Wisley's Alpine Diary
This entry: 01 April 2010 by Paul Cumbleton
Log 70...Primula allionii
Wisley?s Alpine Log
By Paul Cumbleton
2010: Log 70?01 April
Primula allionii has always been deservedly popular with alpine growers. With a multitude of forms and shades of colour it makes an important contribution to collections and on the show bench. The current RHS Plant Finder lists 81 cultivars as being available and a web search will find even more. Here at Wisley, Kathryn Hart is responsible for cultivating our collection. In this log we will describe how she grows them and illustrate a selection of the cultivars we grow.
Kathryn re-pots when the plant has reached the edges of the pot and clearly wants to be moved to a larger one. She does this just after flowering has finished. The potting mix we currently use for them (all parts by volume) is:
1 part of John Innes compost No. 2
1 part of peat
3 parts of grit
Above: P. allionii ?Julia?
Below: P. allionii ?Jenny?
Give a reasonable amount of water while in active growth. Reduce water over winter to keep pots only just damp. We take care to keep water off the leaves wherever possible to avoid the possibility of Botrytis fungus.
Above: The very popular cultivar ?Anna Griffith?
Below: The dark flowered cultivar ?Perkie?
Kathryn believes they flower better if grown ?hard? and so only gives additional feeds if they are looking decidedly hungry. If she does feed, she uses a half-strength liquid feed of a low nitrogen type
Above: P. allionii ?Horwood?
Below: P. allionii ?Cherry?
Through spring and summer they require shading. From the end of March until September we apply a traditional whitewash shading to the glass of the house in which they are grown
Above: Primula allionii ?Julia?
Below: Primula allionii ?New Dawn?
A good winter job is to carefully remove old, dead or dying leaves. Otherwise these could rot and lead to the death of the plant. We find this is best done with tweezers.
Above: P. allionii ?Little O?
Below: P. allionii ?Viscountess Byng?
Finally, a collage to show just some of the colour shades from pure white through to deep rose: