Evening primrose (Oenothera) is one of those rare flowering plants that only open their blooms late in the evening. This hardy perennial (some varieties are biennial) will open its’ fragrant blooms around 4 o’clock in the evening and the blooms will remain open all night until the sun shines on them the following morning.
Some people consider evening primrose an invasive weed because plants grow rapidly and are not much to look at during the daytime. However, this flowering plant is extremely easy to grow, fills the air with a sweet, orange-like aroma, and has several health benefits.
If you’re interested in growing this unusual, colorful, and health-benefiting flower, it can be contained easily and will make a great addition to a moon garden.
Let’s find out more about evening primrose and its health benefits.
Select a location that is in full sun and has well-draining soil. Primrose will tolerate most soil types but will not tolerate wet, soggy soil. Plant evening primrose seeds in the selected outdoor location in fall/autumn or spring.
How To Plant
Rake the top of soil and sprinkle seeds directly on top of soil. Do not cover seeds and water lightly. After the seeds germinate thin the plants to 1-foot (30 cm) apart.
The plants will not flower the first year but will produce a leafy rosette at ground level. The leaves are 6-8 inches (15 – 20 cm) long, lance-shaped, and have a white vein in the middle.
In the second year a tall, purple flower stem emerges from the leafy rosette and branching will occur halfway up the stem.
The plants will produce four-petaled blooms from late spring until late summer. The fragrant bloom colors are white, pink, and yellow.
Evening primrose can be grown in a container to prevent the plant from spreading. Deadhead the spent blooms to keep the plant looking neat and prevent it from producing seeds.
Apply compost around plants in early spring and water during times of drought.
Primrose and its Health Benefits
All parts of the evening primrose are edible – the long tap root, leaves, stems, and flowers.
The plant is often called ‘Cure-All’ because it’s used to treat several ailments.
- Evening primrose oil is used as a topical treatment for eczema, hair loss, dermatitis, and other skin disorders.
- Herbal tea made from the evening primrose is said to help improve heart health, control diabetes, ease the pain of arthritis, and help prevent osteoporosis.
- Evening primrose capsules are used as a supplemental treatment for asthma and other respiratory ailments.
*This article is not intended to be medical advice, so please do not rely solely on the information provided in this article for your health.
|Common name||evening primrose|
|Light||full sun, part shade|
|Soil type||loam, sand|
|Height x Width||3-5 inches (90 – 150 cm) x 2 -3 feet (60 x 90 cm )|
|Flowering seasons||spring, summer|
|Plant hardiness zones||4 – 9|