How To Grow A Scabiosa Caucasica
Scabiosa caucasica, otherwise known as the pincushion flower, is a charming perennial in moderate regions and an annual in colder regions. The flower receives its peculiar name from its even stranger appearance. The stamens of the flower literally resemble quilting pins that have all been strategically stuck in a pincushion.
The leaves of the scabiosa caucasica are slender and the stems are quite long, growing to an average of three feet. These flowers come in an array of colors including pink, lavender, white, yellow and wine. When you purchase seeds you have the choice of planting them in the ground, peat pots or individual pots.
Planting In Pots
- If you choose to plant your scabiosa caucasica indoors, you will fill the containers a little more than half of the way full with seed-starting potting mix. Make sure the soil is moist by watering and then setting it aside to drain.
- Put a few seeds in the soil and then cover with about an inch of your potting mix. These containers should be placed in an area that provides warmth and light. Check on your seeds daily, making sure that the soil is always moist but never soggy.
- Once your seedlings have grown a few inches and the last frost of the year has passed, you can transplant them outside.
Planting Seeds In The Ground
- If you are planting your scabiosa caucasica directly in the ground, choose a location that offers full sun.
- Using a shovel, turn over the soil so it's loose and then rake it until it's level.
- Place 3 or 4 seeds every 12 inches in a row. When planting more than one row, leave 10 to 12 inches between them so the plants don't become overcrowded.
- Gently cover the seeds with about an inch of fine soil.
- Using a light mist, water the area well being careful not to disturb the seeds. Seedlings should begin to appear in 10 to 14 days. In the meantime, keep the soil moist but not wet.
- Place snail and slug bait around the seedlings. You can also place a few dishes of stale beer around. Slugs will love to come and eat your seeds if you don't stop them. You can also sprinkle a bit of salt over the area to kill any slug eggs.
- Once your scabiosa caucasica plants grow to be about two feet tall, you will want to provide them with support. Push the stakes in the ground firmly and attach your plants with gardener's tape.
- During the summer months, water once or twice a week, depending on rainfall and temperature.
- If you started your plants indoors and you are transplanting them outside, be sure there is no chance of frost and choose a sunny location.
- Dig your holes. They should be twice as large as your plant's container.
- Gently remove the seedlings. If you used peat pods, they can be planted directly into the ground.
- Place the seedlings into the new hole. The base of the stem should be planted level with the ground and not much deeper.
- Pack dirt firmly around the seedling. Once they are all planted, you can thoroughly water them. Be careful not to drench them but do water enough to eliminate any air pockets left behind.
- When your flowers fade, you should deadhead them by cutting close to the base.
- In the late spring, use a 15-30-15 fertilizer solution.
- At the end of the season, cut your plants to the ground.
- Every three years or so you should break clumps of the roots up with your hands before they start growing in the spring. This will offer your plants more oxygen.