Scabious (Pincushion Flower)
Scabious ground cover is a delightful Summer flowering annual or perennial. Although essentially a meadow flower, scabious look just as appealing in borders, cottage gardens or gravel gardens as they do in a wildflower mix. They come in a broad range of colours, from white through blue to deep burgundy. Scabious makes an excellent fill-in plant, looking good planted among grasses or mixed flowering perennials and annuals. They also make a fantastic cut flower with a long vase life.
As their common name Pincushion suggests, Scabious ground cover produce an abundance of delightful pin-like flowers on top of wiry stems that grow between one and two feet high depending on the variety. They have slender, almost ferny leaves of a grey-green colour that come through in early Spring. Scabious flower best in full sunlight and have a long flowering period throughout Summer and Autumn (deadhead them regularly to encourage more blooms!) The nectar-rich flowers are very attractive to pollinators and the seeds are good for birds.
Types of Scabious Ground Cover
Scabious ground cover are easy to care for and require very little maintenance. They will thrive in well drained, neutral to alkaline soils in full sun. Give them a good soaking of water when planting and getting established, and then you should only need to supplement rainwater during dry spells. If clumps of Scabiosa become congested, we recommend dividing them every 3-4 years.
As a rough guide when planting Scabious as ground cover – 4 plants per square metre is adequate with a little patience, 6 will give better coverage, and 9-12 will make a weed supressing carpet very quickly.
How to grow Scabious
Position: Full Sun
Foliage: Annual, Perennial
Soil and site: well drained, neutral to alkaline soils
Flowering time: Early Summer to Autumn
Growth rate: Moderate
Ultimate height and spread: Height to 60cm, spread to approximately 30cm depending on variety
Hardiness: Fully hardy once established
Aftercare: Deadhead spent flowers regularly to encourage more blooms. Divide overcrowded plants every few years.