Scabiosa features honey-scented pincushion blooms and ornamental beaded buds that bring delight to mid-summer through fall gardens. These pristine blossoms appear just as earlier flowering plants begin to fade. Cultivate this plant in cutting gardens and meadow-style landscapes, attracting frequent visits from butterflies. Provide support to young plants using twiggy branches and remember to deadhead the flowers to encourage prolonged blooming.
When to Plant Scabiosa Seeds
Begin the indoor sowing process in pots approximately four to five weeks before the last expected frost.
For outdoor planting, directly sow the seeds in spring after the threat of frost is over.
Where to Plant Scabiosa Seeds
These plants thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 7, making them ideal for temperate climates. They prefer moderate temperatures and dislike both cold, overly wet conditions, and hot, humid weather. Scabiosa performs best in full sun and requires well-draining, organic-rich soil. To prevent powdery mildew, select a location with good air circulation.
How to Plant Scabiosa Seeds
For indoor planting, surface sow the seeds, pressing them into the soil for good seed-to-soil contact. Sprinkle a thin layer of vermiculite over the seeds or use a humidity dome to enhance germination. Maintain a temperature of 65°F to 70°F during this period. Seeds will typically sprout within five to fifteen days. Transplant the seedlings outdoors after the last frost has passed. Prepare the planting area by incorporating two to four inches of compost into the soil before placing the plants outdoors. Maintain a spacing of 12 to 18 inches between individual plants to avoid powdery mildew.
How to Care for Scabiosa
Scabiosa is considered to have medium water requirements. Provide approximately one inch of water per week. Once established, the plant can tolerate some drought conditions, but in general needs water twice a week during dry spells. Harvest flowers when they are halfway open for the best results in bouquets and floral arrangements.