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Hello one & all

My question is :-  Can I grow primula denticulata (drumstick primula) from seed?  And if so, how & when?  I've recently joined this site and really enjoy reading the exchanges of info on various aspects of gardening. Thanks for any helpful advice on this matter.


Hi Nikki

All species of plants can be grown from seed. Primulas usually like an over winter chill but I've never grown this one.


They germinate erratically, and the seedlings are tiny to start with. They need to be sown on the surface of fine compost because the seeds are so small, and the surface needs to be kept lightly moist, This can lead to green algal growth, so it is best to use fine vermiculite, which is inert, rather than ordinary compost. This reduces algal growth. 

Ideally they should be winter chilled, so I have sown them in pots in winter and covered them with a tile to stop predating mice etc., and then lifted the tile off in February and brought them into a cold greenhouse to germinate, spraying occasionally with water from a hand sprayer.

I have also left  them outside over winter with a covering polythen bag held upright with wire hoops. 

Leave them to get to manageable size before pricking them out. . 

Many thanks Gold1locks & nutcutlet for your replies 

I'll have a go using the techniques suggested this winter - and look forward to the spring for the results.  Love drumstick primulas!


You can cheat by sowing the fresh seed on small trays or pots of compost and then putting them in your fridge for a few weeks so they think they've had winter and can grow.


I am interested in this as I have an assortment of Primula seeds from the RHS seed swap and was not sure whether the seeds needed stratification or not. At least I have an idea how make a start now.


I have them (drumsticks) growing in the garden and they seed themselves prolifically every spring. I'd say yes, a good cold winter will do the seed a world of good. My problem is knowing which ones out of the thousands to keep.

I have just ordered seeds from I ordered primula and dierama pulcherrium also geranium phaeum samobor.I am going to start all of these by the winter sowing method, in gallon milk jugs left out all winter to make little greenhouses,since i do not have a cold frame.Has any one grown dierama from seed ,if so can you let me know what to expect ,and if it grows and forms corms can you lift them to store for the next season.This will be my garden experiment for this coming season


This is a useful site for how to germinate what. Look under germination and it's all alphabetical.

I haven't found primulas need any cover, they do OK outside but I don't know which ones you've got.


I sowed some primula vulgaris about 2 weeks ago in compost trays outside on my garden table. They are just germinating now, sown on top of the compost and lightly pressed into the surface. Added grit might help though 


I have grown the Dierama from seed, very slow, I still have them in pots after 3 years the corms are very tiny, like growing daffs from seed. 

Primulas self seed easily, those denticulata especially, I filled a compost bin with them this year, they would take over if I didnt.

What were those little silver blue ones Fishy?, I grew those from seed.

Fresh seed. Do not gather the seed and keep it before sowing it.

Just remembered, its these!!  primula capitata salvana


Oh yes Lyn, the ones you sent me. I've got those in the boggy area by the pond, they have rooted nicely and should kick on in the spring 



I love Primula capitata. Purplish-blue flowers with silver dusting, and a wonderful scent (if you can grovel that close to the ground...)  They are easy to increase by splitting after they flower, in my experience, and also seed themselves where they're happy.


I have just put mine in tubs, they are flowering already.     


That sounds good - you won't need to bend down so far to smell them... 

put my seedkitchen paper not sure right  going to put on seed tray cover vamiculite  am I doing right very new to this was given packet seeds


Are they primula vulgaris Jackie? It is recommended in some places to cold stratify the seeds but I sowed some straight from a packet last spring and almost every one germinated. Sow the seeds on the surface and vermiculite or grit is good. Keep them cool.

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