Tufted Evening Primrose Care – Growing Evening Primrose Wildflowers

White Tufted Evening Primrose Wildflower
tufted primrose
(Image credit: Jared Quentin)

Often used in xeriscape gardens, tufted evening primrose plants (Oenothera caespitosa) follow the traditional blooming habit of other members of the family. Evening primrose wildflowers open their blooms in afternoon, stay open all night, and wilt away the next day. This provides a chance for nighttime feeders and pollinators to partake of the nectar.

Only long-tongued visitors can reach the nectar that deposits low in the flower. Hawk moths have the perfect size beak to reach it, and they fly at night. Other beneficial night-moving pollinators may take advantage of the open blooms. A moth garden, with a range of night opening blooms, can help keep them handily around your yard.

Growing Tufted Evening Primrose

Sources for this plant say it will grow in any location throughout the U.S. Large white blooms adorn the plant heavily throughout the summer in many areas. If you wish to grow it, seeds are available online.

It is native to the western part of the country, where it grows wild in infertile and poor soil. These areas are often sunny and dry. As such, tufted evening primrose care is moderate when growing them in your landscape.

Water occasionally to keep blooms coming all summer. Fertilization is not a necessity for performance and flowering of these evening primrose wildflowers. As a perennial, it returns each year. The plant often multiplies, so expect more to return and fill your beds. Grow it with other evening primroses, such as yellow primrose and pink primrose, for a beautiful blooming bed in early to late spring.

Tufted Evening Primrose Plants in the Landscape

If you wish to start a special bed to attract moth pollinators, fill it with the primrose and other blooms that are fragrant and open in the afternoon or at night, like the 4 o’clock flower. Night-time moth pollination is most prevalent in the southern regions because of warm evenings.

Other blooms that attract the moths are highly fragrant and have pale colored flowers. The Madonna lily and night-blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum) are two more. Light colored flowers and heavy fragrance allow the moths to find them by moonlight. Some yucca plants draw these pollinators as well.

When growing tufted evening primrose from seed, plant them near the top of the soil and lightly cover. Keep the seeds moist until germination occurs. You may also be able to find tufted evening primrose plants at your local nursery or garden center too.

Becca Badgett

Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.