Evening Primrose is a biennial with beautiful big pale yellow flowers with dark-green lancet-shaped leaves. It flowers in summer from July till August and the flowers open only in the evening so this explains the name Evening Primrose. It has a lovely and fragrant lemony scent and that's why it's very attractive to night butterflies. Evening Primrose is very hardy but it needs a very sunny and sheltered position. The oil from the Evening Primrose is often used in Homeopathy and alternative medicine.
Indoor sowing: half february - march
Outdoor sowing: may - july
Germination: 14 - 28 days
Germination temp.: 15 - 20 °C
Sowing depth: shallow - 2 mm
Plant distance: 50 cm
Sowing distance in rows: 35cm
Plant position: sunny
Days till flowering: 320
Flowering period: july - august
Start sowing indoors from half February to ensure flowering in the first year. Use a slightly acidic, sandy, loose and well draining soil. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil because they need light to germinate. The ideal germination temperature is about 18 °C. Cover the seeding pots or trays with some cling film to maintain enough moisture.
Remove the clingfilm when the seedlings are first starting to sprout. Plant the seedlings out about 50 cm apart in may, when there is no longer a chance on nights frost. They need a sunny sheltered spot with good dranaige. Water profusly after replanting.
Sow outdoors on a sunny and sheltered spot from may on, when there is no longer a chance on nights frost. The soil has to be slightly acicid and sandy with a good dranaige. Sow shallow and cover slightly or rake the seeds carefully in. First water the soil to prevent the seeds from washing away.
Thin the seedlings to about 50 cm apart, when they are large enough to handle. Seeds sown from may on flower next year. Water profusly in dry spells. Evening Primrose can sow itself quite easily. Cut the flowers right after flowering to prevent self sowing.