose (Primula spp.) . They are Primula vulgaris and Primula x polyantha. Primula vulgaris is also named Primula acaulis. Primula vulgaris thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8 while Primula x polyantha thrives in zones 3 through 8. They perform particularly well in moist, shady places in warm climates. English primroses are known for their dense clusters of brightly colored flowers put atop leathery leaves. The flowers bloom in late winter through spring but can re-emerge in midsummer.
Pinch off the English primrose’s dead flowers as they perish. Doing this will keep the plant looking appealing. Although you can use pruning tools, dead flowers will come right off in the event that you use only your fingers. Examine the plant daily, and eliminate new spent flowers until the end of the blooming period in spring.
Cut the tip of every primrose leaf to eliminate from one third to one-half of the leaf’s length. This procedure may encourage the plant to grow back for another flowering period, especially if it grows in a shaded, moist region where the sunlight isn’t severe.
Pinch off expired blossoms as they occur throughout the next flowering period. If the plant doesn’t produce another flush of flowers, leave the remaining leaves to the plant in order that the primrose can transpire energy in preparation for winter dormancy.
Eliminate dead and broken flowers and leaves as they occur on the plant. Cut through their stems or pinch them off with your hands.
Prune the whole plant badly to the ground in late fall after the foliage dies, or keep the leaves on the plant until winter and cut the foliage in late winter before flowers appear. Abundant new development develops when the foliage is cut.