Because auriculas are usually shown single crowned with all or most offsets removed and these offsets readily grow into small plants, growers have spare plants that are often given to friends and neighbours who lack knowledge of the auricula's basic cultural needs. When asked "How do you grow them?" I found that a straightforward guide to cultivation came in handy.
What follows is essentially this guide. The guide is written for people living in the Midlands area of the UK and requires some adjustments for other UK regions and possibly major changes for other countries with vastly different climates or seasons.

A separate guide to growing auriculas from seed is now available.

ADRIAN       Going into the winter try to achieve
  1. All your large plants in three and a half inch pots full of roots.
  2. Any recently taken offsets well rooted.

ANDREA JULIE       During winter (end of November to second half of February)

  1. Keep the compost fairly but not absolutely dry, by watering infrequently and sparingly.
  2. Remove yellow or brown leaves when they come away easily before any rot is apparent.
  3. Ensure plants enjoy ample ventilation and protection from winter rain.
  4. Do not attempt to keep them frost-free.
  5. A cold greenhouse is the usual place to keep auriculas in winter and spring to protect the plants from wet weather and for the comfort of the grower.
APRIL MOON       Some time in February when the first signs of spring growth appear
  1. Gradually increase watering as growth accelerates.
  2. Tidy up the plants removing all dead leaves previously missed.
  3. Remove any loose compost on the top of the pot.
  4. Take offsets (without disturbing the main plant) and if you have adequate stocks of a variety remove all embryo offsets.
  5. Top dress with John Innes No.2 potting compost.
BARBARELLA       In March
  1. Keep plants well watered without over watering them.
  2. As the flower stalks rise and approach full size, stake them using green plastic coated wire.
  3. Apply at fortnightly intervals liquid feeds of half strength high potash fertiliser. Don't feed the alpines (or any show plant that displays flower colour) again until after flowering.
  4. Adjust staking arrangements as necessary.
  5. Prepare any quality plants for the early shows if you have any.
  6. Shade the plants from bright sunshine and make sure the flowers are fully protected from rain.
BLUE JEAN       In April and early May
  1. Enjoy your plants.
  2. Follow a similar regime to March except that feeding (other than the late varieties) is not recommended.
  3. Take your best plants to the shows.
BRENDA'S CHOICE       After flowering
  1. If seed is not required, remove dead flowers leaving the stems to die off naturally before pulling them away.
  2. Pot on rooted offsets and small plants without over potting to avoid subsequent over watering.
  3. Re-pot flowered plants either now before the hot weather or leave until the autumn.
  4. Treat for soil pests.
BROOKFIELD       During the hottest part of the year, sometimes called the summer!
  1. Keep the plants as cool as possible by heavily shading from the sun and providing good air circulation. A cold frame is preferred for summer housing.
  2. Water well but only when the plants are dry. Don't water just because a plant wilts.
  3. Spray to control any aphids or red spider in the cool of the evening as necessary.
  4. Protect from spells of heavy rain and thunderstorms.
CLARE       At the time (usually in late August) when summer changes to autumn and the plants grow strongly again
  1. Pot on small plants.
  2. Re-pot full size plants that were not re-potted earlier in the year taking off-sets to replace the oldest plants and the inevitable losses.
  3. Apply a systemic fungicide as a precaution against dank conditions.
(SQUADRON LEADER)       The appearance of the first frosts of winter cause the plants to go dormant and the outer leaves to turn yellow at an alarming rate
  2. Reduce watering.
  3. Keep plants tidy and free from rot, giving the plants plenty of fresh air.

  1. Use plastic terracotta coloured round standard pots.
  2. For unrooted or small offsets use cell trays or insert them around the edge of a small plant pot.
  3. For larger offsets or when the above are well established use two and a half inch pots.
  4. Pot on first into three inch and later three and a half inch pots or straight into three and a half inch pots depending on the vigour of the variety.
  1. A mixture of four parts JI No.2, one part grit, one part sand and one part peat based multi-purpose compost provides a good growing medium for plants of all sizes. Some extra sand can be beneficial for unrooted offsets.
  2. Very small quantities of charcoal, calcified seaweed, seaweed meal, dolomite lime, base firtiliser and various well-rotted animal manures are used by some growers, but are of doutful benefit for an inexperienced grower.
  1. Every time an offset or even a green leaf is removed a wound is caused that could be the opening for bacteria to start infecting the plant. To minimise the risk of loosing the plant the wounds should be treated with a fungicide such as yellow sulphur.
  2. The first watering after repotting often benefits from the addition of a fungicide.
  1. Whatever your reasons for growing auriculas, better plants will be grown if the methods used by growers that do show their plants are adopted.
  2. The National Auricula and Primula Societies run shows at local and regional levels which are fun, inexpensive and provide access to the better varieties and sound practical advice on every aspect of growing and showing these little gems.
  1. This is a simple task whereby a plant is moved to a larger pot with minimal disturbance.
  2. Root management is vitally important for successful cultivation. Never overpot auriculas.
  1. Plants that are in three and a half inch pots and have flowered in spring should be repotted immediately after flowering or in early autumn.
  2. An alternative to repotting, if an elderly plant has some offsets, is to cut off the main crown and leave the offsets to develop in size before splitting and potting them separately.
  3. The process involved in normal repotting is as follows
  1. Young (one to three year old) plants often produce the better flowers.
  2. A moisture meter with a thin probe is a very useful tool.
  3. If you tend to be an over waterer then add more grit to the potting mixture (by Derek Salt).
  1. Propagating vegetatively (taking offsets) preserves the characteristics of the variety. Seedlings however exhibit some characteristics from each parent together with some latent characteristics from shared recessive genes and therefore rarely breed true.
  2. Auriculas have pretty mixed up genes and a single cross can produce great variation although the chance of producing a significant improvement is slight.
  3. The sight of your seedlings flowering for the first time is said to be one of the most pleasurable aspects of auricula growing.
  4. Seed, often from varieties very difficult to obtain, is available from the NAPS seed exchange scheme.
  5. A separate and more complete guide to growing auriculas from seed is now available.

  1. Every auricula grower uses different methods. Some grow in clay long toms. Some use just peat based compost. Some use leaf mould. Some manage without a greenhouse. All from time to time use new ways of producing plants with flowers that little bit nearer to perfection.
  2. Certain varieties do better in one part of the country than another. This may be due to the water supply, ours is very hard so the plants (particularly the edged variaties and the red selfs) benefit from an annual iron tonic, but no one really knows.
  3. Grow the varieties that you like, that flower well for you and (if you intend to show) that regularly win cards at the shows.