Sweet William

vera_eastern_wa(5a-5b)March 11, 2006

Good morning,

I am wondering what to do with my last year's wintersown SW's. They looked pretty good, green and or dark purple leaves and then the real cold and extremely windy snap hit us a few weeks back. Now ever single plant looks very tattered/shredded. Can I clean them up this spring by cutting them back or will these leaves fall away (or be hidden) for newer and fresher leaves?



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Hi Vera,

When I clean the gardens in the spring, I cut mine back to about an inch from the crown. My experience has been that the plant grows back from the crown and is quite strong.

Mine will be four years old this spring - one of the first things I winter sowed! I liked them so much that last year I sowed a double-blooming variety. The flowers look like a tiny carnation. Looking forward to seeing them bloom!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 10:32PM
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Nurmey(5 Omaha, NE)

I also give mine a good haircut whenever they start looking ratty and they reward me with lots of new growth.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 11:40AM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

I left them ratty and they cleaned up ok. Maybe I will cut mine back too.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 11:44AM
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blackcat333(z6 NY)

I scraped away the driest leaves and they bloomed like crazy.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 7:10PM
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For 10 years now, a friend and I have been hacking that damage back to about 1 inch from the ground and they come back like gang busters every year and they look neater and cleaner by doing this.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 12:40AM
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lblack61(z5 NY)

I don't think I'd do much to it...do you know there has been a piece of it on my porch (not in soil) that was revealed when the ice thawed, and it is as green as anything. It was just lying there on the porch. So I stuck it in the ground Saturday.
I have more and usually, I take off the tattered leaves after new growth starts on them. I also take whatever parts have dropped off that have a stem and stick them in the ground somewhere else. SW has been so reliable for me. It's become a "must have" in my garden.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 7:58AM
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Thanks! Sorry didn't reply sooner, but for some reason I wasn't getting email notification:(
OK, sounds great. I will clean them up/cut back here soon.
Now, are these plants perennial or biennial and just coming back from seed? My seed packet and many other sources say that Dianthus barbatus is a biennnial.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 9:27AM
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