German Primula Info: Tips On Caring For Primula Obonica Plants

german primrose
Image by Balaji Kasirajan

By Liz Baessler

Primula obconica is more commonly known as the German primrose or poison primrose. The poison name is derived from the fact that it contains the toxin primin, which is a skin irritant. In spite of this, German primrose plants produce beautiful blooms in a wide variety of colors for many months at a time, and can be very rewarding to grow. Keep reading for more German primula info.

Growing German Primroses

German primrose plants prefer sandy loam, cool temperatures, and indirect moderate light. They cannot tolerate bright summer sun, and do best indoors near, but not too close to, an eastern or western window, where they can soak up the briefer, less intense morning or afternoon light. Water your German primrose moderately; don’t over soak the soil, but don’t let it dry out completely.

Growing German primroses is easy, as long as you take some precautions. The leaves of German primrose plants are covered in tiny hairs that secrete a sticky, toxic substance. To avoid contact, you should always handle German primrose plants while wearing gloves. If your skin does come into contact with the leaves, you should notice irritation almost immediately in a swollen red area that may blister and develop linear streaks. To treat the irritation, take an antihistamine and apply a 25% alcohol solution to the area as soon as possible.

Can German Primrose Be Planted Outside?

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Like other primrose plants, the German primrose does very well in containers, but it can be planted outside. It is not frost hardy, so if it’s planted outside in a zone that experiences frost, it must be treated as an annual. If you want to start from seed, begin in indoor containers in July or August. By February or May, you will have blooming plants that can be transplanted outdoors.

Once plants are established, caring for Primula obonica takes very little effort.

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