Oenothera Macrocarpa: How To Develop Night Primrose

Oenothera macrocarpa, additionally identified by its frequent identify Missouri night primrose, is a low-maintenance herbaceous perennial with gorgeous yellow flowers and slim grey-green leaves. 

They make a stunning addition to wild gardens and native plant gardens. Their vivid yellow flowers earned them the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Backyard Advantage. Since they’ll survive in poor soil, together with rocky prairies, clay soil, and limestone glades, they’ll additionally add curiosity to rock gardens with dry soil the place different crops could battle to develop. 

Missouri night primrose is most simply recognized by its vivid yellow flowers, that are the scale and form of teacup saucers. Like all members of the night primrose household, the flowers open within the late afternoon into the next morning. Because of this, they’re pollinated primarily by nocturnal bugs like hawk moths and sphinx moths. 

Including them to your native panorama gives a much-needed meals supply for nighttime pollinators, even after they’re potted crops. One other advantage of Missouri night primrose is that it flowers over an extended time frame. Their bloom time stretches from spring to mid-summer. 

These native flowers open earlier than many others within the spring. When the flowers die again within the late fall, they are going to kind seed pods amongst their foliage that may readily self-seed and unfold over time. The stems and leaves path alongside the bottom in a spreading progress behavior, making them the proper floor cowl. 

Fast Care Information

Oenothera macrocarpa
Oenothera macrocarpa. Supply: Allen Gathman
Widespread Identify Missouri night primrose, bigfruit night primrose, night primrose 
Scientific Identify Oenothera macrocarpa
Household The night primrose household, Onagraceae
Top & Unfold 10 inches tall and as much as 24 inches large
Mild Full solar to gentle shade
Soil Rocky or sandy soils
Water Drought tolerant
Pests & Illnesses Slugs, root rot, deer resistant

All About Oenothera Macrocarpa

Oenothera macrocarpa foliage and flowers
Oenothera macrocarpa foliage and flowers. Supply: CAJC within the PNW

As talked about above, Missouri night primrose is well-known for its slim inexperienced leaves and showy yellow flowers that bloom profusely all through the late spring and into mid-summer in rock gardens, clay soil, and limestone glades. The flowers are on the bigger facet at 4 inches large, and every flower blooms for at some point. 

The genus identify includes two root phrases – oeno, or donkey, and thera, or lure – which consult with its capacity to offer an area for donkeys to relaxation for a second. It has an alternate botanical identify and is also referred to as Oenothera missouriensis. It has many a typical identify, with bigfruit night primrose and Ozark sundrop amongst them.  

Night primroses are named as such as a result of the flowers solely start to bloom within the late afternoon and stay open till the next morning. Throughout their bloom time, they emit a mildly aromatic scent that pulls nighttime pollinators similar to hawk moths and sphinx moths. The yellow flowers stand in distinction to the gorgeous inexperienced foliage alongside a number of quick pink stems that sprawl throughout the bottom. 

Perennial Missouri night primrose is native to virtually the remainder of the US, in components of Mexico and Central Southern United States like Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, and Colorado. It’s particularly prolific all through Missouri, particularly within the Ozarks. It’s there these showy crops develop about 10 inches tall and unfold.

The world with essentially the most species of this native plant is the southwest of the US, and there are species of the Oenothera genus in each state apart from Alaska. This perennial Oenothera missouriensis plant can tolerate warmth and drought and likewise survive by way of chilly fall months and winters to come back again within the spring. 

Missouri Night Primrose Care

Missouri evening primrose flowers
Missouri night primrose flowers. Supply: amy_buthod

Missouri night primrose produces lovely and showy 4-inch large pale yellow flowers amongst its pretty inexperienced foliage. When grown in its native habitat, Oenothera missouriensis is low upkeep and drought tolerant. 

Solar and Temperature

Missouri night primrose does greatest in full-sun backyard or yard areas that obtain a minimum of 6-8 hours of daylight per day. Their native habitat is concentrated in areas of USDA rising zones 4-8. These areas expertise true 4 seasons with chilly winters and sizzling summers. Probably the most lively interval of progress happens throughout their perfect temperature vary, between 70-85 levels Fahrenheit. 

In areas with sizzling summers, as soon as temperatures are persistently above 85 levels in late spring or early summertime, the expansion fee will decelerate, and showy flowers of Oenothera missouriensis could drop quickly. To keep away from this, if you happen to stay in an space with excessive warmth, then planting Oenothera missouriensis in gentle shade – or a minimum of an space the place there’s morning solar and afternoon shade – is the higher choice to get essentially the most out of your night primrose even by way of the warmth of the summer time. 

This perennial plant species will go dormant, and the leaves will die again within the winter and revive within the spring from self-sown seeds and taproots to develop tall and flower in summer time.

Water and Humidity

As with most out of doors crops, water early within the morning or late afternoon to keep away from dropping moisture to evaporation through the warmth of the day. In the event you neglect to water at nightfall, wait till the next morning. You’ll must water often through the first season of progress to assist set up your native crops and their flowers, a minimum of 2 occasions per week. 

Within the second yr of progress. It is going to develop into extra drought-tolerant and may be watered 1 time per week. By the third season of progress, they are often watered as soon as each 2 weeks. Missouri night primrose prefers dry soil, so it’s higher to underwater than to overwater. 

Be sure you keep away from watering the leaves and planting in waterlogged websites, like close to a downspout or low-lying space in your backyard, particularly within the winter with accumulating snowfall. An excessive amount of moisture could injury the roots and trigger different points, similar to root rot.

Oenothera Macrocarpa Soil

Base of primrose flower
Base of primrose flower. Supply: mccormacka

Other than its drought tolerance, one other profit to including Missouri night primrose to your panorama is that it may tolerate poor soil and stay its showy self. This implies the planting website doesn’t essentially have to be amended in any manner. Oenothera macrocarpa species thrive in dry clay or rocky soils and are often present in limestone glades or rocky prairies of their native habitat. This makes them completely suited to rock gardens, however additionally they flower effectively as potted crops. 

When rising in containers, the kind of soil combine is just not essentially as vital as offering your Oenothera species of crops with well-draining soil. Including perlite to a typical potting combine might help enhance drainage. As talked about above, constant soil moisture could cause points with these leaves and their mildly aromatic yellow flowers. Their most popular soil ph vary is impartial to barely acidic.

Fertilizing Oenothera Macrocarpa Vegetation

Missouri primrose is a gorgeous alternative as a perennial flower as a result of it’s very low upkeep. It may well survive and flower on little or no water, tolerates all kinds of soil sorts, and doesn’t require any common fertilizer or soil amendments. They really favor lean soil relatively than wealthy fertile soil. This goes for each the plant and newly germinating seeds.

Though fertilizing isn’t crucial, this plant species can profit from the increase of a layer of compost on the planting website, though this isn’t a should. You may additionally topdress with compost at the start of every rising season within the early spring, however macrocarpa will proceed to develop, flower, and unfold regardless. 

Pruning Missouri Night Primrose

It isn’t essential to prune your night primrose flower, however it may be helpful in serving to comprise it. This perennial species may be reduce to some inches tall simply after they bloom in early summer time with a purpose to stop them from going to seed and additional spreading. 

In case your purpose is to make use of Missouri primrose as a floor cowl over a big space, you might select to forgo pruning altogether and let it develop wild! To keep up the general well being of your primrose, it’s greatest to chop again previous progress within the early spring to a top of 6 inches tall earlier than new plant progress seems. In the course of the early summer time, deadhead spent blooms to encourage much more showy yellow flowers.  

Oenothera Macrocarpa Propagation

An Oenothera macrocarpa plant will voraciously self-seed. If the brilliant and showy yellow flowers are left standing on the plant after their bloom time on the finish of the season, they are going to die again and kind seed pods. The seed pods may be left to unfold seeds on their very own, or the seed may be collected for extra purposeful sowing elsewhere within the backyard. 

Cuttings are additionally an choice if you need extra Missouri night primrose even quicker. Take a plant reducing just under a leaf node and take away the decrease foliage. Place this reducing in a glass of water, and roots will kind over the subsequent few weeks. As soon as measurable root progress has fashioned, your macrocarpa crops may be planted out.  


Evening primrose as a wildflower
Night primrose as a wildflower. Supply: cultivar413

As talked about above, Missouri primrose is generally pest and illness free! There are, nonetheless, some issues to be looking out for. 

Missouri Night Primrose Rising Issues

Most rising issues stem from a lack of daylight. In the event you discover that your night primrose is just not producing yellow blooms and subsequent seeds, it could want extra daylight. To keep away from having to dig up and transfer your primrose, observe planting directions in your particular location. 

In areas with extremely popular summers, they’ll profit from being planted in gentle shade. In most different areas, they like to be grown in full solar. These native crops don’t do effectively in shaded areas.  


One other nice advantage of including Missouri primrose crops to your panorama is that they don’t have any severe pest points and are deer resistant. That being mentioned, slugs and snails can sometimes chomp on the foliage in spring and early summer time, however they not often trigger something aside from superficial injury. 

If the injury turns into extreme, they are often handled with slug and snail bait generally discovered at large field shops and {hardware} shops. Comply with the instructions on the bottle for software. In the event you’re in search of a extra pure various, you may wish to attempt beer. Slugs and snails have a identified attraction to beer. Fill a container with beer, bury it in order that the lip of the container is at soil stage, and slugs/snails will fall in and be unable to get again out. 

You’ll have to take care of birds utilizing the seed as a noon snack. In the event you’re fearful about dropping seed to birds, you’ll be able to cowl your crops with shade material or accumulate the seed as they arrive out of the pods. Then you’ll be able to sow the seed underneath cowl of sediment to discourage birds.


Root rot is the principle illness that may have an effect on your native Missouri primrose. Root rot is usually brought on by saturated soil from over-watering. The signs of root rot will seem as a smooth mushy stem, wilting, and naturally, rotten roots. This kind of rot is tougher to get better from however may be remedied if there are nonetheless contemporary, white roots on the plant that haven’t but turned to mush. 

In the event you’re rising in a container, reduce the rotted roots and plant them right into a pot of dry soil. When grown within the floor, again off of watering your plant and let the encompassing soil utterly dry out earlier than watering once more. In case your night primrose was planted in a website that turns into simply waterlogged, you may must dig it up and transplant it to an space with higher drainage, with sandy or clay soil. 

Incessantly Requested Questions

Blooming bigfruit primrose
Blooming bigfruit primrose. Supply: plantpollinator

Q: Is Oenothera macrocarpa invasive?

A: Missouri night primrose is just not technically thought-about to be invasive. Nevertheless, it does unfold aggressively and is a prolific perennial self-seeder. 

Q: How do you develop Oenothera macrocarpa?

A: These crops do greatest in lean clay or sandy soil positioned in full solar.  

Q: How do you take care of Oenothera?

A: Water often throughout its first rising season to assist the plant set up itself. Throughout its second rising season, it is going to develop into extra drought-tolerant. 

Q: Do night primrose entice bees?

A: The brilliant yellow flowers entice many pollinators, together with bees, however as a result of they have a tendency to bloom within the late afternoon and into the night, they’re pollinated primarily by hawk moths and sphinx moths.  

Q: Does night primrose come again yearly?

A: Sure, night primrose is a perennial plant in USDA zones 4-8. 

Q: What grows effectively with night primrose?

A: Since Missouri night primroses unfold alongside the bottom, they make a fantastic addition to an space of the backyard that wants perennial floor cowl. Of their native habitat, they develop in giant clumps in meadows and sandy or rocky prairies. 

Q: The place ought to I plant night primrose?

A: They need to be planted in a full-sun location. 

Q: Must you reduce night primrose?

A: In the event you want to stop its aggressive unfold, reduce your night primrose after the blooms are spent however earlier than the seed pods have fashioned. 

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