Growing Pink Evening Primrose – How To Care For Pink Evening Primrose

Image by The Marmot

By Mary Ellen Ellis

Pink evening primrose plants are showy when in bloom and make a good ground cover. These plants can also be aggressive, though, spreading rapidly and taking over perennial beds under certain conditions. If you know how to contain this plant, it can add a nice element to your garden.

What is Pink Evening Primrose?

Pink evening primrose is Oenothera speciosa, and is also sometimes called showy evening primrose and pink ladies. It is native to the southeastern U.S. and is considered an attractive wildflower in many locations. Pink evening primrose plants grow low to the ground and spread vigorously in an informal and loose way.

The foliage of pink evening primrose is dark green with some variation. The flowers are about two inches (5 cm.) across with petals that are almost completely fused. They are most often pink, but the flowers can also be pink to white or entirely white. It is closely related to the yellow evening primrose.

How to Grow Pink Evening Primrose

Growing pink evening primrose can be challenging only because it spreads readily and sometimes aggressively. It has the potential to take over your perennial bed and push out other plants. If properly managed, though, these flowers provide pretty and showy colors beginning in late spring and through much of the summer.

One way to avoid the rapid spread of pink evening primrose is to grow it in containers. You can even bury the containers in a bed, but this may not be foolproof. A more effective way to manage the spread is to give the plants the right conditions. Pink evening primrose spreads most aggressively when conditions are wet and soil is fertile. If you plant it in a bed that drains well, has poorer soil, and is generally dry, it will grow in attractive clumps.

Care for pink evening primrose isn’t difficult, considering how readily these plants grow and spread. It should have full sun and will tolerate heat, although extreme heat may limit its growth. In addition to keeping these flowers dry to prevent their aggressive spreading, another reason not to overwater is that it can develop a bacterial spotting.

Growing pink evening primrose will add nice color and ground cover to your garden, but only if you can contain it. Never plant it outside of a contained bed, regardless of the conditions or you may find your entire yard being taken over by it.

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