Care of Scabious (Butterfly) Plant


Butterfly Blue is a variety of Scabiosa columbaria. Scabiosa is a perennial flower that is also known as the pincushion flower because of its dome-shaped, 2-inch blooms. The lavender-blue blooms appear from spring into late fall and attract butterflies. Reaching a height and width of 12 to 18 inches, scabiosa Butterfly Blue can be used for a border or in containers. Plant scabiosa Butterfly Blue in well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.

Step 1

Maintain a light layer of mulch (1 to 2 inches) around scabiosa Butterfly Blue. The mulch, which will help to retain moisture, can be compost or wood chips.

Step 2

Water every seven to 10 days if there is no rainfall.

Step 3

Deadhead the spent blooms to promote new growth. Deadheading can be done by grabbing the stem in your fist and pushing off the spent bloom with your thumb and index finger. Garden clippers can also be used for deadheading.

Step 4

Cut scabiosa Butterfly Blue to the ground anytime during the growing season if it stops blooming or the bush is not full. The plant should grow back fuller and produce more blooms.

Step 5

Dig up the rootball every three years, divide into two sections by hand or cut through the rootball with a shovel point and then replant the sections. The sections are referred to as "divisions." Plant the divisions 12 to 18 inches apart and at the same depth they were before.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden clippers
  • Mulch
  • Shovel


  • Fine Gardening: Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue' (Pincushion Flower)
  • Botanix: Scabiosa Columbaria 'Butterfly Blue'
  • Purdue University Consumer Horticulture: Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue' Perennial of the Year
Keywords: scabiosa, butterfly blue, pincushion flower

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.