Scabiosa Columbaria - Butterfly Blue

Bluebelle_RiverinaOctober 28, 2003

I planted a couple of of these 12 months ago. I like them so much that I want more. How should I propagate them? Cuttings, division...??? Please tell me the easiest and simplest way.


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If they are perennials they can be divided prob next winter. They should also grow from seed. Maybe that's the one I saw on my walk yesterday-a goegeous palish blue.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2003 at 11:43PM
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my references say divide too. No mention of cuttings at all.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2003 at 2:31PM
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Thanks - I really did want you to say "cuttings", as last year's plants are just getting to be a good size. I found some plants at Bunnings - couldn't wait, so bought three more. Will divide the originals next winter.

Annabel, they are a pale mauve/blue with pompom type heads - flower most of the year and make a lovely display. Wish they had a nicer name - Scabiosa sounds dreadful.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2003 at 8:21PM
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Ann, I don't think you'll regret buying the extras, but why not try potting up a few cuttings if you find one of your plants has suitable material on it. One of my little tricks (though I haven't done it in a while) is wandering around the streets and snipping a little of whatever nice is hanging over someone's fence....I now recall I did once take cuttings of a scabiosa, not butterfly blue or the similar pink though, one of the older larger types, with good clear nodes and quite hard stems, they struck readily enough. I've got both the blue and pink ("butterfly") varieties, and I also would like to propogate them. I'm loathe to dig them up. I'll nip out and do a few cuttings. I'll let you know how I get on....fingers crossed....

    Bookmark   November 16, 2003 at 3:14AM
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Hi Ann
I wasn't sure which plant you were talking about, so did a Google search, this page has some good general info on the plant - it turned out I did know what plant you were referring to, I am not so good with botanical names (though am getting better as it is the only way to know exactly which plant is being referred to).

Here is a link that might be useful: Butterfly Blue

    Bookmark   November 16, 2003 at 10:47PM
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thanks for the link Rach, I did go out and pot up some cuttings, my pink one didn't have appropriate material, too late into flowering, but the blue had three or four soft new growths coming up. Very reassuring, I've done what they describe.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2003 at 10:56PM
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One of my books on plant propagation says that soft stem cuttings should be taken between spring and autumn, that it will take between 20-50 days and there is a 40-80% chance of it striking.
Jill T.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2003 at 6:43PM
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Thanks Rach, that information is very interesting. Now why didn't I think to do a search? I will go out and investigate my plants for suitable material. I really do love this plant - it has grown extremely well where I planted it on the south side (front) of my house, and flowers for so long. And such pretty lacy flowers too! The new ones I planted have flowers popping out all over them.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2003 at 9:34PM
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Hello Ann, I find Butterfly Blue extremely easy to propagate from cuttings, in fact some bits that were accidently broken off [DH with whipper snipper :)] I just tidied up and stuck into the ground near the parent plants and 90% grew. This was in Autumn, April I think.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2003 at 3:52AM
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Hi Ann
I have the pink scabosia called passion and I left the flower ball to dry then I pulled all the seeds apart they are easy to handle and then I scratched around in the dirt close to the original bush and scattered the seeds covered them and I ended up with about 30 seedlings I transplanted them all around the garden when they were about 4 inches high They have just started to flower and I have ended up with pink and mauve bushes so far.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2003 at 3:53AM
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Bluebell, these are not only gorgeous, but so hardy and useful. Like Maryanne I have stuck bits in the ground in an ad hoc sort of way and most have taken. Usually they stray over the brick garden edging and I snip them off to save them from the mower and poke them into a bit of dirt somewhere. They are fabulous to fill in a bare bit of ground. But they do need constant deadheading. The fuzzy little seedheads look quite nice and rustic bunched in a pottery jug.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2003 at 12:22AM
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I'm so inspired! I'm starting a new front garden with a blue theme and had seen a description of scabiosa in a book, so they were already on my list, but this discussion has made them a definite.
Thanks for the article Rach.
Do you think they would handle full sun in Perth? Are they available as seedlings anywhere or do you have to buy a bigger pot?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2004 at 2:21AM
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