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18 messages
13/03/2013 at 23:18

I have a primula plant that is purple. I have noticed now off the same plant are white flowers not purple ones. My now passed away Mom once said to cut these off as it means the plant has gone to seed. I was not sure if this is correct.

14/03/2013 at 01:37

Hi Laurie, if seeds from any primula are sown, they usually revert to a form more akin to the wild species (vulgaris), as they cross-pollinate very easily and the wild form has strongly dominant genes.  There is a chance that this is what has happened and the plant has self-sown right next to itself with the original dieing without you noticing.  If you are certain it is the same plant, it could just be adverse weather conditions and the next set of flowers will be 'normal'.  There was a recent thread where a tall type (perhaps a candelabra) produced short instead of long stems and this was probably also related to unusual growing conditions.

14/03/2013 at 19:04

Hi Bob the gardener,

Thank you so much for your information. I found it very interesting. I am just a novice gardener with a tiny yard but I luv to get out in the dirt and plant! I think you are right about the cross pollination. When it has bloomed and faded I will then move it from the container to my small garden for next spring. Thanks so much as I did not think anyone would answer me! Have a great day and happy gardening.


14/03/2013 at 19:23

Hi Laurie - there are lots of lovely people here who will answer you! I imagine growing in Canada might be a bit different from the UK but Wikipedia says you have a "fertile land and temperate climate" so good luck !

14/03/2013 at 19:51

Hi chilli lover,

I am new to the site and felt kinda silly as I think I am not a very experienced gardener  and likely alot of people on this site are very avid knowledgeable gardeners. I would normally ask my Mom as she knew all the garden answers but she is no longer with us. I live near Vancouver, BC just a suburb of the city. It is very wet here currenlty but yes the climate is normally pretty warm for the most part. Maybe one day I will be lucky enough to visit the UK. Thanks so much and cheers.




14/03/2013 at 20:22

Good question Laurie, I've noticed several variations of colour in my wild primoses which I expected to be yellow, but have some that are pink and darker almost red types. All types of people with varied experience on here, great place to ask questions.

Question Bob, do these type of plants have both the male and female parts in order to pollinate and reproduce?  Which then give rise to all the different genetic variations. I'm assuming that these type of plants are wind pollinated. It's been a long time since I've done biology of plants, always enjoyed it in school but now as a gardener I'm much more interested.


15/03/2013 at 23:43

Hi hollie hock,  Primulas have some of the most complex and interesting ways of pollinating.  They can be wind pollinated, but are primarily insect pollinated (usually by bumble bees.)  Not everything is known about them.  Some species can self-pollinate and some are what is termed "heterostylous" meaning they can have different shapes of flowers with pollen being produced at different parts (thought to have evolved so that several different insects can pollinate them), but each individual plant will have the same morphism regarding its' own flowers.  This polymorphism is probably why breeders have been able to produce the huge number of radically different cultivars we see today.  There are literally thousands of scientific papers concerned with primula pollination!

16/03/2013 at 07:31

Fascinating! Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Not sure of this is the right place for it, but I'd love to know more about your gardening experience.

16/03/2013 at 12:18

Hi GG, Mainly from my ever-present curiosity!  When anything has taken my interest over the years, I've always researched quite deeply into it by reading books and (these days) also doing extensive internet searches.  The internet is a wonderful resource, as long as you critically review the results of searches and don't just look at the first page or two of 'hits'.  I'm also lucky in that I work at a university and am able to access scientific papers which are normally behind a 'pay wall' (although many institutions are now rebelling against these large publishers and are supporting 'open access' publishing, which can only be a good thing for science and anyone seeking knowledge.)

16/03/2013 at 12:49

You've just confirmed my suspicions about the kind of job you are in. What impresses me most (though if you work, you are younger than me) is that you can remember what you learnt, afterwards!

16/03/2013 at 12:58
Gardening Grandma wrote (see)

....... What impresses me most (though if you work, you are younger than me) is that you can remember what you learnt, afterwards!

That proves he's younger than me too 

16/03/2013 at 13:03

Perhaps we ought to have a 'Forgot what I was going to say' thread... Wouldn't have many posts though!

 Wandered a bit from the subject of primulas, but at least I have remembered that that's what we are supposed to be talking about!

16/03/2013 at 20:51

Hi Bob, thanks for the info. I wondered if they were insect pollinated too. I've can't recall seeing any bumble bees/pollinators on mine but it goes to show a lot goes on with out us seeing it. The primulas seem to have evolved with their long term success in mind. Very successful plants, I like the native varieties, started out as pale yellow but now who knows. A lot of the other colours are too garish for my taste. Will look out with interest for other colours. I like the science behind stuff too.


19/03/2014 at 17:15

hi all just came across your forum great answer to one of my wonders about the primulas  going white in my garden too !


19/03/2014 at 18:38

My P.vulgaris don't seed white spacehopper, the occasionally throw a washed out pink  which I hate. White would be more acceptable

19/03/2014 at 22:37

Hello, does anybody know if you can split candelabra primula. I bought 3 large plants last year with 2 rosettes each and I notice today that they are coming back through, I have also sown some seed I collected last year, they've come up but will they come true to parent plant or am I in for a surprise?

20/03/2014 at 08:34

You can split the candelabras but I don't know the best time for this, sorry.

Whether the seed comes true depends on whether the plants basic species or something developed or hybridised

20/03/2014 at 11:07

Thanks nut, I'll do a bit of research.

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