Within the Backyard column: Fill my grocery store cart with Spring – Life-style – Aurora Advertiser – Aurora, MO

Carole McCray More content now USA TODAY NETWORK


I am fascinated by primroses as I turn my shopping cart through the goods department. Happy flowers of primroses in golden yellow, pink, creamy white and deep wine lure me to fill my car. So I find that they are a beacon of spring, not far away. They usually appear in February or March and help brighten the gray winter days.

Primroses give the interior a cheerful ambience. They must be treated as a short lived houseplant if you want to enjoy primroses in your home. Proper care of primroses indoors is important for the survival of the plant. Here are some tips to keep your harbinger of spring happy until you plant them outdoors:
• Primroses prefer bright or indirect light.
• Keep the soil moist. This is important because indoor primroses tend to suffer from root rot.
• Water as soon as the top of the floor feels dry.
• Give your primroses some moisture. Place the plant on a moisture bowl filled with pebbles.
• Primroses such as temperatures below 80 ° F. Ideally, the temperatures for indoor primroses are around 50 to 65 ° F.
• No fertilization is required when the plant is in full bloom.
• Pinch off old flowers to encourage a longer flowering period.

Most primroses won’t bloom a second time indoors, but the plants can be set up outdoors in the warmer months. Sometimes primroses will return to flower production if the plant is in a shady area outdoors. Outdoor primroses in zones 8-10 should always be in a shady location as they prefer a forest-like climate. Sometimes they get dormant in summer. In colder climates, primroses will need to be brought indoors for repeated blooms.

Although these are short-lived houseplants, primroses are worth the time to grab a few the next time you spot them in the grocery store. I hope primroses grab your attention as they did for me this week with their cheerful nods to spring.
Carole McCray, based in Cape May, New Jersey, is an award-winning garden clerk who has written a monthly garden pillar, The Potting Shed, for local newspapers for nearly 20 years. Her articles have been published in The Christian Science Monitor, Coastal Living Magazine, Cape May Magazine, Growise Garden Guide, and Ideals Magazine. She won the Garden Writer’s Association Award for Newspaper Writing for The Christian Science Monitor Newspaper.

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