Evening Primrose fruticosa, Perennial

Avg seeds/pkt 700

This particular evening primrose, an evergreen perennial, happens to flower during the day, its clear-yellow saucer-shaped blooms attracting birds and butterflies from late Spring through mid-Summer. Narrow, red-tipped leaves extend its beauty into Fall. It tolerates partial shade, average soil, and drought, but really puts on a show in full sun.

Start plants in Spring when soil temps reach 65°F. These miniscule seeds need light to germinate, so carefully sprinkle them a few at a time on the soil surface every 18 inches, tamp them down, “plant” a marker nearby to help you find them again, and use a gentle mist to moisten them twice a day (if needed) until they germinate—usually within 2 weeks. Lightweight, water-permeable row covers or cast-off sheer drapes can be spread over the seed beds to help soil stay evenly moist and undisturbed.

Most perennials start to bloom in the second year, but may surprise us with a few flowers before their first Fall. At maturity, Oenothera fruticosa will be 2 feet tall and wide, with tops covered in flowers from early June through July. It will spread via shallow roots but if it starts to ramble in the Rudbeckia, it’s easy to pull out by the stems.

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