This group covers a vast number of hybrids of garden origin, produced by interbreeding several species, including P. elatior, P. juliae, P. veris, and P. vulgaris. The flowers may be primrose-type with single blooms on short stalks, or polyanthus-type with clusters of flowers on longer, stout, hairy stalks.
All have a rosette of oval, heavily-veined, mid-green leaves, and the flowers are produced in shades of white, yellow, pink, orange, red, or blue, usually with a yellow eye, in late winter and spring. They can be placed individually, grouped together for a splash of color, or used to add short-term color to a more permanent foliage arrangement.
Size: Height up to 8 in. (20 cm).
Light: Cool light.
Temperature: Keep cool; 50—55°F (10—12°C).
Moisture: Keep thoroughly moist.
Feeding: Provide standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks.
Propagation: Sow seed in summer.
Special needs: Unlike the tender indoor primulas, the polyanthus group can be planted outdoors when flowering has finished: most are frost hardy and will continue flowering for many years. Choose a lightly shaded position and keep well watered until they are established.