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FutureStarrHow Do I Grow Sweet Williams
Sweet Williams prefer growing in full sun but will tolerate light shade. They tend to grow taller and get a bit floppy if they get too much shade so if this occurs just plant in a sunnier spot the next time. The caveat to this is if you are in the South with hot summer temps, they will do a bit better with some afternoon shade. How to grow Sweet Williams is for those who want to add a tough but sweet-smelling cottage flower to their garden. One of those easy flowers that grow well in many zones. Learn what growing conditions Sweet William plants like, how to start them from seeds, and how to care for them for a long bloom time.
The dianthus plant is commonly called Sweet William. The poetry of the name fits the pleasant aroma and bright range of possible colors. Full-grown plants reach 12 inches (30 cm) or more in height, depending on variety. Sweet William is easy to grow and maintain, but may need to be replanted after one or two years, since they rarely survive longer. Fortunately, you can harvest the seeds from your first plant or allow it to reseed by itself, spreading years of enjoyment from a single initial plant.Find out when your Sweet William will bloom. Due to the multiple varieties of Sweet William and the different methods of growing them, you may hear conflicting information on when your flowers will grow and how long they will last. Biennial varieties bloom in their second year, and then die. Perennial varieties are supposed to regrow flowers year after year, but Sweet William perennials usually take two years to bloom and often die before they bloom a second time.
The flowers look like carnations, but instead of appearing singly on stalks, they grow in large clusters known as umbels. Each flower has five petals with serrated edges. The colors range is the same as carnations: red, pink, white and bicolors. The older cultivars have a clove like scent while the newer hybrids do not. This often happens with flowers. As you breed for specific colors, flower forms or size, you lose the scent. Most gardeners don’t mind but I grow sweet william for both its flowers and its scent so there are no fancy double flowers in my garden. Instead when they bloom, there is an intense fragrance that greets me every time I step out of my door.Bloom time is late spring to early summer. If you deadhead the flowers, you may get a second flush of flowers. A lot of gardeners allow their plants to go to seed so that they will reseed in the garden. This is a great way to ensure that a short-lived perennial will continue to grow in your garden year after year. Just be aware that the double flowers will not come true from seed. They are hybrids. In fact, if you allow sweet william to reseed for enough years as I have, you will discover that they eventually revert back to the original red flowers with white bases of their ancestors. (Source: dengarden.com)