The botanical name of common evening primrose is Oenothera biennis and the plant has plenty of admirers thanks to its beautiful and delicate appearance, however a lot people view the plant as an invasive and temperamental weed. The evening primrose is native to North America, the evening primrose flower is best sown in late fall, and it will grow quickly and bloom each summer, beginning its second year of life.

The evening primrose plant self-seeds, so it's possible that unless properly cared for, the plant can easily take over your garden. The evening primrose plant's blooms open in the late afternoon and evening and then close throughout the day. The plant attracts a different set of nighttime pollinators like bats and moths.


Evening Primrose Plant Info

The common name: The common names are common evening primrose, evening primrose, fever plant, cure-all.

The botanical name:   The botanical name is Oenothera biennis

Family: The plant belong to Onagraceae

The plant type: The plant is herbaceous, biennial

The mature size: The mature size is about 3–5 ft. tall, 2–3 ft. wide

Sun exposure: The plant prefers  full sun, partial shade

The soil type: The plant does well in moist but well-drained soil.

The soil pH: Neutral, acidic

Evening primrose bloom time: evening primrose bloom time is summer, fall

The flower color: The flower color is yellow

Plant hardiness zones : USDA four through nine.

The native area: The plant is native to  North America


How to Care for Evening Primrose Plant

Actually If the invasive nature of the evening primrose plants doesn't deter you (not to mention that you may be asleep while its beautiful blooms are out), then you're in luck, because even a novice gardener can easily grow this herbaceous perennial. As long as you give the plant plenty of light and also a well-draining soil, then there are chances that your evening primrose plants will be more than happy.

Although the evening primrose plants don’t require deadheading, controlling the evening primrose plant is much easier if you can simply snip or pinch offs the expired blossoms to prevent the plant from self-seeding. Make sure you discard the spent flowers instead of letting them fall to the ground.



The evening primrose plants can easily grow rapidly and it has been deemed an invasive species in some areas. You need to take care when planting the evening primrose in your garden, you will really need to keep a close eye on it to prevent it from spreading.


Evening Primrose Growing Conditions

Light requirement: The evening primrose plants actually love sunlight. The plant should be grown in a spot that gets full sunlight (or partial shade) and it should be somewhere that the plant can soak in at least 6 to 8 hours of warm sunlight daily.

Soil requirement: Another most important requirement for growing evening primrose plants successfully is soil that boasts good drainage. However, the soil should still retain moisture, but not become water-logged. You can also consider adding a thick layer of mulch atop the soil to help keep the roots cool throughout the summer. The evening primrose plants can easily grow well even in rocky, sandy soil.

Water requirement: The evening primrose plants does best with adequate regular watering and it will need a bit more water if they are grown in hot climate during the summer. Nevertheless, if you notice any discoloration or browning on the evening primrose leaves, it’s simply a sure sign that your plant is getting too much water and its likely suffering from root rot or a fungal disease.

Temperature and humidity requirement: The plant actually blooms and grows best during late summer. The evening primrose plant prefers to be cool rather than warm. The plant actually needs to get established with roots and foliage during the cooler early months of spring to flower well come summer. Too much heat early on the plant life can really cause the plant to become leggy or resemble a weed in appearance.

Fertilizer requirement: Actually the evening primrose will grow just fine without additional nutrients. On the other hand if you are working with a particular bad soil, you can easily amend your mixture with some organic material.


How to Plant Evening Primrose Seeds

The evening primrose plants are typically grown from seed. The seeds can be purchased online; also you can easily collect the evening primrose seeds from large colonies of wild plants growing along the roadside. Once you have gotten the evening primrose seeds, direct sow them in autumn in a good location that boasts full sun where the soil has been previously cultivated. Sow the evening primrose seeds on top of the soil and then water well. After germination you can thin the evening primrose seedlings so that they are approximately one foot apart. The evening primrose seeds need a cold period, called stratification, in order to germinate. If you sow the evening primrose seeds indoors, use a small container that is filled with moistened seed-starting mix, sow the evening primrose seeds on top of the soil, cover, and then place in the refrigerator to mimic a natural chilling period. Take out in late winter to pot up the plants when they actually have 2 sets of true leaves.

The evening primrose will not flower in its first year of life, but they will simply produce a leafy rosette at ground level. In the second year, a tall, stiff flower stem will shoot up out of the base. About midway up this flower stem, secondary branching occurs, and the leaves become progressively smaller the farther you go up the flower stem. The four-petaled blooms that begin emerging at the start of summer are about one inch wide. They will eventually die off and produce seeds, which are then spread throughout the landscape by a variety of weather conditions or eaten by wild birds.


Evening Primrose Pests

There are varieties of beetles that eat the leaves of evening primrose plant, but they won't do enough damage to kill the evening primrose plant. Otherwise, you can expect to see various other traditional garden pests periodically, including lygus bugs, leafhoppers and aphids. If you notice signs of infection on your evening primrose plants you can easily treat them with insecticidal soap or diluted oil such as neem oil.   

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