How to Plant and Grow Evening Primrose

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With brilliant yellow, pink, or white cups or goblets, beautiful evening primroses are so easy to grow that you'll see them thriving uncared for along roadsides. Their cup-shape flowers of various sizes open during the day, and many are wonderfully fragrant. Take note, though: Some spread enthusiastically and need control.

Evening Primrose Overview

Genus Name Oenothera
Common Name Evening Primrose
Plant Type Perennial
Light Sun
Height 6 to 12 inches
Width 8 to 24 inches
Flower Color Pink, White
Season Features Fall Bloom, Spring Bloom, Summer Bloom
Special Features Attracts Birds, Fragrance, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 10, 11, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Propagation Division, Seed
Problem Solvers Drought Tolerant

Varieties of Evening Primrose

'Greencourt Lemon' Missouri Sundrops


Oenothera macrocarpa 'Greencourt Lemon' has pale greenish-yellow goblet flowers on red stems. Each flower may reach 5 inches across, and the plants grow 6 inches tall. Plant in zones 5-8.

'Lemon Drop' Primrose


Oenothera 'Lemon Drop' is an ultratough selection that holds up very well to heat and drought. It flowers in spring and summer, and it grows 12 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Plant in zones 5-11.

Mexican Evening Primrose


Oenothera speciosa var. childsii is less invasive than showy evening primrose and bears delicate 1-inch pink flowers veined in deeper pink. The 12-inch-tall plants bear softly hairy lance-shaped leaves on slender stems. Plant in zones 5-8.

Evening Primrose Companion Plants

Loosestrife Lysimachia

loosestrife lysimachia

These vigorous growers are beautiful additions to the garden. They vary from tall, stately plants suitable for borders to others that can be planted as creeping groundcovers. Flowers, too, vary from tight spikes of 1/2 inch to 1-inch cups carried alone or in whorls. Humus-rich, moisture-retentive soil is recommended; some varieties enjoy wet soil and ample water. Several sorts may become invasive and need to be corralled. Note: These are not the invasive purple loosestrife, which has been banned in many parts of the United States.



Long-blooming helenium lights up the late-season garden with showy daisy flowers in brilliant yellows, browns, and mahogany, centered with prominent yellow or brown discs. Many of the best cultivars are hybrids. All are excellent for cutting. Deadhead to extend bloom time, and divide the clumps every couple of years to ensure vigor.


'Little Grapette' daylily

Daylilies are so easy to grow you'll often find them growing in ditches and fields, escapees from gardens. And yet they look so delicate, producing glorious trumpet-shaped blooms in myriad colors. In fact, there are some 50,000 named hybrid cultivars in a range of flower sizes (the minis are very popular), forms, and plant heights. Some are fragrant. The flowers are borne on leafless stems. Although each bloom lasts but a single day, superior cultivars carry numerous buds on each scape so bloom time is long, especially if you deadhead daily. The strappy foliage may be evergreen or deciduous.

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