Primula malacoides

Fairy Primrose is one of about 500 species of Primula. It is native to China, where it grows at elevations of 2,000-3,000 m (6,600-9,900 ft), but may often be found at lower elevations, in rice fields, for example, where it occurs as a weed. Primulas are not only popular plants for growing in the garden, but also for growing indoors. P. obconica, P. sinensis (syn. P. praenitens) and P. malacoides are particularly popular as house plants. The leaves of P. malacoides are longish-ovate, faintly lobed and fresh green in colour. The delicate flowers appear as early as February. They grow in whorls of two to five above each other. They may be simple, semi-double or double and may range in colour from white through pink and red to violet.

To produce blooms over a long period, it requires plenty of light but it rapidly wilts if exposed to direct sunlight. Water liberally but take care not to overwater. Because it is an annual it need not be repotted or fed. Propagate by seed. This may be difficult in the beginning because the seeds are extremely small and the germinating seedlings are minute.

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