Sweet Williams are lovely plants.  They have pretty fringed flowers and bloom for me most of the spring and summer and come back each year in they are a perennial.  Dianthus Barbatus is a lovely variety of the species but is a little harder to grow.

How to grow Sweet William - Dianthus. This plant makes nice mounds of bright color all summer long. Some are annuals and some are quite hardy. thegardneingcook.com

Planting guide for Dianthus Barbatus

Dianthus Barbatus – also know as Sweet William is a tender perennial.  It is often treated as a Biennial with leaves the first year and flowers the second before dying off.  My Dianthus Barbatus has flowered for two years here in NC.

To grow Dianthus Barbatus, follow these tips:

  • Size is 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide
  • Zones 3 to 9
  • Full to partial sun
  • Even moisture
  • Moderate grower.  Low maintenance.
  • The flowers are edible with a mild flavor.  Used as a garnish.
  • Propagation is by seed, cuttings, or division, but seeds of cultivars will not breed true.
  • If it is planted from seed after the last frost, it will flower in the second year. If it is planted in flats before the last frost and then transplanted it may flower in the first year.

The leaves of this variety of Dianthus are fragrant and the plant attracts butterflies and bees.  This lovely variety is one that I got from the farmer’s market. It has a huge 3 inch flower head instead of the normal smaller variety often seen.

Dianthus barbatus Sweet WilliamHere are some more photos of Dianthus with the smaller head size. They give a wonderful idea of the variety of colors available.   Growing conditions are similar to directions above, except for the size, of course.


The following Photos are courtesy of American Meadows.

Dianthus Grenadine MixDianthus Grenadin Mix.  Clove scented, blooms all summer.  Great for cutting.Dianthus Purple Picotee
Dianthus Purple Picotee. Sweet fragrance all summer long. Nice in containers.Dianthus Starburst Dianthus Starburst. Short foliage. Perfect for a border or container.Dianthus Indian CarpetDianthus Indian Carpet

Dianthus Red

Dianthus Red – 8 inches tall, blooms all summer.

How To Grow Sweet William - Dianthus BarbadusFor more gardening ideas please visit The Gardening Cook on Facebook.


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