How to Grow Sweet William Plants
Biennial, Perennial, Dianthus Barbatus
Sweet William is a colorful, biennial flower. It grows for two years, blooming
in the second year. Native to Europe, this colorful, compact plant is
grown all over the U.S.
Sweet William varieties include perennials and biennials. The perennials
are often grown as biennials. Plants grow 7-18 inches tall, depending upon
variety. Flowers blooms are produced in clusters in the spring. Colors include
white, red, pink, crimson, scarlet, purple, and bi-colors.
The compact size of Sweet Williams make them great for containers and pots.
Try them in a windowsill or vertical planter. In flower beds, put these small
plants at the front of the garden. Despite their small size, they make good
cut flowers. All they need for indoor splendor, is a small vase.
The Raging Name Debate- There is much debate over who Sweet William
was named for. The list of honorees includes: William the Conqueror, Saint
William of York, and Prince William Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland.
Sweet William are grown from seeds. They can be directly seeded into your
flower garden, or seeded indoors for transplanting later. For spring blooms,
start indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost. Young seedlings will
transplant well into their permanent home.
Sow Sweet William seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/8" of
fine garden or potting soil. Water thoroughly once.
Transplant Sweet William into your garden after the last frost date for your
area. Space them six inches apart. They will tolerate a little crowding.
They will look great filling in a flowerbed, or as a border edging.
Sweet William can also be grown from cuttings or plant division.
How to Grow Sweet William Plants:
Sweet William plants like full sun. They will tolerate a light shade. They
prefer rich, loose soil that drains well. Add a general purpose fertilizer
when planting them, then once a month after that.
Once your Sweet William are established, they should grow well with few problems.
Keep the soil moist to slightly dry. Water them during dry periods, once
or twice per week. Keep them well weeded, or apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch
for a tidy appearance.
Insect and Disease:
Nematodes can be a problem. Treat early with insecticides specific to nematode.
If disease problems occur, treat early with fungicide.
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