Controlling Mexican Primrose Spread – Tips For Getting Rid Of Mexican Primrose

mexican primrose
mexican primrose
(Image credit: Richard McMillin)

Each spring, novice green thumbs and eager homeowners visit plant nurseries and garden centers in search of beautiful additions to their flower beds and garden landscapes. Tempted by the beauty of spring, even the savviest shoppers may be lured in by the promise of summer flowers. The allure of new plants is undeniable. However, not all plants sold in garden centers may be a good fit for the home garden or to specific growing regions.

Mexican primrose flowers (Oenothera speciosa) are one such example. Though creating a profusion of pink blooms in borders, their invasive nature often causes many growers to look for solutions in removing the plants. Read on for more info on Mexican primrose control.

About Mexican Primrose Plants

Also known as showy evening primrose, pink evening primrose, and pink ladies, like its cousin the yellow evening primrose, this plant can quickly get out of hand. Sure, it’s pretty, but buyer beware…. you may soon have more than you bargained for.

Having small pink and white flowers, Mexican primrose is commonly known for its ability to grow under less than ideal conditions, including in rocky and dry landscapes. Unfortunately, this factor is also one that leads to its proclivity to dominate cultivated flower beds and even grassy lawns.

How to Get Rid of Mexican Primrose

Mexican primrose control may be difficult for a variety of reasons. Most notably is the plant’s ability to aggressively spread. Since the seeds of these plants are easily spread in various ways, controlling Mexican primrose begins with eliminating the introduction of new seeds into the garden. One way to inhibit seed growth is to continually deadhead, or remove the flowers from the plants, so that they are unable to produce seed.

However, the process of getting rid of Mexican primrose completely will involve quite a bit more effort. In addition to being spread by seed, these plants develop very dense and strong root systems. When plants are disturbed, new growth with continue from the roots. Roots may also outcompete other plants within the same flower bed, causing the other flowers to die. These roots also make the plants extremely difficult to remove by hand.

Ultimately, many growers choose the use of chemical herbicide for Mexican primrose weed management. For the permanent removal of these plants, a routine of herbicide sprays may be needed. These sprays are most commonly found at garden centers and at home improvement stores. Before use, always make certain to read and follow all label instructions carefully.

For specific location information regarding Mexican primrose, growers can contact their local agricultural extension office.

Tonya Barnett

Tonya Barnett has been gardening for 13 years. Flowers are her passion. She has transformed her backyard into a cut flower garden, which she regularly chronicles on her YouTube channel