Dianthus barbatus, commonly called Sweet William, is a species of flowering plant in the family Caryophyllaceae. Sweet William is a herbaceous biennial or perennial flowering shrub. They are native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. It has become a popular ornamental garden plant. They're easy to grow and come in a range of colors.
Sweet William Care
It’s easy to grow and care for these beautiful flowers.
There are three categories of sweet William: Annuals, perennials, and biennials. Over 300 different varieties exist in these groups.
The most popular annual varieties of Dianthus plants include the Chinese pink, also known as Dianthus chinensis. Dianthus Chinensis makes an excellent container plant. They are more of a biennial rather than a perennial.
Cottage, Grass pinks are some of the perennials.
These pink carnation flowers are great for adding color to the summer garden. They flower from March to October.
They're so beautiful and colorful that they make good ornamentals for flower gardens, rock gardens, and even simple borders.
Sweet Williams grows best in cooler conditions. Soils rich in organic matter, well-draining, and alkaline are ideal for them. They prefer a spot that receives 4-5 hours of daylight.
Watering and Feeding
Sweet William plants need regular watering, once a week but do not tolerate overwatering. They need constant airflow around their stems.
Every six to eight weeks, fertilize the dianthus plant with a slow-releasing fertilizer of five parts nitrogen, ten parts phosphorus, and five parts potassium.
It is good to use a thin layer of mulch as moisture retention is essential for Sweet William. They need a loose, less compacted soil so they don't get waterlogged.
Keep the stems up so they can bloom well. Also, remove dead flowers with sharp shears.
Pruning is another Dianthus care technique. It helps the plant bloom again next blooming season.
Pest and Diseases
Overwatering Dianthus plants can cause crown rot. If this happens, there is a very small chance of survival of the plant. So it is best to remove and discard the plant to avoid the spread of disease.
These plants are generally resistant to disease, but if they get infested by pests or aphids occasionally, slugs and snails devour them. Use organic pesticides and insecticides to get rid of them.
Dr. Vandana K.