Candelabra Primula Primula prolifera (Pf)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
candelabra primrose


Primula prolifera, commonly known as candelabra primrose, is a striking perennial plant renowned for its unique floral display. This plant typically features a rosette of green, textured leaves that form a lush base from which the flower stems arise. The leaves are oval to oblong with dentate or slightly scalloped edges that give them a slightly ruffled appearance. The most distinctive attribute of the candelabra primrose is its inflorescence, which is tiered like the arms of a candelabra. Each flower stalk bears several whorls of blooms, each whorl arranged horizontally at intervals up the stem, creating a stepped effect. The flowers themselves are vibrant, often a shade of yellow, orange, or red, and have a tubular shape which then flares out into a star formation at the end with five rounded petals. Candelabra primrose blooms in late spring to early summer, bringing a splash of color to garden settings. Its tiered blossoms not only attract human admirers but are also a favorite of pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Despite the absence of size descriptors, it's clear that the candelabra primrose presents a captivating and ornamental appearance that can add vertical interest to any planting scheme.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Candelabra Primrose, Yellow Candelabra Primrose, Bulley's Candelabra Primrose

    • Common names

      Primula prolifera.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Primula prolifera, commonly known as the Candelabra Primrose, is not considered to be toxic to humans. However, it is important to note that some individuals may have allergic reactions or skin irritation when handling Primulas due to a chemical called primin found in the plant's hairs and sap. Ingesting parts of the plant is unlikely to cause serious harm, but it could potentially result in mild stomach upset. In general, it is advisable to avoid consuming parts of ornamental plants due to the risk of gastrointestinal discomfort and the potential for unknown toxicities.

    • To pets

      The Candelabra Primrose (Primula prolifera) is not commonly listed as a toxic plant to pets such as cats and dogs. However, similar to humans, some animals may experience mild gastrointestinal upset if they ingest parts of the plant. While not considered to be severely poisonous, it is advisable to prevent pets from eating ornamental plants, including Primula prolifera, as they may have individual sensitivities or the potential for more serious reactions depending on the amount ingested. If you suspect your pet has eaten a significant quantity of the plant and is showing symptoms of distress, it is important to contact your veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: The bright yellow flowers of the candelabra primrose provide a cheerful pop of color in gardens and landscapes.
    • Attracts Pollinators: Pf acts as a magnet for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, promoting biodiversity.
    • Low Maintenance: The candelabra primrose is relatively easy to care for, requiring minimal attention once established in the right conditions.
    • Cold Hardy: It is able to withstand cooler temperatures, making it a suitable choice for a variety of climates.
    • Moisture Loving: Pf thrives in damp environments such as stream banks and bog gardens, offering solutions for difficult wet areas in the landscape.
    • Seasonal Interest: It blooms in late spring to early summer, adding visual interest during this time period.
    • Naturalizing: Pf can spread under the right conditions, creating a naturalistic and wild look in the garden.
    • Companion Planting: It pairs well with other moisture-loving plants, aiding in the creation of cohesive and balanced garden designs.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Edible Decorations: The flowers of the candelabra primrose can be crystallized and used as edible decorations for cakes and pastries, providing both beauty and a mild flavor.
    • Natural Dyes: The petals of the candelabra primrose can be used to produce natural dyes for fabrics and crafts, offering a range of colors from pale yellow to green depending on the mordant used.
    • Garden Design: Candelabra primroses are popular in water garden designs, as they thrive in moist conditions and can enhance the beauty of pond edges and water features.
    • Education: These plants can be used in schools or educational programs to teach children about plant biology, especially the unique way they produce flowers in successive whorls up the stem.
    • Photography: The striking appearance of candelabra primroses makes them a favorite subject for photographers, particularly those specializing in botanical photography.
    • Crafts: The blooms and leaves of candelabra primroses can be used in pressed flower crafts, creating unique artwork and decorations.
    • Companion Planting: Candelabra primroses can be planted alongside other moisture-loving plants to create diverse and complementary plant groupings in a garden setting.
    • Culinary Experiments: Although not commonly known for culinary use, the leaves can be experimented with in salads for those interested in exploring edible wild plants.
    • Plant Breeding: Hobbyists and professional growers might use candelabra primroses in plant breeding to develop new varieties with unique colors or growth habits.
    • Special Events: The flowers can be used to adorn tables and venues for events such as weddings or garden parties, adding a touch of nature's elegance.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Candelabra Primrose is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Candelabra Primrose is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Hope: Primula prolifera, commonly known as Candelabra Primrose, often symbolizes hope due to its early spring bloom, signaling the end of winter and the arrival of the brighter days of spring.
    • Renewal: The Candelabra Primrose's ability to return each year is a symbol of renewal and the cycle of life, reflecting nature's resilience and continual regeneration.
    • Youth: The delicate and vibrant appearance of the Candelabra Primrose is often associated with youth and the freshness of new life.
    • Femininity: The soft and varied colors of Candelabra Primrose petals are traditionally linked with femininity and the diverse qualities associated with womanhood.
    • Devotion: The perennial nature of the Candelabra Primrose and its tendency to grow in clusters can symbolize devotion and the strength found in standing together with loved ones.

Every 3-4 days
500 - 2500 Lux
Every year
Spring to summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Candelabra primrose needs consistent moisture, so water thoroughly when the top inch of soil begins to dry out. Typically, this would mean watering approximately once a week, but this frequency may need to increase during hotter, drier periods. Use lukewarm water and aim to water at the soil level to avoid wetting the foliage, which can invite disease. Depending on the size of the pot, you might need around 16 ounces of water for smaller pots, scaling up to 1 gallon for larger containers every time you water.

  • sunLight

    Candelabra primrose thrives in partial to full shade, avoiding direct afternoon sun which can scorch the leaves. The best spot for this plant is in a location where it receives dappled sunlight or light shade throughout the day, such as under a tree or on the north side of a building. Bright, indirect light helps the plant produce the most vibrant blooms and maintain healthy foliage.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The ideal temperature range for candelabra primrose is between 50°F and 75°F. They can survive down to around 32°F but should be protected from frost, and they do not tolerate heat well above 80°F. If temperatures consistently stay above this range, provide shade and increase watering to help the plant stay cool.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning candelabra primrose is generally done to remove spent flowers and dead or damaged leaves, which encourages new growth and prevents disease. Deadheading, or removing old flower stems after blooming, can promote a second bloom in some varieties. Prune these plants in late summer or early fall, after the blooming has finished for the season.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Candelabra Primrose thrives best in rich, well-draining soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7. A mix containing peat, compost, and perlite is ideal for maintaining the right balance of moisture and aeration.

  • plantRepotting

    Candelabra Primrose should be repotted every year or two to replenish nutrients in the soil and encourage healthy growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Candelabra Primrose prefers a high humidity environment, ideally between 50% to 70%, which helps simulate their natural, moist habitat conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Candelabra Primrose in bright, indirect light and maintain high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, ensure moist, well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Primula prolifera, commonly known as Candelabra Primrose, starts its life cycle as a seed, which when sown in well-drained soil, germinates typically in spring or autumn. After germination, the seedling develops into a rosette of leaves at the soil surface, initiating the vegetative stage. As the plant matures, it sends up a distinctive stem with a whorl of flowers, distinctive for their tiered arrangement that resembles a candelabra, usually blooming in late spring to early summer. Following pollination, which is often achieved with the help of insects, the flowers develop into capsules containing numerous tiny seeds. The plant dies back in the winter to a winter-hardy perennial rootstock, surviving the cold to regrow the following spring. Lastly, the seeds dispersed from the mature plant can then start a new life cycle if they find suitable conditions for germination.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to summer

    • The candelabra primrose, which is known as Primula prolifera, is commonly propagated by seed. The ideal time for sowing the seeds is late winter to early spring. To propagate by seed, one would surface-sow the tiny seeds on top of a pre-moistened, well-draining seed-starting mix, barely covering them with a fine layer of soil or vermiculite. The container should be kept at about 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 18 degrees Celsius) and in a bright, indirect light location. Covering the container with a plastic wrap or a glass pane can help maintain humidity. Once the seedlings are large enough to handle, they can be pricked out and transplanted into individual pots.