Seed Swaps

Sweet William      

Dianthus barbatus

  • 154 plantings
  • 19 for swap
  • 6 wanted
  • 106 stashed

Belonging to the Dianthus (Carnation) genus, Sweet William has a botanical name of Dianthus barbatus.

Pink, white, purple and pink mixes; double and single blooms. held on long dark green leafy stalks. Very fragrant, excellent cut flower
Native to Southern Europe and Northeast Asia.

Blooms typically mature to a diameter of 3.0 cm (1.17 inches imperial) and produce a cinnamon fragrance, whilst displaying in these approximate colours:   Cadmium red and   Bright pink and   White. The mature flowers are of a semi-double form. Leaves appear approximately as a   Ao green and   Dark spring green

Sweet William grows as a perennial and is a non-edible flower / ornamental. Being a perennial plant, it tends to grow best over several years (approx 3 years and greater).

Sweet William is known for its clump-forming habit and growing to a height of approximately 50.0 cm (1.62 feet). This plant tends to bloom in late spring.

Try planting Sweet William if you'd like to attract butterflies, bees and birds to your garden.

Popular varieties of Sweet William with home gardeners are Tall Double, Double Dwarf, Indian Carpet, Heart Attack and Shooting Star.

Being a fairly low maintenance plant, Sweet William is normally quite easy to grow provided a minimum level of care is given throughout the year. It will be helpful to note the correct soil, sun and water needs of this plant to ensure that this plant thrives.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Sweet William have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Sweet William

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Sun

  • High

Fertilize in Spring & Summer. Cut back after flowering.
Can be used as a cut flower.
Some gardeners use Sweet William as a biennial and pull it up after flowering the summer after planting out

Plant in a location that enjoys full sun / partial sun and remember to water often. Keep in mind when planting that Sweet William is thought of as very hardy, so this plant will tend to survive through freezing conditions.

See our list of companion Plants for Sweet William to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Sweet William from seed

Sow in mid summer, cover lightly.
Most dianthus require light to germinate. Well-drained neutral to sweet soil is appreciated.

Soil temperature should be kept higher than 10°C / 50°F to ensure good germination.

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Sweet William about 49 days before your last frost date .

Transplanting Sweet William

Transplant three seedlings into 7cm pots and pot up as the plant establishes. Grow on in sheltered conditions and plant out in the flowering position at the end of the summer or early autumn.

As Sweet William is very hardy, ensure temperatures are mild enough to plant out - wait until after your last frost date to be on the safe side.

Harvesting Sweet William

Can be used as a cut flower, lasts very well in a vase

Seed Saving Sweet William

Seed viability is five years.

How long does Sweet William take to grow?

These estimates for how long Sweet William takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Sweet William to germinate?
8 days

Average 8 days | Min 5 days | Max 15 days (25)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Sweet William?
+ 39 days

Average 39 days | Min 17 days | Max 288 days (3)

Days to Maturity How long until Sweet William is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 138 days

Average 138 days | Min 34 days | Max 603 days (11)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Sweet William?
= 185 days

When should I plant Sweet William?

Our when to plant Sweet William estimates are relative to your last frost date.

Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!

When to sow The number of days to sow Sweet William before or after your last frost date.
49 days before Last Frost Date

Sweet William Etymology

The botanical epithet is from the Latin barbatus meaning “bearded”

Sweet William Folklore & Trivia

  • The Sweet William flower symbolises gallantry.
  • Dianthus barbatus was included in Catherine Middleton’s 2011 bridal bouquet, most likely due to its common name of “Sweet William”.

Other names for Sweet William

Dianthus, Sweet Williams, Dianthus barbatus, Green trick

Dianthus x barbatus, Dianthus barbatus L.

Latest Sweet William Reviews

  • I like that it’s very low maintenance and grows easily. Looking forward for the blooms.

    5 stars

    italianna about growing Carnation
  • Next time that I plant these, I will protect the seedlings with wire netting. Only 4 out of 12 plants have survived – the remainder have been scratched out of the ground by resident blackbirds.

    3 stars

    Bdapy2 about growing Dianthus Persian Carpet
  • pruned all deadheads from plant. hope it will bloom again this summer!

    0 stars

    bjwisbar about growing Dianthus

See all Sweet William reviews and experiences »


Sweet William Forums

  • Dianthus

    Pinks, carnations, sweet william... they're all dianthus. And this is their group!

    15 members / 21 topics