Sweet William 'Wee Willie'
Scientific Name: Dianthus barbatus
Common Names: Sweet William 'Wee Willie'
Sweet William is native to parts of Southern Europe and Asia, it has become naturalised in parts of Northern Europe and North America.
Sweet William has clove scented flowers rich in nectar which attracts bees, butterflies and other insect pollinators to the garden. Suitable for planting in rockeries and cottage gardens. Wee Willie is a low growing variety ideal for filling in along the front edge of mixed flower beds. Will grow in pots and other containers successfully. The flowers are edible and make an attractive garnish.
Sweet William prefers to grow and flowers best in full sun or in light shade during warmer parts of the year. It has average water needs, so don't under or overwater it. Sweet William prefers growing in a neutral pH range of 6 to 8, many Australian soils are acidic so garden lime may need to be added prior to planting. Grows best in a rich loamy soil so prior to planting mix through plenty of compost, well rotted cow manure or worm castings if you soil is sandy, lacking in nutrients or heavy with clay. Adding gypsum can also help to break up clay soils. Mulch around plants to reduce competition from weeds, keep root systems cool and lessen the need to water. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage further flower production. Will self-seed when grown in ideal conditions.
When To Sow
In cold and mountainous regions of Australia sow Sweet William seeds during Spring after any chance of frost has passed or during March. In temperate regions of Australia sow Sweet William seeds from March to October. In subtropical regions of Australia sow Sweet William seeds from March to September. In tropical regions of Australia sow Sweet William seeds during the dry season from April to August.
How To Sow
Sow several Sweet William seeds directly where they are to grow or in punnet cells 3mm deep. Thin or divide seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle. Spacing planting holes 20cm apart to allow room for growth but don't space too far apart or the plants won't form a continuous mat of flowers. Water often until established.
Sweet William seeds take between 7 and 15 days to germinate.
Time To Flowering
Wee Willie Sweet William is early flowering taking just 9 to 10 weeks from sowing.