Overwintering Perennial Scabiosa at the Johnny's Research Farm

I'm here in our overwintered tunnel. I’m standing in front of a planting of perennial scabiosa.

We have two varieties here. This is 'Fama White' and 'Fama Deep Blue'. These are perennial scabiosa. They’re varieties that could be planted outside without the protection of a tunnel, but we placed them in the tunnel this year because we had a few questions about them:

  • would they bloom earlier in the overwintered tunnel than they would from a field planting
  • overall quality and performance in general in the overwintered tunnel
  • we also wanted to compare them to annual scabiosa to see if they would flower earlier in the over winter tunnel environment than an annual scabiosa planting

I'll say a few of the things that we have found and that we've appreciated about these varieties. First, this plot has been blooming since the beginning of May. It's May 31st right now. We started harvesting the first week of May and have taken a few different cuts off these plots. You can see that they're still sending out really nice, long, clean stems.

The blooms are really full and wide and are still consistent in their quality and bloom width from the first cuts through now. That's really nice to see. We had 100% survival in the overwintered plantings. Everything survived and the plants are still looking really nice. We should be able to harvest off these for several more weeks.

We did find that they flowered earlier than an outdoor planting of scabiosa and they are also flowering well before an overwintered annual planting of scabiosa. This is the annual scabiosa plot right next to me here. These are still several weeks away from flowering. They don't usually flower for us in the overwintered tunnel until mid-June.

You can see that these are earlier flowering, with excellent quality, good survival in the overwintered tunnel and a really good option if you are looking for another May flowering crop for an overwintered tunnel.