Auricle, Primula auricula - Care & propagation of the garden auricle

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Auricle, Primula auricula - Care & propagation of the garden auricle: auricula

Even if some hobby gardener may never have heard of the primula auricula, this primrose subspecies has a long and interesting history. As roses and tulips became the trend of luxury and their importance diminished, the auricas came into the limelight. Countless colors were bred and collected, the auricle changed hands at high prices and even found its way into paintings and porcelain. For the gardener of today but above all the easy care and easy reproduction should be important.


For the choice of the location, it is crucial to know the origin of the auricle. The Gartenaurikel arose from a cross between the alpine Aurikel and the primrose and comes from the alpine area. It is therefore sun-kissed, insensitive to frost and wind and grows on barren, stony and dry soil.
Due to its low height and width it does not even need much space. A flowerpot with a diameter of 12 centimeters is perfectly sufficient per plant. Whether it is a container or outdoor, the roots of the perennial need sufficient space downwards, as they spread and anchor strongly. The location should look like this:
  • sunny, but preferably without blustery midday sun
  • like unprotected from wind but with good water drainage
  • should not be overshadowed by other plants
Ideal would be, for example, an east or west aligned rock garden, like on a slope and easily protected from the midday sun. In the tub culture or as a potted plant similar rules apply.


The auricle is a perennial that can easily cope with frost. It can therefore be planted both in spring and autumn. However, the time from September to October is preferable, as it already blooms very early and then can already attract attention in the first spring with its colorfulness.
When inserting into the earth nothing special is to be considered. The roots should be covered. If the shoots are already very high, the soil may be sprinkled around something.

bucket Culture

As a potted plant, the auricle is ideally suited, as it does not need much space, can easily change the location and also the water supply can be controlled very easily here. Precisely for these reasons, many collectors of the attractively flowering plants did not plant in the garden, but cultivated them in small pots. As mentioned, the diameter of 12 centimeters per garden auriculum is completely sufficient.
However, as the primula auricula forms roots for a very long time, it needs pots as deep as possible. To the 20 centimeters it should be in the best case. For this, the water drainage must be ensured. The planters should therefore not be on a saucer or in a planter. Alternatively, care must be taken after pouring that no water collects here. A drainage layer at the bottom of the planter provides additional security against waterlogging.


Repotting of the Primula auricula should be done every two to three years and may be combined with multiplication by division. Although the garden auricle does not necessarily require more space - the planter can therefore be reused directly - but a change of earth is recommended for the prevention of diseases.
The timing for repotting should be early autumn. This makes sense at least if the nursing measure is to be linked to the multiplication.


In the field, this measure is not necessary. If a relocation is required, this can be done. The auricle tolerates him easily, as long as the conditions of the planting place to the claims fit and a deep excavation takes place. If the roots are damaged or severely cut, a healthy Primula auricula can usually recover.

Auricle - Primula auricula

But it takes time and energy, which may be deducted from the flowering power. Therefore, a root-conserving procedure is best. As well as plants, propagation and repotting, September and October are suitable. However, the change of location can also take place in early spring.


Dry, dry, loose and permeable - but not too nutritious - should be the ideal substrate for auricula. The primula auricula is very frugal here.
To achieve the loose and water-permeable structure at the substrate, gravel and sand should be mixed in. As a basis can serve a simple but high quality garden soil, which does not tend to compact. This applies both to the planting of the garden auricide in the field and in the bucket culture.

to water

Auricula are particularly easy to care for when casting. Complete dehydration should be avoided during growth. However, they do not mind short dry spells. Waterlogging, however, quickly becomes problematic, can lead to root rot and the auricle in a short time.
The Primula auricula is therefore carefully, sparingly and only as needed. Ideal is rainwater, soft tap water or hard tap water, which was allowed to stand for about a week. In the latter, the lime settles on the ground.
Absolutely necessary is soft water but not for the auricles. Due to their alpine origin, a higher lime content in irrigation water is not too problematic. In addition, the following points are important when casting the Primula auricula:
  • Even in dry phases, it is better to feed small quantities more frequently than to pour it out
  • always pay attention to the drain and urgently avoid waterlogging
  • Allow the substrate to dry before hibernation
  • never water in winter


Auricula are extremely frugal in terms of nutrient supply - but can be quickly overfertilized. Therefore fertilizer is less for the Primula auricula. In fact, the plants do not have to be fertilized at all. Everything they need is taken from the substrate.
If a reduced flowering power, reduced growth or discoloration show up, so care errors or a wrong location are the more likely causes. If this can be excluded, an earth change should take place.


Auricles usually bloom from April to May, adding color to the rock garden or balcony. The faded stalls do not necessarily have to be removed. Anyone who wants to prevent uncontrolled sowing or wants to use the seeds for propagation should remove the seed capsules after blooming and drying.


Due to their origin garden auricles are very resistant and are hardy. You therefore need no protection in the field. Even in the pot, it is easy when the entire earth ball freezes. However, it should then be kept dry first.
At the latest from October, the planters must therefore be placed so that they are protected from rain. Alternatively, when cultivating the primula auricula in the pot, it is also possible to hibernate indoors. You can stand dry and very cold. The room does not have to be frost-free. Cast is not synonymous with this variant. An exception is here, if the plant starts again in the winter with a budding. Complete drying and a lightless room are then not useful. Light incidence and occasional watering may already occur during the hibernation.


Garden auricles can be propagated both by division and by seed. Multiplication by division becomes simpler, since two or even more auricles are immediately available and can be planted out. On the other hand, seeds can lead to deviant offspring and require a bit of patience when sowing and growing, but significantly more seedlings can be produced for this purpose.


If the auricle has spread and already shows above-ground new sections, the division is recommended for propagation. For this purpose, the perennial plant is completely freed from the earth and the root is rinsed off. The roots are then cut through with a sharp knife on the already visible separation areas.

Auricle - Primula auricula

After a short drying of the cut surfaces, the resulting two auricles can be replanted. As mentioned, the ideal time for this type of propagation is between September and October.

Propagation by seeds

After flowering, the seeds form on the auricle. If these are removed, cleaned and stored, there are two varieties of sowing available.
After flowering can be sown in the same year, about in August, directly into the field. Only very slightly or not at all covered with earth and preserved from complete drying out, they drive out relatively quickly. However, sowing in the summer carries the risk that the young plants do not create enough reserves until winter and thereby freeze.
The safe alternative consists of breeding the seeds in the house from January. However, this variant of the propagation is also a bit more expensive. The procedure is as follows:
  • Mix commercially available seed soil with perlite, sand or gravel to obtain a loose texture
  • slightly moisten the substrate
  • Apply the seeds of the auricles but do not cover with substrate, because they are light germs
  • set the culture container bright and watch out for temperatures between 18 and 20° C, but also use a foil or glass cover but ventilate daily
  • Keep substrate slightly damp
After two to three weeks show first shoots. If these do not root properly, a little substrate should be carefully crumbled onto the visible roots. Once leaf rosettes are visible, they can be put into their own pots. From about March to April the young plants are allowed to go outdoors - provided they are frost-free.
Auricula are available in numerous colors and pattern varieties, they are easy to care for and propagation and therefore ideal for beginners in plant culture. As long as waterlogging is avoided and the right conditions are provided, the primula auricula prepares so much joy and little effort.

Video Board: How to divide Auriculas.

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