The Q&A Archives: Pruning Scabiosa

Question: I recently purchased 2 "Pink Mist" Scabiosa from a nursery.
I found the last two plants that were on the shelf. One of these plants was very tall which was indicative of a root bound plant. I knew how to remedy the problem by spreading and cutting some of the roots to encourage new growth. Some of the flower stems and leaves look a little floppy and tall. My question is, is the plant in question naturally floppy and free or could I prune it back to encourage new stiffer growth.

Thank You

Answer: The natural growth habit of scabiosa is to produce wiry stems, topped with pincushion-like flowers. The leaves are generally oblong and coarsly toothed, with a slightly downward curve. Sounds as though you've remedied the rootbound condition and the next step is cutting the plants back to encourage healthy new growth. Deadhead frequently by removing spent flowers along with some stem, and your plants will become bushier.

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