Auricula Old Irish Blue

Auricula, an evergreen primrose found in the mountainous regions of Southern Europe. Perhaps requiring a little cosseting, but well worth it.

There is the Alpine Auriculas grown for the perfection of their blooms, and of course the show varieties virtually always grown under protection by the enthusiast.

However for the regular gardener there is the Border Auricula, perhaps not quite as perfect as the above mentioned, but still special enough to grab your attention.

The Border Auricula Old Irish Blue is a little gem of a plant. It can be grown in the front of the border, well drained light sandy soil is essential. Flowering April/May Irish Blue with its Deep velvety mauve flowers may well be the star attraction of the border.


In late Winter early Spring carefully pull away offsets without causing disturbance to the main plant and pot them up. Also in Early Spring gradually increase watering, without overdoing it. I feed mine with liquid tomato fertilizer every fortnight from April till June.

The garden or border Auriculas which I have were potted up in terracotta pots six years ago.  I used John Innes no.2 with added grit, and I also added a layer of grit on top.  I over Winter them in the unheated greenhouse.

By the beginning of April your plants will start to show buds, and if like me you have them in pots its now time for them to be placed outside in a position where you can enjoy them for the next six weeks or so. A semi shaded spot is often suggested, but here in Aberdeen they seem to cope well enough in full sun.

Hardiness – Hardy, with a little caution

Soil – Well drained, sandy

Height – 20cm

Position – Full sun/partial shade

I have been unable to find a supplier of the Auricula Old Irish Blue


A few more plants in in the garden between the 8th and 14th of April.

This little beauty Anemone Blanda cant help but cheer you up on a Spring morning.


Another tub of unnamed Tulips looking gorgeous on April 7th.


The Muscari (Grape Hyacinth) in the woodland is another dependable Spring bulb


Ribes King Edward V11 looking good against the blue cloudless sky


The Pansies in this terracotta pot in the back garden survived the severe Winter, unlike some of those in the front garden which had to be removed.


Couldn’t resist taking this shot of the swan with a couple of ducks hanging out together. This was taken on April 8th, whilst having a stroll down by the River Dee, temp reached an amazing 20f.


The Daffodils coming in to full bloom on the banks of the River Dee not far from our house.

© 2011 – 2015, Alistair. All rights reserved.

24 thoughts on “Auricula Old Irish Blue

  1. I love all those blue blooms, its my favourite colour. The photo of the beautiful swan reminded me of the Ugly Duckling…the scene looked so serene with the swan and the ducks enjoying their leisurely time there! Such a lovely place with those daffodils, so near your home!

  2. Hi Alistair… those daffodils are amazing!! I also really love primulas of all kinds… excellent post today! If you have been checking in on my blog at all, you know that this has been a very discouraging spring so far… such strange weather but I’m feeling fairly positive that things will turn around soon. Yesterday my conifer order came in and 17 of 40 plants were missing because of winter damage in the northwest, so it’s not just us experiencing problems by any means. We anticipate better weather and hopefully we’ll get it! Larry

    1. Hi Larry, I hope your weather becomes more settled soon. I always enjoy my visits to your site, manage once per week without fail. Hope the shoulder pain has eased up.

  3. That river of daffodils along the banks of the Dee is stunning! Good to hear you have had some of the wonderful – if untimely – weather. I find I am now longing for rain, the pond needs re-filling and the water butts are nearly empty… Its April, not August!

    1. Yes Janet, even here in Aberdeen the weather for us has been exceptional, hope we still get a reasonable Summer, we had a fair amount of rain last night. Just spotted our Alstroemerias pushing through the ground, I thought after such a hard Winter we may have lost them.

  4. I have not see Auricula before, thanks for showing! I learn so much from your blog. That daffodil meadow by the river is wonderful, I wish I could walk along…

    Why do Austins not do well for you? Is it too cold? They do well in the Northern US, I have heard reports from USDA Zone 5 and even Zone 4.

    1. Hi Masha, there are a number of plants that would be expected to do well in our part of Scotland but don’t. Seems like it is nothing to do with Winter in fact we are mild in comparison to many parts of the US. The problem lies in Summer, generally it is rather cool with the average temperature working out at 62f in July/Aug. We do get better spells of course but also spells when it falls to 56f during the day.

  5. You should see my neighbours auriculas – talk about being prolific here in Perthshire in the ground all winter here exposed to all sorts of conditions. Mine are called Bradford City and they are reddish colour of bloom while I grew up with your variety everywhere in our garden. I was never done taking little pieces off the main plant as a child and planting them………..

    Our daffodils are about finished here now but aren’t those blue skies just wonderful that we’ve been getting recently.

    Alistair see that muscari that you have in your garden do you know the name of that variety. I have the very common ones but I’ve seen ones like that growing wild around here though I think yours might have a bigger head of flowers than those and that’s a type I would like to introduce to my garden……… never mind take some photos of.

    1. Hello Rosie,
      We planted these Muscari about five years ago, If anything it seems to get stronger each year. Unfortunately I didnt take note of the name, if I ever spot what I think is the variety I will get in touch. The Auriculas are quite a recent introduction for us, I just felt they would be safer in pots, but I suspect they would do well enough planted in the borders.

  6. Those flowers look amazing! I wish I could grow them in my balcony, but I am afraid they will not survive the strong wind and those times when I go away. The lake looks beautiful too

  7. Hi I have a lot of auricula plants all different shades but one sticks out from the others it is almost black petals with creamy white centre can you tell me if this is a named variety or a cross breed . Regards Rob

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