Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pretty pictures: Primula NOIDs

Lovely though they are, Primulas are perplexing to me at work. I don't think the greenhouse is quite the right place for them. I have no personal experience trying to keep them indoors, but just based on how and when they fall apart at work, I'm guessing that they need cooler temperatures than what we can provide (especially lately: the weathermen are talking partly sunny and 52F / 11 C for today. We'll have to open the ridge vents for the first time since fall!). Maybe it's something else. They also seem to need perfect watering, which is sometimes more of a problem than others.1

I may never get Primula care quite right: we generally only have them for a few weeks, and never very many at once, so I don't get a lot of practice.

They're especially interesting when mixed into the African violet (Saintpaulia) display: the size and shape of the plants are similar enough that your first impression is OMG yellow African violets!, followed by the crushing realization that no, they're just Primulas.

The one huge thing they've got going for them is, some of them are scented. So far, I've really only noticed the yellow ones, like the one above,2 being fragrant, but wow, what a fragrance. To me, it does a dead-on impression of a box of Froot Loops, though as usual I haven't been able to get anybody to agree with me on that.

There are blue ones, too. When I took these pictures, there weren't any blue ones that looked good enough to photograph, so I didn't. But we've had them before, and no doubt will again.


1 Earlier this week, we had a small leak in one of the pipes, and the water to the greenhouse had to be turned off for most of the day while this was dealt with, so I wound up filling a watering can in a sink and then lugging it into the greenhouse to water as many plants as I could get with two gallons of water, then went back to refill. I made sure to get the Primulas, but some of the other plants may have suffered a bit: this is a slow way to try to water a greenhouse.
2 Actually it may not be the plant pictured. We have two kinds of yellow Primulas at work, only one of which has a smell, and I don't recall which is in the photograph. But they're awfully similar to one another: the scented one looks a lot like that one even if that one is not the same plant.


Nickie said...

Hey, I agree with you, they DO smell like fruit loops :)

Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ said...

You are right about the temperature in the greenhouse being too warm. Primula like it very cool. They can even be outside in a light frost. Also, when watering, it is not good to wet the center of the plant. It rots it, like so many other plants. I don't have much luck with them in pots. They are definitely better planted in the ground. I never knew they smelled. Now I'll have to test them all!

LeatherneckJoe said...

Those are lovely photos, thanks for sharing them with us.