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Annual BiennialBedding

Dianthus barbatus 'Oeschberg' (p,a)
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

sweet william 'Oeschberg'

A short-lived perennial often grown as a biennial. Fragrant flowers are vivid shades of deep purple and magenta, held above green leaves in late spring and early summer

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Sand
Chalk
Clay
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Neutral, Alkaline, Acid
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Pink Purple Green
Summer Pink Purple Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Caryophyllaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Humans/Pets: Skin allergen, wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling. For further information and contact numbers regarding pets, see the HTA guide to potentially harmful plants
Genus

Dianthus can be annuals, evergreen perennials or subshrubs with narrow, often greyish leaves and showy flowers that are frequently fragrant

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in a well-drained soil in a sunny position

Propagation

Propagate by softwood cuttings of non-flowering shoots. Dianthus barbatus can be grown from seed, but seed collected from cultivars may result in plants with different characteristics. Seed bought as a named cultivar can be sown in autumn for flowering the following spring, or sown in early spring for flowering in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Bedding
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Garden edging
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

Deadhead regularly to prolong flowering

Pests

May be susceptible to slugs and aphids

Diseases

May be susceptible to powdery mildews, a rust, a virus and fusarium wilt

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