Last June, I planted sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) ‘extra dwarf mix’ seeds in a window planter. As they are small plants, I feel they will have a chance in a small pot like this. Because the seed was quite old, I planted it pretty thickly. Of course, none germinated in one end of the container but it all came up in the rest of the container. I’ve been planning to divide and relocate the plants for quite some time, and finally did so in mid-November. Here, you can see the window planter with the crowded sweet William and another planter (that formerly contained petunias) into which I will move some of the plants.
To prepare the second planter, I loosened the soil and mixed in some cow manure and peat moss. I tried to dig the sweet William plants out of their planter, but the soil was completely root bound and I couldn’t get the garden trowel into it. I turned the planter upside-down, pulled the plants apart, and broke up the remaining soil. I put two “clumps” of sweet William in the smaller window planter and three in the larger planter. I put some of the soil from the smaller planter into the larger to make up for what was removed with the plants. Finally, I watered both planters.
I don’t know how well sweet William works as a houseplant, so I moved the smaller planter to my office for the winter, but I will leave the larger planter outside all winter. I removed the bottom tray from the planter so it won’t be broken by water freezing inside it. Next year, I’ll see how my experiment worked out.
I planted the same sweet William ‘extra dwarf mix’ seeds several years ago, starting the seeds indoors and transplanting them outdoors (and transplanting them again to make room for construction), and some of the plants continued to bloom for many years despite their reputation as short-lived annuals or even biennials.