Scabious, Widow Flower - Planting and Care of Scabiosa

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Not only widows enjoy: flowering scabious in flower meadow

The frugal scabious is ideal as a bedding and perennial border, but it can also enrich a flower meadow with its abundance of flowers. Its stature height, depending on the variety 30 to 90 cm, makes it a versatile plant. With a color palette from white to pink to violet, they cover a wide spectrum and can be colorfully mixed up or in orderly colors, so that they are a welcome addition to any garden. They have no special requirements and hardly need care. Here we explain how cultivation is easy.
Substrate and soil
The soil should be permeable and not hold on to moisture, clay-rich, heavy soil may not like the widow's flowers, and their life is thereby shortened. If you have heavy soil, it can easily be improved with sand or gravel. Acid soils are literally poison, here the addition of lime, which the scabious prefer in any case.
  • fertilize at the beginning of the season with a good long-term fertilizer
  • one-year-old plants already get some compost when they put in the cuttings
  • if you share perennials, place a layer of coarse sand or gravel under the roots
  • Well to cultivate well in the tub, soil needs water drainage, danger of waterlogging
Sun is the order of the day when you want to cultivate scabious plants in your garden. The little beautiful animals love the full sun, but are also satisfied with partial shade. Shadows, however, do not like them at all, which immediately affects the flowers or even prevents them. In addition, the site should be protected from the wind so that they can unfold their full beauty. As a bee and butterfly pasture, the widow's flower attracts insects and provides them with valuable nutrients. Tip: Put together scabioses with contrasting perennials, for example the Alpine Elven flower, colorful asters or the carpet gypsophila. You get a colorful and varied bed border.
The widow's flower is available in different versions. As a seed, it is usually annual and is sown in April / May, later the seedlings are pikiert. Alternatively, the seed can be brought forward in the seed pot, so that the small plants are set early in the bed. As a perennial plant, the scabious plant is perennial and should be cut back to the ground in autumn. The flowering extends from June to well into October, depending on the variety.
  • Scabious is perennial as a perennial and requires a clear pruning

    When buying, pay attention to well-rooted bales, only then rich flowers develop
  • dig out the planting hole liberally, after casting plenty of water
  • exchange shrubs shared with your neighbor for a change in the garden
  • it is essential to remove flowers that have blossomed, new flower shoots develop
Tip: Even if the scabious as a young perennial looks a bit unsightly at first because it does not yet have any leaves, over time it develops into a decent size. The decisive factor is a well-developed bale.
Pouring and fertilizing
The widow's flower must be watered regularly in the drought, if the leaves hang limp, it is already high time. Waterlogging is essential to avoid, the soil must be well drained. Especially directly after the insertion of a new shrub, a lot of water is needed to soak up the roots. Fertilizer can be administered in the form of compost in the case of perennials, but a perennial slow release fertilizer, which supplies the plants with nutrients throughout the summer, has also proven its worth.
  • works well as a gap filler, takes little away from other plants
The widow's flower as a perennial grows in the course of time to a decent host, which can divide excellently and thereby multiply. For this, the perennial plant will be dug up in the spring, divided with a stinging spade or a sharp knife and then used again at its new or old location. This method also ensures that older plants develop better again.
The one-year varieties often multiply by self-sowing, so you should pay attention to if next year something else should grow at this point. You can collect the seeds of the adult flowers, store them dry and dark over the winter and sow again next year. In addition, you can multiply the particularly beautiful plants by cuttings. For this purpose, about 3 cm long shoots are cut off in the spring. The lower leaves are removed, then the cuttings come in a pot with potting soil and covered with foil. After 4 to 6 weeks first roots should have formed. Tip:
When collecting seeds, look for the varieties if you want to have color-sorted plants.

One-year scabiosis multiply by self-sowing


The perennial shrubs of the scabious are hardy and need no special protection. Only with very strong frosts it is advisable to cover them with dense foliage or a gardening fleece. Anyone who pulls his scabiosa in a pot or bucket should also cover it with leaves or fleece in winter, but they do not have to be brought to a sheltered location.
Diseases and pests
The robust plants are not susceptible to diseases and pests. However, they are sensitive to waterlogging and can develop root rot. One sure sign of this is the leaves hanging. If the soil at this location is generally too wet, drainage should be used, otherwise the plants will have to move to another location.
Recommended varieties
  • Butterfly Blue, the pigeon scabious with striking blue, about 30 to 40 cm high
  • Perfecta, the large scabious, violet blue flowers to dark foliage, about 60 to 80 cm
  • Olympus, one-year-old hybrids in bright colors
  • Ping-pong, Sternskabiose, golden yellow, also suitable as a dried flower
  • Samtskabiose, 70 to 100 cm, red, blue and white, also suitable as a cut flower
Scabiosis is an undemanding, robust plant suitable for any garden. Because of its variety of colors and shapes, as well as the simple culture, it can be used as a bedding or border plant, makes itself as an annual good in small gaps that will grow later, or enriched by their variety every flower meadow. The simple way of propagation through division or sowing guarantees over and over again and again new flowers. A piece of jewelry for every garden and to combine perfectly with other perennial flowers.


  • Type / Family: Perennial or annual; belongs to the family of the Kardengew├Ąchse (Dipsacaceae)
  • Flowering time: Depending on the species and variety May to October in classic violet over white, pink or almost black
  • Foliage: Gray-green to fresh green elongated leaves
  • Growth: Bushy horstoppig growth with good branching
  • Height / Width: Depending on the species and variety 30 to 90 cm high and 15 to 25 cm wide
  • Location: Sunny, warm. Permeable soil, rather dry; depending on the species more or less nutrient-rich
  • Planting time: Anytime as long as the soil is not frozen; can also be sown in early spring
  • Cut: spring near the ground
  • Partner: Aster, fine jet, rose, sage, yarrow, coneflower
  • Propagation: cut cuttings from late spring to early summer or divide in early spring
  • Care: Water in case of dryness; Fertilization depending on the species
  • Hibernation: Different depending on the species
  • very popular bee and butterfly pasture
  • can also be cultivated well in the bucket
  • high varieties can be cut well for the vase and are durable there
  • Stuffed scabious (Scabiosa japonica): Perennial. Blooms from May to August with flat inside densely filled flowers in pink or blue. hardy
  • Caucasus scabious (Scabiosa caucasica): Perennial. Height 60 to 90 cm. Blooms from June to September with large cup-shaped flowers on tightly erect z.T. branched flower stems in blue, blue-purple or white. Petals are slightly curled. Bushy Horst growth. Oblong leaves in gray-green. Can also be sown in early spring. Lovebird, as neither frost nor wetness is tolerated. Should get wind and rain sheltered place. Goes well with aster, fine spray, rose, sage, yarrow, sun hat. Cut cuttings from late spring to early summer or divide in early spring. Nutrient-rich, permeable and calcareous soil, rather dry. Should be protected from rain something. Very sensitive to frost, therefore it is absolutely necessary to have good winter protection. Keep in a frost-free place in pots. Comes from the Caucasus
  • Velvet scabious (Scabiosa atropurpurea): One-year old. Height 40-60 cm, 15-25 cm wide. Blooms from high to late summer with about 5 cm single flowers in white, blue or purple. Green leaves. Upright bushy and well branched growth. 15 to 25 cm wide. Neutral to slightly alkaline soil, which should not be too nutritious
  • Pigeon scabious (Scabiosa columbaria): Meadow shrub. Nutrient and humus rich soil. hardy
Varieties (selection)
  • 'Blue Atlas: Caucasus Scabious. Pamper your eyes with deep blue flowers
  • 'Blue Diamonds┬«: filled scabious. Height 25 cm. Flowers from May to August. Deep blue filled flowers
  • 'Burgundy Bonnets┬«: height 50 cm. Blooms from June to September with well-filled flowers in tender pink, filled middle purple with white tips
  • 'Chile Black: Blooms from June to October in black with a reddish glow
  • 'Clive Greaves: Caucasus Scabious. Striking light blue flowers
  • Miss E. Willmott: Caucasus scabious. Delight with pure white flowers
  • 'Nana Butterfly Blue: pigeon scabious. Height 30 cm.Blooms from May to August with large open flowers with wavy petals in light purple and clearer large white center
  • 'Pink Diamonds┬«: filled scabious. Height 25 cm. Flowers from May to August. Stuffed flowers in bright pink
  • 'St├Ąfa: Caucasus scabious. Delighted with flowers in dark purple

Video Board: Set of 6 Hardy Purple Scabious 'Barocca'.

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