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How To Plant and Care For Scabieuse

How To Plant and Care For Scabieuse

Obustate and perfectly hardy, the scabious is a perennial plant requiring little maintenance while offering beautiful flowering clumps for most of the summer.

What there is to know :

Botanical name : Scabiosa columbaria
Common name : Columbian scabious
Family: Dipsacaceae

Height: 30 to 60 cm high, 20 to 25 cm wide
Foliage: Its thick, deeply cut, dark green foliage forms a regular carpet that persists in winter.
Flowering : From April to November. During April, soft green flower buds appear at the top of erect stems, about 30 cm high. They open on crumpled flowers, with serrated petals, which can reach 5 cm in diameter. Lasting, this flowering extends until the first frosts. The plant takes advantage of the slightest thaw to bloom again, even in the heart of winter. These nectariferous flowers are visited by foraging insects.

Exposure : Loves the sun
Soil : Ordinary soil, including limestone which it supports perfectly. This perennial plant fears too dry land and soggy soil in winter.
Hardiness : -20°C

How to use scabies?

Scabies form beautiful clumps of flowers for several months in a row. In the garden, give them a nice place at the edge of the flowerbed, with pink or white Gauras or with a perennial geranium ground cover.

Planted along a paved terrace or driveway, they accompany aubrietas and bellflowers .

Scabies also grows very well in pots, provided it is the dominant plant and receives light from all sides.

Planting the columbar scabious

Plant this beautiful perennial in September or April, from plants sold in pots.

If you buy larger scabious grown in containers, you can plant them all year round, except during periods of frost and heat waves.

Choose the right location: this perennial just needs a corner of the garden in the sun, a soil that is not too wet in winter but which does not dry out too much in the middle of summer either.

Count 3 to 4 plants per square meter. Respect 25 cm of distance between the low varieties, 40 cm for the highest.

How To Plant and Care For Scabieuse


Scabious plants are sown in buckets or trays from the beginning of April. The seeds need 10 to 15 days to germinate, provided the soil remains moist.

Then replant the seedlings obtained in their final place in May. The very first weeks, protect from slugs.

A perennial plant very easy to grow in drained soil


Although it is perfectly resistant to drought, this beautiful perennial plant appreciates some regular watering in summer. Pour water in quantity, but spacing the contributions of several days.


So that your scabiosa flowers generously, bring a good handful of compost to the foot from time to time or change your plant every 2 years, in the spring, to offer it new soil.

Clump pruning and cleaning

During flowering, remove only faded flowers. Then cut back the clump at the foot in autumn or wait until the beginning of spring to clean it completely.

The trick to getting erect tufts

Avoid planting your scabiosa in partial shade or against a wall as its stems tend to stretch and bend to the point of collapsing. In this case, install a discreet staking to keep the flowers well erect.

Multiplication of the scabious

Like many perennials, scabious is very easy to propagate by dividing its clumps in March.

You can also take cuttings from young shoots appearing at the base of the plant in April or September.

How To Plant and Care For Scabieuse

Varieties of scabious

Butterfly blue : is the classic variety with purplish blue flowers. The first appear in mid-April, the last are stopped only by severe frosts. Height: 35 to 40 cm

Pink mist : with pink pompom flowers

Scabiosa rumelica , the small Macedonian scabiosa which also bears the botanical name of Knautia macedonica : with small double pink flowers. Height: 75cm

Scabiosa caucasica , the Caucasus scabious : Its large light blue, darker or white (Alba) flowers open in July and August and are renewed until frost, sometimes longer. Height: 60cm

The giant scabious ( Cephalaria gigantea ) is a related plant. But the flowers of the cephalaria, similar to those of the scabious, are pale yellow and bloom at the top of a large tuft of green leaves. Height: 2.20m.

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