What To Do With Primroses After Flowering?

Primroses provide a splash of colour at an otherwise dreary time, but what do you do with them once those flowers have passed? Let’s look and find out exactly what you should do with your primroses after flowering.

What To Do With Primroses After Flowering
What To Do With Primroses After Flowering

Cut Them Back

When the foliage starts turning yellow in summer you should cut it back. This will allow fresh green leaves to appear, which is better for the plant and looks nicer in the garden.

How to cut back primroses
A really quick and simple guide on how to cut back primroses in summer.
Grab All The Dying Leaves
Just simply grab all of the dying leaves up into a bundle with one hand.
Cut Everything
Now cut through everything, you can use a sharp knife or secateurs for this. We don’t have to take too much care here as these are tough plants.

Cut everything back and only leave a couple of centimetres of foliage at the base of the plant.
Remove Dead Material From Base
Now we want to tidy up around the base of the primrose. Remove any dead foliage and things like small sticks that might be stuck in the base of the plant.

Doing this clearing and tidying up will allow new, green leaves to appear over summer. these in turn will be able to produce energy which the plant will store in its roots ready for next spring.

Move Them

If you want the space where your primroses are for some summer colour instead then they can be moved and almost stored until next spring.

Simply dig them up, aiming to take as much of the root with you as you possibly can. They can then be planted somewhere else in the garden before being moved back next spring.

Primroses like a shady or partially shady spot in the summer, they dislike being in direct, hot sunlight. If you have a tree with a shady canopy then under here is an ideal spot for primroses.

They can also be put into pots and positioned in partial shade. When growing in pots though you just need to make sure that the primroses never dry out, they hate having dry roots.

What To Do With Primroses In Autumn?

So we know what to do in summer, but what about when autumn rolls around and the plant starts dying back completely.

Well, simply put, just remove any dead foliage. This is done to improve the appearance of your garden but also provides a benefit to the plant as it reduces the risk of disease getting in through all this decaying matter.

Wild Primrose
Wild Primrose

Divide Your Primroses

Summer and Autumn are also the perfect time to divide up your clumping primroses in order to get free plants, and we all love free plants!

How to cut Divide primroses
Divide your primroses in summer and autumn to get free plants for the following spring.
Dig Up Your Primrose
Fairly obviously we need to start by getting the primrose out of the ground. Dig as carefully as you can to minimise damage to the rootstock.
Prise Clumps Apart
Once dug up you will notice that there isn’t one single rootstock but rather clumps of different plants packed tightly together.

This is what makes dividing primroses so simple, the plants are already separate we just need to prise them apart.

Gently pull them apart using just your hands.
Cut Roots Back
Now we want to cut the old roots back so that they are roughly 10cm long.

Old roots tend to be a lot less productive and efficient than new roots, so by cutting the old root back we promote the growth of new, hungry roots.
Pot On And Water Well
Pot the plants on into a small pot, once for each new plant, filled with multipurpose compost. Water well and move to a shaded or partially shaded spot for the rest of the summer/autumn before planting out the following spring.



Hey, I'm Daniel. Having worked as a professional gardener for years as well as keeping a private allotment I decided to create this website to help spread my knowledge. I love gardening and hope to show you just how rewarding it can be!

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