The Complete Guide to Scabiosa Flower (with Pictures)

Today, it will be all about the scabiosa flower, also known as the pincushion flower! We will get up close and personal with this bloom like a bee.

We will get to know it better, discuss how to grow and care for it, and much more. We hope you still have a spot in your flower bed because, by the end of this scabiosa flower guide, you will likely fall in love with this bloom. With that, let’s go!

What Is the Scabiosa Flower?

What Is the Scabiosa Flower

Botanical Name Scabiosa
Common Name Pincushion Flowers,Scabious
Plant Type Herbaceous perennial
Native Area Africa, Europe & Asia
Flower Color Lavender,White, cream,pink, red, burgundy
Soil Type Moist and well-drained
Foliage Deciduous
Soil pH Neutral, alkaline
When To Sow March-October
Flowering Months June-August

It is the pincushion name that stands outs for good reasons. As you might have already noticed, this bloom looks like, you guessed it, a pincushion! It has a compact and round head giving it a cushion-like shape.

On the other hand, it has stamens that look like pins. As you can see, it is no secret how this bloom got its popular name.

The scabiosa flower is a part of the Caprifoliaceae, otherwise known as the honeysuckle family. It goes by many names like sweet scabious, garden scabious, and pincushion flower. However, among its many names, it is the latter one that stands out.

When it comes to appearance, aside from its pincushion-like features, this bloom comes in many different colors. On the other hand, it often grows around a foot, but it can reach up to six feet!

As you can see, the scabiosa flower is a beauty. It can be a focal or a filler flower in an arrangement or a garden. However, that is not all there is to this bloom. As you will see in a bit, it is also easy to grow and maintain. To top it all up, it does well at attracting pollinators too!

What Does the Scabiosa Flower Mean?

Before we discuss how to grow and care for this bloom, let us briefly discuss its meaning.

Like many other blooms, the scabiosa flower holds more than one meaning. It can stand for purity. On the other hand, it can also represent peace. However, it seems it is best associated with love. It is said to mean pure or unfortunate love.

How to Grow the Scabiosa Flower?

How to Grow the Scabiosa Flower

After all of that, you might now be considering adding this bloom to your garden. Well, let us discuss how to grow this bloom, then.

This bloom could be picky with the temperature. The scabiosa does not like for its surroundings to be too hot. On the other hand, it does not like it too cold either. It will likely do well in areas in and around zone 7 of the USDA plant hardiness zone.

To add, you want to find it a place in your garden where it can get full sun. However, you do not have to worry. It can tolerate partial shade as well. The latter might even be ideal if you live in zones eight and above, where things start to get hot.

You can grow scabiosa flower seeds, but it is possible to get them at other stages too. On the other hand, you can start growing them indoors or begin outdoors. Make sure you give them enough space, though. Keep them 10 inches apart, at least.

This bloom will do well in a wide range of soils as long as its well-draining. However, you might want to stay away from clay soil. While the scabiosa flower will do well with it for some time, it will likely not do them good during its dormancy.

How to Care for the Scabiosa Flower?

Next, let us talk about care and maintenance. As we have said above, this bloom is easy to care for and maintain. There are a few things to keep in mind, but you do not have to worry. Keeping this bloom in the garden is easy-peasy!

The Scabiosa Flower Basic Care

How to Care for the Scabiosa Flower

First, let us talk about the basics.

As we have said above, this bloom prefers to get full sun. However, it could handle some partial shade too. In some instances, some shade might even be ideal, depending on your location. However, it will not do well with full shade! It might grow, but it will not flower that well.

On the other hand, it does not need as much water. You want to water it thoroughly the first year, though. After that, it will not need as much help in this part.

That is with the expectation that you are not in a hot and dry area. Otherwise, watering it a few times a week might be ideal. However, this bloom can handle brief periods of drought.

Now, let us move on with the soil. As we have said above, the scabiosa flower will do well with many different types as long as it is well-draining. However, you might want to avoid those that can get waterlogged easily. To add, you want to keep the soil moist most of the time.

Should You Fertilize the Scabiosa Flower?

Fertilizing is more of a preference than a necessity. You can give some fertilizer to this bloom, but it can also do without it. It can help in giving you a good bunch.

However, keep in mind not to overdo it. While fertilizers can be an extra boost for blooms, they can do more harm than good when not handled properly. Given too much or too often, they can kill a plant.

Should You Deadhead the Scabiosa Flower?

Should You Deadhead the Scabiosa Flower

As you will likely agree, one of the best things about this plant is its flower. With that, deadheading is ideal – if not necessary – for this bloom. This action will not only encourage flowering but will likely also help improve the overall appearance of your scabiosa flower.

You can also consider pruning if you want to save time and effort. It might especially be ideal to do when the flower output is low.

Should You Stake the Scabiosa Flower?

On the other hand, staking is not as necessary as deadheading. However, if you are in a windy area or experiencing an especially turbulent season, you might have to consider staking. After all, the stem of this bloom can get pretty long. To add, it is not the sturdiest.

Even if it is not windy in your area, you might want to consider staking if you would like this bloom to keep an upright position.

Should You Propagate the Scabiosa Flower?

Propagating is more of a preference. It is not much of a necessity, but it is possible. Seed propagation or propagation by division are both viable with this bloom, with the latter being an ideal way to keep the scabiosa flowers in your flower bed in check without losing your hard work.

If you go with the latter, keep in mind that it is only ideal to do it every few years.

Are Pests an Issue with the Scabiosa?

Are Pests an Issue with the Scabiosa

This bloom is not particularly susceptible to pests, but it does not mean they could not be an issue. If garden pests are common in your garden, this bloom will likely be affected too.

You might want to buy or make a plant-friendly insecticide when it happens. Stay away from common pesticides, though. They might get the pests, but they can also hurt your blooms and do plenty more damage all around.

Are There Other Issues with the Scabiosa?

Like with pests, this bloom is not particularly susceptible to any other issues. However, it does not mean they could not get affected by them. If not cared for properly, you might have to face problems like root rot and leaf spots.

How to Harvest the Scabiosa Flower?

We already got up close and personal with this bloom. After that, we discussed how to grow it. Then, we talked about its care and maintenance. Before you go, let us let you in how to harvest this bloom.

When you want to harvest this bloom would depend on how long you want it to last. Generally, you want to wait until they are almost or fully open. However, if you want a long vase life, you might want to cut them a little earlier.

This bloom opens up from the outermost part going inside. It might be best to cut this bloom when you see the first layers opening up, but with the innermost part still closed to ensure you get a long vase life.

The scabiosa flower is not particularly known to be a long-lasting bloom, but it can stay for around two weeks if taken care of properly.


There you have it! Our scabiosa flower guide! From its profile to how to grow and care for it to harvesting it, we discussed that all today!

We hope we got to help you get up close and personal with this bloom and aid you in deciding whether it is for you or not. If there is any other bloom you want to get to know, you might want to check out our other talks then! There are tons of other beauties just waiting for you to get to know!

Leave a Comment