evening primrose plant

How To Grow The Evening Primrose Plant: An In-Depth Guide

There have been conflicting opinions on the evening primrose plant among many gardeners. Some people think the plant is beautiful, while others just think it’s a weed. It all relies on your preferences and the plants you want to grow in your garden, as with other things.

Although the vivid yellow evening primrose rarely reaches lengths more than 90 centimeters, it can reach heights of up to 2 meters. They prefer to grow in soil that is neutral, well-drained, and consistently moist. We’ll outline all the details you need to know about how to grow the evening primrose plant and care for this flower in this tutorial.

Origin And Characteristics of Evening Primrose

The wild common evening primrose, which appears to blend in nicely with the local flora of Europe, actually originates from North America and was only domesticated in the 17th century. The flowers, which were introduced as attractive plants, quickly crossed national boundaries, and fences spread throughout Europe. Likewise, other members of the genus Oenothera crossed-bred, leading to the diversity of evening primrose species we see today in Europe. This is the picture of yellow primrose flower:

wild primrose
wild primrose

The ordinary evening primrose is not at all subtle. It often grows to a height of 80 to 180 centimeters, towering above many of its leafy neighbors. Nothing is different below the earth; the plant’s fleshy taproot can extend as far as its height. But none of that is noticeable in the first year. The lance-shaped leaves initially develop as rosettes on the ground, and it isn’t until the next year that the main branch emerges, with a long inflorescence blooming at the apex starting in June. 

Evening Primrose Plant Care

Even inexperienced gardeners might grow the invasive evening primrose, so if that doesn’t put you off (not to mention the possibility that you’ll be asleep when its lovely blooms are in bloom), you’re in luck. It’s likely that your evening primrose plants will thrive as long as you provide them with lots of sunshine and soil that drains effectively.

evening primrose growing
evening primrose growing

Even while evening primrose doesn’t need to be deadheaded, it will be much simpler to handle the plant if you pinch or snip off the wilted blossoms to stop them from self-seeding. Don’t let the spent flowers drop to the ground; instead, make careful to dispose of them. Let’s explore it via this evening primrose care guide:


Light Contrary to popular belief, evening primrose actually prefers sunshine and only blooms at night, making it ideal for moon gardens. It needs to be cultivated in a location where it may receive full sunlight (or some shade) and at least 6 to 8 hours of warm sunlight each day.


Good drainage-friendly soil is another essential component for cultivating evening primrose successfully. However, the soil shouldn’t get water-logged and should continue to hold moisture. To aid in keeping the roots cool all summer, think about spreading a thick layer of mulch on top of the soil. Even in rough, sandy soil, evening primrose can thrive.


Evening primrose performs best when given enough water on a regular basis. If cultivated in a region that experiences particularly hot summers, additional water may be required. But if you see any browning or discoloration on the plant’s numerous leaves, that’s a clear indicator that your evening primrose is receiving too much water and is probably afflicted with root rot or a fungal disease.

evening primrose yellow
evening primrose yellow

Temperature and Humidity

Even though late summer is when evening primrose blooms and develops at its best, it actually likes chilly temperatures. To flower successfully in the summer, the plant has to become established with roots and foliage throughout the chilly early spring months. Earlier in the plant’s life, too much heat might make it lanky or make it look like a weed.


Your evening primrose plant will develop just fine without adequate nutrients; fertilizer is not an essential addition to your regimen. You can add some organic material to your mixture, though, if you’re working with especially poor soil.

5 Different Types Of Evening Primrose Plants

Oenothera Biennis

Oenothera Biennis is the common evening primrose another name. Although it might be found all throughout America, this species is native to North America. Evening primrose oil is produced using the oil from this plant.

cutleaf evening primrose
cutleaf evening primrose

Oenothera Speciosa

Other names for this species include pink ladies, showy evening primrose, Mexican primrose, and buttercups (even though they aren’t actually ranunculus or buttercups). As the plant ages, the blossoms turn pink after they have bloomed to a white color. They can withstand droughts and unfavorable soil conditions and bloom from spring into October.

beach evening primrose
beach evening primrose

Oenothera Fruticosa

Also known as sundrops with slender leaves. The loveliest evening primrose plants are seen in this cultivar. From late spring through early summer, these golden blooms are in bloom.

large-flowered evening primrose
large-flowered evening primrose

Macrocarpa Oenothera

Also called Greencourt Lemon or Ozark Sundrops. This type boasts show-stopping flowers that are huge, vibrantly colored, and fragrant. They can withstand droughts and unfavorable soil conditions and bloom from spring into October.

white evening primrose
white evening primrose

Lemon Drop Oenothera

One of the hardiest types, this bright yellow blossom can withstand heat and dryness. They can reach a height of 30 centimeters and bloom in the spring and far into the summer.

tufted evening primrose
tufted evening primrose

How To Grow Evening Primrose

Even though everyone is indoors at night when the flower blooms, deciding to grow an evening primrose plant isn’t an easy choice. Even though some of the kinds can appear little and scraggly, there are many different evening primrose plants to pick from. Evening primrose has the advantage of being simple to grow and resilient to adverse situations.

Evening Primrose Planting Instructions

The evening primrose plant cannot be transplanted and is often cultivated from seeds. You can either purchase seeds at your neighborhood nursery or gather them from growing plants by the side of the road.

Where To Plant Evening Primrose

Select a place with good soil drainage and direct sunlight. Once the evening primrose seeds have germination, scatter them on the soil and divide the evening primrose seedling to allow for growth. The plant can endure dry circumstances, but the soil must be moist.

Evening Primrose Planting Time

Your primrose seeds should be planted in the ground in late autumn or early spring. Even though the evening primrose will bloom for the first year, it will develop a leafy rosette slightly above the ground. Each 20-centimeter leaf will also develop into a long, lance-shaped leaf with a white vein running through it. In the second year, secondary branching will also emerge along with the flower stalk. Around this time, the blooms will also start to grow.

when does evening primrose bloom
when does evening primrose bloom

Common Issues with Evening Primrose

Although evening primrose is a relatively simple plant to cultivate and care for, it can occasionally have a few issues.

Decaying or Wilting

This is frequently the result of bacterial soft rot, which impacts plants that are resting in wet soil or in extremely humid conditions and develop at temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Yellowing Foliage and/or Stunted Flowers

It is well-recognized that fungi can impede a plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and water, resulting in stunted blossoms, yellowing of the leaves, and root rot. To stop the fungus from spreading to other plants, pull these blossoms up and throw them away.

Discoloration of Foliage and Flowers

Gray mold, which might cover the evening primrose plant in fuzzy gray and brown blotches, may be the culprit in this situation. This occurs even as the plant gradually dies from the consequent nutritional shortage. To stop the spread, pull the plants.

yellow evening primrose plant
yellow evening primrose plant

Use And Benefits Of Evening Primrose

In addition to adding eye-catching pops of color to your perennial garden bed, evening primroses also draw a variety of insects, including moths, butterflies, and bumblebees. Numerous other insects, including butterflies, can eat it with great success. Below is a picture of the blue evening primrose:

However, insects are not the only ones who enjoy it. You can experience the plant fully as well. For instance, the fleshy taproot can be picked in the fall and served as a delectable root vegetable. The new leaves are perfect for salads in the spring. Highlights include the edible, vivid yellow blossoms that can be used to adorn a variety of summertime cuisines. Making homemade ice cubes with flowers can create lemonades or cocktails even more spectacular.

Even more, benefits are provided by the evening primrose plant. On inflamed skin, the oil from its own seeds has a calming and anti-inflammatory effect. You can take care of neurodermatitis, dry skin, and even dandruff. Not to mention, evening primrose oil is a component of many organic cosmetics.

Stomach and digestive issues can be treated with tea made from dried evening primrose leaves. Additionally, it will aid in reducing irritability, moodiness, and other symptoms that many people suffer prior to their period.

lemon drop evening primrose
lemon drop evening primrose

Hope that this guide helps you know more about the evening primrose plant!


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