The Q&A Archives: Sweet William Pruning

Question: Should I prune my Sweet William? The plants are doing very well and had lots of flowers. Now the flowers are gone and I'm wondering if I should cut it back so that it would bloom again? Will it come up again next year?

Answer: According to Bill Marken in "Annuals for Dummies" written in conjunction with NGA, Sweet William can be cut back in early summer after the first bloom to encourage another set of flowers. Most Sweet William varieties are biennial, meaning seeds are sown the first year and plants flower the second. Some will bloom anyway if seeds or transplants are put in early. There are also some annual varieties. Your plants probably won't come up again, but they may self-sow, generating a new crop. Thanks for writing!

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