Macedonian Widow Flower - Plants, Care and Propagation

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Perennial, robust, hardy and long-flowering - these are just some of the positive qualities that make the Macedonian Widow Flower a real hit with hobby gardeners.

Macedonian Widow flower

The Macedonian Widow Flower (Knautia macedonica) is a very flowering shrub species that impresses with its balloon-shaped red flowers not only in their beauty in every garden. It is just as popular with insects as hobby gardeners and blooms throughout the summer in a bright red color. For bees and butterflies, it is an important nutritive plant and birds and rodents sometimes use the plant when they are foraging. The Macedonian Widow Flower must therefore not be missing in a butterfly garden.

The beauty of the Macedonian Widow Flower is the fact that it has an extremely long flowering, as well as the fact that despite all its cultivation, it has received a good deal of its wildflower status. This can be seen from afar, from the idiosyncratic beauty, which is ideal for stone beds as well as for cottage gardens or Mediterranean garden areas as well as for the classic bed.

The fact that they can also be combined well with plants such as grasses, stonecrop, catnip or yarrow provides an excellent opportunity to bring variety into your own garden. As a general rule, you can plant the Macedonian Scabious Flower together with all the plants that have the same demands on location and substrate. As in almost all other areas, the Knautia macedonica is also very concerned about this point.

At this time the Macedonian Widow Flower is blooming

The heyday of the Macedonian Widow Flower runs from May to September. Depending on the right location, sufficient nutrient-rich soil and proper water supply, Macedonian widow flowers can actually blossom for up to five months at a time, with one flower always following the next. It is not even necessary to remove the withered shoots during flowering. For aesthetic reasons, however, it makes sense of course to pull old flower remnants from the perennial.

The perfect location for the Macedonian Scabious Flower

The Macedonian Widow Flower loves it when its flowers are caressed by the rays of the summer sun. Heat does not bother her. In this respect, you should choose the location in full sun. Only then can the perennial unfold to full beauty. The more sun the Macedonian Widow Flower receives, the longer-lasting the plant is usually. In sunny summer months, therefore, it also blooms continuously over several months. Shady trees or close buildings are therefore poison for the Macedonian Widow Flower. Although it also thrives in squares that are only hours in the sun and otherwise in the shade - here it does not reach such a long flowering time as in a sunny spot.

By the way, the beauty of the Macedonian widow's flower is particularly evident when you plant it in small groups of 3 to 4 plants in the perennial border or in the stone bed. The distance between the individual plants should be about 60 cm, because the perennial reaches a diameter of 50 to 70 cm, so that quickly develops a dense perennial sea of ​​the small group of plants.

That is how the soil should be

The Macedonian Widow Flower prefers dry but nutrient-rich soil with a high proportion of humus. If the soil is too lean, it may make sense to fertilize the plant with some humus or a suitable plant fertilizer when planting it in order to provide the necessary nutrients. As little as the Macedonian widow's flower is in the care, so are their demands on the nutrient content of the soil. Because the very fact that one blossom in the summer months follows the next, withdrawing the soil a lot of nutrients and energy. In this respect, the soil in which you would like to plant your Macedonian Widow flowers should have the following characteristics:

  • dry
  • nutritious
  • permeable
  • interspersed with a lot of humus

When is the best planting time?

❍ outdoor:

As a rule, the Macedonian widow's flower is planted in spring. However, if you decide to sow in spring, keep in mind that the genus Widow flowers are always cold germinating plants. This means you should first lay the seeds in the refrigerator for a few weeks before planting to simulate a winter period. This greatly increases the chances that the seed will germinate after sowing.

Alternatively you can sow the Macedonian Widow Flower in the fall. In this case, it is not necessary to keep the seed in the refrigerator first. It only takes longer until the seed hits root system.For this, your perennials are already in the spring already and in summer you have chances to admire first flowers.

The last option is sowing in late summer. Again, a cooling of the seeds in the refrigerator must be done beforehand. The advantage of planting in late summer is the fact that the roots are then strong enough by winter to weather a really cold winter. All the more the widow flowers will turn out in the spring. Thus, the possible height of about one meter for the Macedonian Widow Flower is reached relatively quickly.

❍ in the bucket:

Of course, you can also hold the plant as a container plant on the terrace. In this case, you should note, however, that then only the sowing in spring comes into question. In addition, in winter you must note that the bucket itself must not freeze over. For winter storage, the best place for potted plants is a warm place directly on the wall of the house, which still gets some sunlight during the day.

Plant Macedonian Scarlet Flower - step by step instructions

When sowing the Macedonian Scabious Flower, you should follow these steps, depending on the season you choose:

  1. Refrigerate the seeds for several weeks to simulate a winter period (only when sowing in late summer or early spring).
  2. Pull a 3 cm deep furrow.
  3. Place the seeds at a distance of about 60 cm in the furrow.
  4. Cover the seed only lightly with substrate.
  5. The young seedlings now necessarily be permanently protected from snail.
  6. Water regularly. The substrate must not dry out and no waterlogging should occur.

Care of the Macedonian Widow Flower

In general, the Macedonian Widow Flower is a very easy-care plant. It is not for nothing that it thrives wonderfully in nature on the edges of fields and on simple humus-rich meadows and pastures.

To water:

As mentioned earlier, Macedonian Widow flowers have no problem with heat and a dry soil if they have sufficiently strong roots. But prolonged drought also weakens the plant noticeably. In the evenings, you should water the perennials on dry days. In the first phase of growth, immediately after sowing, you should also make sure that the substrate never completely dries out. However, once the seed has germinated, normal rainfall or evening watering is enough on particularly dry days.

It is important that there is no waterlogging, because it can cause lasting damage to the Macedonian widow's flower. If you find that water gathers in heavy rain and does not run properly, you should loosen the soil all around.

Rear section:

The Macedonian Widow Flower is a very fast-growing shrub that shoots up every year. But she can only do that if she is properly circumcised in the spring. The necessary pruning of the Macedonian widow's flower is quite rigorous. So all old and faded stems are cut off a few inches above the ground. The cutting should be done before the first shoots of the new plant shoot up. Once you are done with the cut a little later, be sure not to cut off any fresh parts of the plant, as this will unnecessarily weaken the Macedonian Scabious. Even after such a radical pruning, the Macedonian widow's flower reaches a height of up to 1 meter again by summer. If you really want to prune the Macedonian Widow Flower in your own garden and get it out in all its glory, you should take the following tips to heart:

  • make the pruning prior to knocking out the first new shoots
  • Cut all old shoots back to about 10 cm above the ground
  • Make cuts during flowering with a sharp knife only
  • directly after the regression enrich the soil with some humus

In general, a Macedonian widow's flower should never be cut in the fall. The old shoots from the summer still store a balance of nutrients, which in winter becomes important for the plant. Only in the first weeks of spring a pruning of the Macedonian widow's flower comes into question.

By the way:
As the Knautia macedonica flowers several times in a row, it is also ideal as a supplier of cut flowers. If you want to have some of your cut flowers in the living room for as long as possible, you should make the cut with a sharp knife. A pair of scissors would only unnecessarily lead to bruises on the plant and injure them with it. The cut flowers have to be taken out of the water every two days and shortened by a few centimeters. In order to maximize the area of ​​the stem that is the easiest to absorb the nutrients from the water, the incision should be slightly oblique so that the flower is tapered downwards. And the room temperature in the room where the vase with your Macedonian widow flowers stands should be consistent at about 20 degrees Celsius.


The Macedonian Widow Flower is very hardy and extremely robust, even with two-digit minus temperatures. However, it will do the plants good if you cover them with some brushwood or with the last grass clippings before the winter. This creates a warming blanket and provides the soil with additional energy and new nutrients before the winter.

In cases where the Macedonian Scabious Flower is drawn in the tub, it is important to take some additional measures. A sheltered place near the house is essential to protect the roots from the cold. In addition, you should wrap the entire bucket with linen bags to prevent the substrate from freezing through.

Detecting diseases and pests on the Macedonian Widow Flower

Knautia macedonica

The Macedonian Widow Flower is not only extremely robust, it is virtually avoided by fungus and damaged insects. If your Macedonian widow's flower shows a sickly or stunted appearance, it is usually not due to a disease or pest infestation of the plant, but to mistakes in care. Here are a few examples:

❍ Water and nutrient deficiency:

Water and nutrient deficiencies are often noticeable through pale and translucent foliage or rather meager plant growth. In this case, you should urgently grab again the watering can and provide the plant with enough water.

❍ root rot:

The occurrence of foul odors from the soil and a generally rather meager appearance of the plant, this is often due to root rot. This usually occurs when the plant was repeatedly exposed to waterlogging over a longer period. In this case you should transplant the Macedonian Widow Flower immediately into a drier and above all more permeable soil. But even in such a case, you do not have to remove the putrid root components, because the plant quickly recovers from the root rot in dry soil.

If you want to cultivate the Macedonian Scabious Flower as a container plant, you should fill a drainage layer in the tub to make sure that the roots are not confronted with stagnant water in the tub.

So you can multiply the Macedonian Widow Flower

The Macedonian Scabious Flower is very easy to grow. Propagation can be done either by sowing the seeds or by dividing the roots of the Macedonian Scabious.

❍ Propagation by sowing:

The ripe seeds can be collected in the autumn wonderfully from the plant. If you want to sow in the autumn, you can do so immediately. Sowing can generally take place in late summer, autumn or spring. If you prefer spring, you should store the seeds in a cool place. In the case of sowing, you must observe the points already explained above.

❍ Propagation by root division:

If propagation is to take place via a root division, you must completely dig up the perennial in late summer. Then split the root into several pieces of the same size. Be sure to use well cleaned and sharpened tool. Even with a root division you must make sure that the substrate does not dry out in the first two weeks and that at the new planting the soil has sufficient nutrients.

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